Journalism and publishing terms - jargon buster

This page is intended to be a glossary of old and new media terms of relevance to the practice of journalism. To edit or add glossary entries on this page, please click here or email your suggestions or questions to john at journalism.co.uk. Wherever possible when adding or editing items please include links to relevant sites. Your edits may take up to two hours before they appear live on this page.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

A

Above the fold - A broadsheet paper folded in half for display. The top half of the page, above the fold, is held to be the most important real estate in the paper. A reporter’s ambition is to get an article on the front page; a reporter’s supreme ambition is to get that article above the fold. (courtesy of John E McIntyre)

Accountability - The requirement to explain decisions and actions.

Ace - an on-call reporter.

Active Proceedings (sub judice) - These occur in a criminal court of law when a person has been arrested, a warrant for his or her arrest has been issued, there are bail conditions (including police bail), a summons has been issued or a person has been charged (with a criminal offence).

ABC - Audit Bureau of Circulations; a group that audits newspaper circulation figures.

ABCe - Audit Bureau of Circulations Electronic - division of the ABC that audits traffic figures for online publications.

ACAP - Automated Content Access Protocol, a platform that would allow search engines to recognise the terms and conditions of specific websites.

Add - Copy to be added to a story already written.

Adobe InDesign - Desktop publishing program, now being used more widely in place of QuarkXPress.

Ad impression - Term used to describe the number of times an advert is seen. Advertisers usually sell space based on the exposure per thousand impressions. This is called Cost per impression (CPM). Alternatively, they might sell on a pay-per-click (CPC) basis (also known as cost-per-click - CPC)

ADSL - Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line; high bandwidth web connection often just called broadband.

Advance - A story outlining a future event. Also means to raise the priority of a story or an upfront payment for written work, particularly long articles or text.

Advertorial - An advert in the form of a complementary editorial piece, usually labelled as an advert.

AJAX — A bundle of technologies and techniques that allow a web page to do things quietly in the background without reloading the whole page. AJAX is not a programming language, but rather an acronym used to describe that bundle, “Asynchronous Javascript and XML.” AJAX provides much of the functionality associated with Web 2.0. One of the first big uses of AJAX was Gmail, which allowed it to be much more responsive than other web e-mail at the time. (Courtesy of Hacks/Hackers Survival Glossary)

Algorithm — A set of instructions or procedures used in order to accomplish a task, such as creating search results in Google. In the context of search, algorithms are used to provide the most relevant results first based on those instructions. (Courtesy of Hacks/Hackers Survival Glossary)

All Caps - A word or sentence written in all capital letters.

AM Mark - the symbol used for denoting the end of a feature story in a periodical.

Analogue television - TV transmitted in radio waves as opposed to digital TV.

Android — Usually used in the context of Android phone, Android is a free and open source operating system developed by Google that powers a variety of mobile phones from different manufacturers and carriers. It is a rival of the iPhone platform. In contrast to Apple's tightly controlled architecture and App Store, Android allows users to install apps from the Android Market and from other channels, such as directly from a developer's website — which allows for X-rated content, for example. Some well-known Android phones are the Nexus One, the Motorola Droid and HTC Evo. Expect to see competitors to the iPad running a version of Android. (Courtesy of Hacks/Hackers Survival Glossary)

Angle - The approach or focus of a story. This is sometimes known as the peg.

AP - the abbreviation for the Associated Press.

API - the abbreviation of Application Programming Interface: a set of functions, procedures, methods, classes or protocols that an operating system, library or service provides to support requests made by computer programs.

App — Short for application, a program that runs inside another service. Many mobile phones allow apps to be downloaded, leading to a burgeoning economy for modestly priced software. Can also refer to a program or tool that can be used within a website. Apps generally are built using software toolkits provided by the underlying service, whether it is iPhone or Facebook. (Courtesy of Hacks/Hackers Survival Glossary)

Assignment - A job given to a journalist by an editor.

Astroturfing - A term used to describe fake grassroots support on websites and in blog comments. A method most usually employed by the public relations and advertising industry and political groups.

Atom — A syndication format for machine readable web feeds that is usually accessible via a URL. While it was created as an alternative to RSS (Real Simple Syndication) to improve upon RSS's deficiencies (such as ambiguities), it still is secondary to RSS. (See also, RSS) (Courtesy of Hacks/Hackers Survival Glossary)

Attribute - to quote the original source of material, whether it be a quote of copyrighted work.

Audit - An independent assessment of the validity of statistics used in adverts, newspapers etc.

AOP - Formed in 2002, the Association of Online Publishers is an industry body for UK web publishers. The AOP represents the interests of 160 publishing companies.

Average issue readership - Number of people who have read the newspaper or magazine in the period that it was issued, also known as AIR.

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B

B2B - Business to business; describes a business whose primary customers are other businesses.

B2C - Business to customer; describes a business whose primary customers are individuals.

Background - Information given to a reporter to explain more about the situation and details of a story. Sometimes shortened to BG.

Back bench - Senior journalists on a newspaper.

Bandwidth - The amount of data that can be transferred through an internet connection.

Bang out - A composing room ritual in which an employee leaving the premises for the last time is commemorated by the pounding of pica poles against metal surfaces in a commemorative clamor. (courtesy of John E McIntyre)

Banner ad - Web advert, normally found at the top of a page. Typically around 468 by 60 pixels in size. Sometimes called a web banner.

BARB - Broadcasting Audience Research Board, measures TV audience numbers.

BBC - British Broadcasting Corporation.

Beat - The area or subject that a reporter regularly covers.

Best boy - Broadcasting term for second-in-command of a lighting team.

Beta - Used in software publishing, 'beta' is the name given to a pre-release version of a software product.

Blawg - Weblog dealing with aspects of law.

Bliki - Combination of a blog and a wiki; a blog that can be edited by readers or an approved group of users.

Blind interview - An interview with an unnamed source.

Blog - An online commentary or diary often written by individuals about hobbies or areas of specialist interest. Blogs commonly allow comments below entries and are published in reverse chronological order. Also known as a weblog.

Blogger - A person who writes a blog.

Blogosphere/Blogdom/Blogiverse/Blogmos/Blogostan - All things relating to blogs and blog communities.

Blurb - Brief introduction to the writer, usually following the headline.

BRAD - British Rate and Data; a company that logs every periodical that has to do with advertising in Britain.

Break - When a story is first published.

Breaking news - Unanticipated events developing during the publication cycle, requiring updates and occasionally wholesale revision of pages. Breaking news is conventionally greeted by profane expressions on the news desk, city desk, or copy desk. (courtesy of John E McIntyre)

Broadcast - communicating using radio and/or TV.

Broadcasters' Audience Research Board (BARB) Official body responsible for measurement of TV audiences.

Browser - A piece of software that allows users to view internet pages. Popular browsers include Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari.

budget - Also called The daily budget, or list of pending articles, either completed or imagined, typically discussed at an afternoon news meeting at which preliminary decisions about what is to go on the front page are made. (courtesy of John E McIntyre)

Bulks - Copies distributed free, normally for promotion.

Bulldog - An early edition. The Baltimore Sun continues to produce a bulldog edition of the Sunday paper that appears Saturday morning. (courtesy of John E McIntyre)

Bump - To move the position or timing of a story.

Buried lede - The central element of an article mistakenly appearing deep in the text. It must be disinterred (courtesy of John E McIntyre)

Burn off - To dispose of articles that have previously been rejected for the front page or section front by running them on a day of low circulation. Look at your Monday paper. (courtesy of John E McIntyre)

Button - A small web advertisement, usually around 165 by 90 pixels in size and commonly found in the right or left hand columns of a website.

Byline - A journalist's name at the beginning of a story.

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C

Cable television - TV delivered into the home through an underground cable.

Campaign - The various stages of an advertising project from beginning to end.

Cap - Upper case.

Caption - Text printed below a picture used to describe it and who took it. Sometimes called a cutline.

Cascading stylesheets (CSS) - Technique used for designing web pages. One file that defines the style for a whole site.

chaser - A page or set of pages typeset after the formal edition close to attempt to get breaking news into the paper. (courtesy of John E McIntyre)

Chat rooms - An interactive part of a website where visitors can write messages to each other people in real time. Also known as forums and message boards.

Churnalism - Bad journalism; journalists that churn out rewrites of press releases.

Centre of visual interest (CVI) - The prominent item on a page usually a headline, picture or graphic.

CIOJ - the Chartered Institute of Journalists.

Circulation - Number of copies sold by newspapers or magazines. In the UK these figures are monitored by ABC - The Audit Bureau of Circulations.

Citizen journalism - Term used to describe the reporting of news events by members of the public most commonly on blogs and social networking websites. Other terms include participatory journalism and networked journalism though it should not be confused with civic journalism, which is practiced by professional journalists.

Checquebook journalism - Practice of paying for

Civic media — An umbrella term describing media technologies that create a strong sense of engagement among residents through news and information. It is often used as a contrast to “citizen journalism” because it also encompasses mapping, wikis and databases. (Courtesy of Hacks/Hackers Survival Glossary)

Classified advertising - Advertising placed by individuals in newspapers. Sometimes called small ads.

Clickthrough - When a reader clicks on an advert and is redirected to a new page. Advertisers sometimes buy adverts based on a rate per click called a Click-through rate or CTR.

Client side — Referring to network software where work takes place on the user's computer, the client, rather than at the central computer, known as the server. Advantages of doing so include speed and bandwidth. An example is Javascript, a programming language that allows developers to build interactivity into websites. The work is done within the browser, rather than at the hosting website. (See also server side) (Courtesy of Hacks/Hackers Survival Glossary)

Closed question - A simple yes/no question that does little to encourage an interviewee to open up.

Cloud computing — An increasingly popular computing model in which information and software are provided on demand from over the Internet rather than staying on local computers. Cloud computing is appealing because companies can reduce the amount they spend on their own computer servers and software but can also quickly and easily expand as the company grows. Examples of cloud computing applications include Google Docs and Yahoo Mail. Amazon offers two cloud computing services: EC2, which many start-ups now use as a cheap way to launch their products, and S3, an online storage system many companies use for cheap storage. (Courtesy of Hacks/Hackers Survival Glossary)

CMS (Content Management System) — Software designed to organise large amounts of dynamic material for a website, usually consisting of at least templates and a database. It is generally synonymous with online publishing system. The material can include documents, photos or videos. While the first generation of content management systems were custom and proprietary, in recent years there has been a surge in free open-source systems such as Drupal, WordPress and Joomla. Content management systems are sometimes built custom from scratch with frameworks such as Ruby on Rails or Django. (Courtesy of Hacks/Hackers Survival Glossary)

cold type - Headlines and text produced on photographic paper and pasted up in a composing room. Increasingly supplanted by electronic transmission of pages directly to a printing plant, where the pages emerge as metal plates to go on the printing press. (courtesy of John E McIntyre)

Column - A regular feature often on a specific topic, written by the same person who is known as a columnist.

Composing room - The place in which printers, now vanished, once assembled pages in hot type or cold type. (courtesy of John E McIntyre)

Contempt of court - The criminal offence of ignoring court rules.

Convergence - The term used to describe multimedia newsrooms producing news for different publishing platforms.

Cookie - Small text file that is downloaded to your computer when you visit a site. The next time you visit, the site can use the file to remember details such as your login information.

Copy - Main text of a story.

Copy approval - A source or interviewer asking to see the text of an article prior to publication. (Always discouraged!)

copy editor - An anonymous drudge who attempts, against great odds, to correct the many faults of writers before publication. Extinction imminent. (courtesy of John E McIntyre)

Copywriting - Creating the text for an advertisement.

Coverline - Captions on a magazine cover.

Cover story - Leading story used on front cover.

CPA (Cost Per Action) — A pricing model in which the advertiser is charged for an ad based on how many users take a specific, pre-defined action—such as buying a product from an online store—based on viewing an ad. This is the “gold standard” for advertisers because it most directly matches the cost of an ad to its effectiveness. However, it's not commonly used since it's extremely difficult to measure: it is often unclear when or how to attribute an action to a specific ad. (Also sometimes referred to as Cost Per Acquisition.) (Courtesy of Hacks/Hackers Survival Glossary)

CPC (Cost Per Click) — A pricing model in which the advertiser is charged for an ad based on how many users click it. This is a common model for “search advertising” (the all-text ads associated with search results) and for text ads in general. CPC is well-suited for “directed” advertising, intended to prompt an immediate response, because a user's clicking on an ad shows engagement with it. Google AdWords is generally priced on a CPC basis.(Courtesy of Hacks/Hackers Survival Glossary)

CPM - cost per thousand impressions. This is the cost an advertiser pays for 1,000 page views. The M in CPM is the Roman numeral for 1,000.

CQ - An indication that the name or term so noted has been checked and verified. Copy editors, whose suspicions are well founded, often suspect that reporters use CQ to indicate “better check this”. (courtesy of John E McIntyre)

Creative Commons — A flexible set of copyright licenses that allow content creators to specify which rights they reserve and which they waive regarding their work that is supposed to codify collaborative spirit of the Internet. There are six main Creative Commons licenses based on four conditions that creators can choose to apply: Attribution, Share Alike, Non-Commercial, and No Derivative Works. The least restrictive of the licenses is Attribution, which grants anyone, from an individual to a large company, the right to distribute, display, or otherwise make use of the work so long as the creator is credited. The most restrictive is Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives, which grants only redistribution. First released in December 2002 by the nonprofit Creative Commons organization, which was inspired by the open source GNU GPL license, the licenses are now used on an estimated 130 million works worldwide. (Courtesy of Hacks/Hackers Survival Glossary)

Crosshead - A few words used to break up large amounts of text, normally taken from the main text. Typically used in interviews.

CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) — Instructions used to describe the look and formatting for documents, usually HTML, so that the presentation is separate from the actual content of the document itself. If you watch a web page that loads slowly, you will often see the text first load and then “snap into place” with its look and feel. That look and feel is controlled by the CSS. CSS, which was first introduced by the World Wide Web Consortium in the late 1990s, helped eliminate the clumsy and often repetitive markup in the original HTML syntax.(Courtesy of Hacks/Hackers Survival Glossary)

CSV (Comma-Separated Values) — An extremely simple data format which stores information in a text file. CSV is popular precisely because it can be easily read by many different applications, including spreadsheets, word processors, programming text editors and web browsers. Thus it is a common way for people, including governments, to make their data available. Each row of data is represented by a line of text. Each column is delimited/separated by a comma (,). To prevent confusion about commas in the data, the terms are often surrounded by double quotes (”). Many applications support the use of alternative column delimiters (the pipe character, |, is popular). Example below: “Name”,”Address”,”email” “Laura”,”100 North Road, Brighton, Sussex”,”laura@journalism.co.uk” (Courtesy of Hacks/Hackers Survival Glossary)

Cub - A trainee reporter. Also known as a rookie or junior reporter.

Cut - To remove text.

Cuttings - A journalist's collection of published print work. Also known as clips and sometimes presented as a portfolio.

Cuttings job - An article which has been put together using research culled from a number of other articles or news items.

Cyber-journalist - A journalist that works on the internet. An online journalist.

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D

Data visualization — A growing area of content creation in which information is represented graphically and often interactively. This can be used for subjects as diverse as an analysis of a speech by the prime minister and the popularity of baby names over time. While it has deep roots in academia, data visualization has begun to emerge on content sites as a way to handle the masses of data that are being made public, often by government. (Courtesy of Hacks/Hackers Survival Glossary)

Dateline - A line at the beginning of a story stating the date and the location.

Deadline - The time at which an editor requests a journalists to finish an assignment.

Death-knock - Calling at the house of a bereaved relative or friend when reporting on the death. Also known as door-stepping.

Deck - Part of the headline which summarises the story. Also known as deck copy or bank.

Defamation - Information that is written by one person which damages another person's reputation.

DHTML - Dynamic HTML. Allows exciting things to happen when you move your mouse over words.

Digg - A community-powered internet link recommendation system. Furl offers a similar service.

Direct quote - The exact reproduction of a verbatim quote in quotemarks and correctly attributed.

Digital television - TV transmitted in binary format, producing good picture quality.

Direct marketing - Sending advertising material directly to potential customers either by post, fax, email or information by telephone.

Django — A web framework that is popular among news and information sites, in part due to its origin at Lawrence Journal-World in Kansas. It is written in Python, a sophisticated dynamic language. Major projects built in Django include Disqus, Everyblock.com and TheOnion.com. News applications teams, including those at the Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times, use the framework to present large data sets online in easily accessible ways. (Courtesy of Hacks/Hackers Survival Glossary)

Document-oriented database — An increasingly popular type of database. In contrast to relational databases, which rigidly require information to be stored in pre-defined tables, document-oriented databases are more free-flowing and flexible. This is important when you don't know what is going to be thrown at you. Document-oriented databases retrieve information more quickly, but store it less efficiently. The same document-oriented database might let you store the information for an article (headline, byline, data, content, miscellaneous) or for a photo (file, photographer, date, cutline).(Courtesy of Hacks/Hackers Survival Glossary)

Dogblogging - When the upkeep of a weblog becomes a hassle.

Dowdification - Deliberate omission of a term or terms to change the meaning of a quote. Refers to journalist Maureen Dowd.

Download - Copying a file from a website to your own computer.

Draft - The first version of an article before editing and submission to the editor.

Dropdown menus - Name given to website menus that allow users to select from a list of options that drop down in a vertical menu.

Drupal — A popular content management system known for a vibrant open-source community that creates diverse and robust extensions. Drupal is very powerful, but it is somewhat difficult to use for simple tasks when compared to WordPress. Drupal provides options to create a static website, a multi-user blog, an Internet forum or a community website for user-generated content. It is written in PHP and distributed under the GPL open source license. (Courtesy of Hacks/Hackers Survival Glossary)

DPS - Double-page spread; can also be referred to as a spread.

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E

e - Often used to indicate an electronic version of something, for example eNews, for an electronic newsletter, or eGovernment, to describe electronic government.

EC2 — A computing power rental system by Amazon that has become popular among technology companies because it is much cheaper than maintaining your own computer servers. Users can host their applications on EC2 and pay depending on usage. EC2 is an example of cloud computing. (Also see cloud computing) (Courtesy of Hacks/Hackers Survival Glossary)

Editor - Someone who prepares material for print or broadcast.

Editorialise - To write in an opinionated way.

Embed — A term meaning to place a specific piece of content from one web page inside of another one. This is often done using an embed code (a few lines of HTML and/or Javascript) that you can copy or paste. This is a common way for video content to be spread around the Internet and is increasingly being used for interactive components. (Courtesy of Hacks/Hackers Survival Glossary)

Encryption - TV signals encoded so only paying subscribers can watch.

Endnote - Text written at the end of an article stating the authors credentials.

eTail - Online or 'electronic' retail.

Exclusivity - When an advert appears exclusively on a page, rather than being in rotation with other ads.

Ezine - Specialised online magazines.

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F

Feature - A longer, more in-depth article.

Fisk - Detailed word-by-word analysis and critique of an article. Refers to journalist Robert Fisk.

Flash - A program used to display design-heavy, animated content.

Flash - 1) Short news story on a new event. 2) Flash — A proprietary platform owned by Adobe Systems that allows for drag-and-drop animations, program interactivity, and dynamic displays for the Web. The language used, ActionScript, is owned by Adobe; this contrasts with many other popular programming languages that are open source. Creators must use Adobe's Creative Suite products and web surfers must install a Flash plug-in for their browser. Many claim that Flash players are unstable and inefficient, slowing down web pages and crashing operating systems. Apple has not allowed Adobe to create a Flash player for the iPhone operating system, which has created a feud between the two companies. HTML5 is emerging as an open alternative to Flash. (Courtesy of Hacks/Hackers Survival Glossary)

Flatplan - A page plan that shows where the articles and adverts are laid out.

FOI - refers to Freedom of Information requests made in the UK, made under theFreedom of Information Act 2000.

Follow-up - An update on a previous story.

Font - Typeface.

Foursquare — One of many new mobile services, along with Gowalla, SCVNGR and others, that combines geolocation with game mechanics. Launched in 2009 at SXSW Interactive conference, Foursquare allows users to “check in” at locations (bars, restaurants, playgrounds and more) to inform people in their social networks of their whereabouts while earning badges, collecting points and becoming the “mayor” of certain locations. Despite a relatively modest user base at the beginning, Foursquare quickly attracted a lot of attention for its potential for marketing and customer brand loyalty. (Courtesy of Hacks/Hackers Survival Glossary)

Framework — A software package that makes writing programs easier by providing all the “plumbing” for a particular type of task (like writing a web app), allowing programmers to just “fill in the blanks” with their own project-specific needs. For instance, Web development frameworks like Ruby on Rails (written in Ruby, meaning programmers use Ruby to do the “fill in the blanks” tasks) and Django (written in Python), have easy-to-use, built-in support for common web development tasks, such as reading and writing to a database, writing content in html, and so forth. (Courtesy of Hacks/Hackers Survival Glossary)

Freelancer - Someone that works alone, usually on a contract-to-contract basis.

Freesheet - A publication that is free to consumers and generates its revenue from advertising.

Free-to-air - TV service received without having to decode or pay.

Freeview - Commercial free-to-air digital service, between BBC, BSkyB and the transmission firm Crown Castle.

Frontline Club - A club in London that promotes “freedom of expression and support journalists, cameramen and photographers who risk their lives in the course of their work.”

FTP - File Transfer Protocol. A method of moving files, usually used to transfer files from your computer to a web server.

FYI - An abbreviation meaning for your information.

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G

Geotag — A piece of information that goes with content and contains geographically based information. Commonly used on photo sites such as Flickr or in conjunction with user-generated content, to show where a photo, video or article came from. There has been some discussion of its increasing relevance with geographically connected social networking sites, such as Foursquare. Twitter has implemented geotagging, and Facebook has announced plans to do so. (Courtesy of Hacks/Hackers Survival Glossary)

Get - A very good or exclusive interview.

GIF - A type of picture file, often used for images that include text.

Glossite - The website of a glossy women's magazine.

Goat-choker - An article of inordinate and suffocating length, produced to gratify the vanity of the author and the aspirations of the publication. (courtesy of John E McIntyre)

Graf - Paragraph. (courtesy of John E McIntyre)

Grip - A person that looks after the equipment required to make a TV camera move.

Grip-and-grin - A photograph of no inherent interest in which a notable and an obscure person shake hands at an occasion of supposed significance. (courtesy of John E McIntyre)

Geotagging - Adding metadata to an image, video, RSS feed, web page etc, which identifies the geographical location relating to the content

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H

Hard copy - When the article is printed out on paper.

hed - A headline, giving rise to the abbreviation HTK, for head to come, an article transmitted in a take or takes before it is in final form.

Hits - Number of downloads of every element of a web page, rather than the page as a whole. A page of 20 images, text boxes, logos and menus will count as 20 hits, so hits are therefore not regarded as a reliable measurement of web traffic.

Headline - The main title of the article.

Homepage - The front page of a website.

House style - A publication's guide to style, spelling and use of grammar, designed to help journalists write and present in a consistent way for their target audience. The Economist publishes a style guide as does The Guardian.

hot type - Metal type generated on a Linotype machine. Archaic. (courtesy of John E McIntyre)

house ad - An unpaid advertisement put on a page to fill a gap left by an lack of paid advertising. Often a promotional ad for the publication. (courtesy of John E McIntyre)

HTML - Hyper Text Mark-up Language. Basic programming code used for the design and display of web pages.

HTML5 — The upcoming, powerful standard of Hypertext Markup Language, which has added advanced interactive features, such as allowing video to be embedded on a web page. It is gaining in popularity compared to proprietary standards, like Adobe Flash, because it is an open standard and does not require third-party plugins. Using HTML5 will allow web pages to work more like desktop applications. The latest releases of most browsers support HTML5 to varying degrees. HTML5 does not cover CSS and JavaScript, but often when people refer to HTML5, they often are using it as a blanket term, applying not only to changes to the HTML, but also to changes in CSS and JavaScript. (Courtesy of Hacks/Hackers Survival Glossary)

Hyperlink - A link that redirects the user to another web page.

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I

Iframe — An HTML tag that allows for one web page to be wholly included inside another; it is a popular way to create embeddable interactive featuresIframes are usually constructed via JavaScript as a way around web browsers' security features, which try to prevent JavaScript on one page from quickly talking to JavaScript on an external page. Many security breaches have been designed using iframes. (Courtesy of Hacks/Hackers Survival Glossary)

Impressions - The number of times an advertising banner was viewed during a campaign.

An internet - Any network of connected computers.

The internet - The international network of interconnected computers. The World Wide Web, email, FTP and usenet are all part of the Internet.

Intranet - A private computer network inside a company or organisation for internal use only.

Intro - Very important first paragraph, known as a 'lead' in the US.

Inventory - The number of advertisement spaces for sale on a web site at a given time.

Island position - An advert surrounded by editorial content in the middle of the page.

ITV network - 15 regional franchises that make up ITV1. ITV is the Broadcaster that was formed by the merger of Carlton and Granada.

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J

Javascript - A scripting language commonly used to add functionality to web sites beyond that which is achievable in HTML.

Joomla — A free, open-source content management built in PHP. It is more powerful than WordPress but not as powerful as Drupal. However it is known for its extensive design options. The name Joomla means “all together” in Swahili. (Courtesy of Hacks/Hackers Survival Glossary)

Joost - interactive television software produced by the makers of Skype and Kazaa.

Journalist - Someone who writes, researches and reports news, or works on the production of a publication. Sometimes shortened to journo, hack or scribe.

JPEG - Joint Photographic Expert Group. Common type of picture file used on the web.

jQuery — An incredibly popular open source JavaScript library designed for manipulating HTML pages and handling events. Released in 2006, jQuery quickly gained widespread adoption because of its efficiency and elegance. The definitive feature of jQuery is its support for “chaining” operations together to simplify otherwise complicated tasks. It is the most popular JavaScript library. (Courtesy of Hacks/Hackers Survival Glossary)

JSON (JavaScript Object-Notation) — A Web data publishing format that is designed to be both easily human — and machine — readable. It is an alternative to XML that is more concise because, unlike XML, it is not a markup language that requires open and close tags. (Courtesy of Hacks/Hackers Survival Glossary)

Jumpline - A line indicating a continuation, or jump, of an article on a subsequent page. Though readership surveys for generations have indicated that readers despise jumps and generally do not follow them, it does not suit newspapers to do otherwise. (courtesy of John E McIntyre)

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K

Kerning - Adjustment of horizontal space between two written characters.

Key/value store — A simpler way of storing data than a relational or document database. Key-value stores have a simple structure, matching values to accessible “keys,” or indices. In Web development, key/value stores are often (though not always) used for optimisation. (Courtesy of Hacks/Hackers Survival Glossary)

Kicker - The first sentence or first few words of a story's lead, set in a font size larger than the body text of the story.

Kill - To cancel or delete a story.

Kill fee - A reduced fee paid to a journalist for a story that is not used.

Kittyblog - A pointless and boring weblog, possibly about the owner's cat.

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L

LAMP — An acronym referring to a bundle of free open-source Web technologies that have become incredibly popular as a method for building websites. The letters stand for the Linux operating system, Apache web server, MySQL database, and either PHP, Perl or Python. This is often referred to as a “LAMP stack.” A rival alternative would be a bundle of Microsoft products. (Courtesy of Hacks/Hackers Survival Glossary)

Layout - (noun) How the page is designed and formatted.

Layout sub-editor - A sub-editor who specialises in laying out pages.

Leader - An article that shows the opinion of a newspaper.

Leading - Adjustment of vertical space between two lines.

Leading questions - A question that contains the predicted answer within the question.

lede - The phonetic spelling of lead, the beginning, usually the first paragraph, of an article, so spelled as to indicate the specialized meaning rather than the common meaning to a Linotype operator. (courtesy of John E McIntyre)

Legacy media — An umbrella term to describe the centralised media institutions that were dominant during the second half of the 20th century, including — but not limited to — television, radio, newspapers and magazines, all which generally had a uni-directional distribution model. Sometimes “legacy media” is used interchangeably with “MSM,” for “Mainstream Media.” Legacy media sits in contrast with social media, where the production and sharing is of equal weight to the consumption. (Courtesy of Hacks/Hackers Survival Glossary)

Libel - A case for defamation. Defendent would need to show claims were true, fair comment or an accurate record of parliamentary or court proceedings.

Library — In the context of programming, this contains code that can be accessed for software and Web development, enabling one to perform common tasks without writing new code every time. Many libraries are freely shared. One well-known library is jQuery, released in 2006 and now the most popular JavaScript library, which boasts that it allows coders to “write less, do more.” (Courtesy of Hacks/Hackers Survival Glossary)

Licence fee - BBC funding system.

Link journalism - Scott Karp defines link journalism as “linking to other reporting on the web to enhance, complement, source, or add more context to a journalist's original reporting”. Good link journalism should briefly summarise the content of the article it is linking to, name the source and author and, of course, link directly to it. Any direct reproduction of text should be kept to an absolute minimum, appear in quotes, and be clearly attributed to its source. For example: “I saw it coming” Mr Smith tells the Times or “This is the next big thing,” writes Joe Bloggs (the writer you are quoting). The journalist should also endeavour wherever possible to find the original source of an article, rather than link to someone else's later version of it. Also bear in mind that your own reputation will be judged on the quality of the articles you link to; if you have any interest or connection with the story, publication or author, then declare it.

Linotype - A machine for the mechanical setting of type, the brainchild of Ottmar Merganthaler of Baltimore, to whom all praise be given. The Linotype operator used hot metal, melted lead, to create slugs of type by manipulating a keyboard. (courtesy of John E McIntyre)

Lobster shift - Working in the hours after a publication has gone to print. Also known as dog watch.

Location-based services — A service, usually in a mobile Web or mobile device application, that uses your location in order to perform a certain task, such as finding nearby restaurants, giving you directions, or locating your friends. Foursquare and Gowalla are location-based services. (Courtesy of Hacks/Hackers Survival Glossary)

Long-lead magazines - Glossy magazines, quarterlies and journals that typically commission and accept work months in advance of publication.

Long tail - The effect of publishing content online and keeping it available in an archive. Unlike in a newspaper, old stories will continue to receive traffic long after publication date, hence the long tail.

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M

Mark - Correction.

Mashup — A combination of data from multiple sources, usually through the use of APIs. An example of a mashup would be an app that shows the locations of all the movie theaters in a particular town on a Google map. It is mashing up one data source (the addresses of movie theaters) with another data source (the geographic location of those addresses on a map). (Courtesy of Hacks/Hackers Survival Glossary)

Martini media - Media that is available “any time, any place, any where”.

Mash up, mashup, or mash-up - a website or web application that seamlessly combines content from more than one source into an integrated experience.

Masthead - Main title section and name at the front of a publication.

Media Kit - Practical information available to potential advertisers regarding costs etc. See the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and the Belfast Telegraph for examples.

Metadata - Meta data, or sometimes metainformation, is data about data, of any sort, in any media.

Microblogs - Blogs dealing with very specialised discussion.

Microblogging - Variant of traditional blogging in which users write brief text messages over the web. Popularized by web site Twitter, which limits users to 140-character updates.

Mobile — An umbrella term in technology that was long synonymous with cellular phones but has since grown to encompass tablet computing (the iPad) and even netbooks. In retrospect, an early mobile technology was the pager. Sometimes the term is used interchangeably with “wireless.” It generally refers to untethered computing devices that can access the Internet over radiofrequency waves, though sometimes also via wi-fi. Mobile technology usually demands a different set of standards — design and otherwise — than desktop computers, and has opened up an entirely new area for geo-aware applications. (Courtesy of Hacks/Hackers Survival Glossary)

Moblogging - Where individuals contribute to a blog using images or text sent from a mobile phone.

MPEG - Moving Pictures Experts Group. A file format used for digital video.

MPU - Known as a Messaging Plus Unit, a large square web advert usually in a central position below or inline with editorial. Typically around 350 by 250 pixels in size.

Multimedia - Term used to describe a range of different delivery formats such as video, audio, text and images, often presented simultaneously on the internet.

Multiplex - Single digital terrestrial TV transmission comprising of several channels.

MySQL — The dominant open-source database management system on the Internet. It is popular because it is a free and flexible alternative to expensive systems like Oracle. Projects that use MySQL include Facebook and Wikipedia. The SQL stands for “Structured Query Language” and “My” is the name of the inventor's daughter. It is officially pronounced My-S-Q-L, but you will often hear it referred to as “My Sequel.” MySQL is a relational database management system, not a document-oriented database system. (Also see document-oriented database) (Courtesy of Hacks/Hackers Survival Glossary)

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N

Navigation - Structure that helps web users move around the website.

NCTJ - National Council for Training of Journalists, official UK accreditation board for journalism courses.

Netiquette - Online etiquette, eg. reciprocal links.

Networked journalism - Another term to describe participatory journalism or citizen journalism.

News agency - Company that sells stories to newspapers or magazines.

Newspaper Society - Industry body representing the regional press & local press.

Newsreader - Software that helps receive and read RSS blog and news feeds.

NIB - News in brief - a quick summary of a story.

Nut graf - Paragraph containing the essential elements of a story.

NUJ - National Union of Journalists, a UK trade union.

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OAuth — A new method that allows users to share information stored on one site with another site. For example, some web-based Twitter clients will use OAuth to connect to your account, instead of requiring you to provide your password directly to that third-party site. It is similar to Facebook Connect. This allows sites to validate users' identities without having full access to their personal accounts. (Courtesy of Hacks/Hackers Survival Glossary)

Ofcom - Broadcasting industry regulator.

Off diary - An unscheduled or unpredicted story.

Off the floor - When a page has been completed and removed from the composing room (cf.), it is said to be off the floor. When an entire edition is off the floor, it is said to have been put to bed.(courtesy of John E McIntyre)

Off the record - Information that must not be disclosed.

On diary - Scheduled story.

On spec - Article that is written 'just in-case', but it will only be used if needed.

On the record - Information given by a source that can be used in an article.

Ontology — A classification system with nodes or entities, that allows non-hierarchical relationships, in contrast to a taxonomy, which is hierarchical. Taxonomies and ontologies are important in content to help related articles or topics pages. (Also see taxonomy) (Courtesy of Hacks/Hackers Survival Glossary)

Op-ed - A feature, usually by a prominent journalist, presenting an opinionated story.

Open ID — An open standard that lets users log in to multiple web sites using the same identity through a third party. It is supported by numerous sites, including LiveJournal, Yahoo, and WordPress. While Open ID has seen adoption among technical communities, its authentication method is not particularly intuitive, and it has not gained wide consumer acceptance. (Courtesy of Hacks/Hackers Survival Glossary)

Open source software - Software with openly available code to allow developers or others to modify it.

Operating system — A basic layer of software that controls computer hardware, allowing other applications to be built on it. The most popular operating systems today for desktop computers are the various versions of Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X and the open-source Linux. Smart phones also have operating systems. The Palm Pre uses webOS, numerous phones use Google's Android operating system, and the iPhone uses iOS (formerly known as iPhone OS). (Courtesy of Hacks/Hackers Survival Glossary)

Orphan - First line of a paragraph appearing on the last line of a column of text. Normally avoided.

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P

Palm Pre — A smart phone introduced in 2009 by Palm which uses webOS and allows for multitasking, unlike the iPhone. Despite rave reviews, the product is generally acknowledged to have come out too late to gain meaningful traction against the iPhone or Google's Android operating system. HP recently announced that it would acquire Palm, which was once the leading smart phone company. (Courtesy of Hacks/Hackers Survival Glossary)

PACT - Industry body representing independent cinema and tv producers.

Pasteup - The assemblage of pages by pasting type onto page mockups, which are then photographed to be made into metal plates for the printing press. (courtesy of John E McIntyre)

Pay-per-view - A single programme that the viewer has to pay for.

Pay TV - Paid subscription service for TV.

PDA - Personal Digital Assistant. A hand-held computer combining a phone, organiser and web client.

PDF - Portable Document Format – a standard file format that allows web publishers to post documents viewable by any user who installs a copy of the free Acrobat Reader.

Peer-to-peer (P2P) — A network architecture in which users share resources on their own computers directly with others. Often used to speed up videos and large multimedia pieces that can take a long time to download. Napster was an early example of a popular use of peer-to-peer architecture, although it was not fully peer-to-peer. Today, Skype and BitTorrent are based on peer-to-peer technologies. (Courtesy of Hacks/Hackers Survival Glossary)

Perl — A dynamic language that is often used to phrase and sort information because of its powerful abilities in manipulating text. Perl can be used to pull large quantities of data down from websites and standardise and replace information in batch. Perl was more popular in past years, especially in the computer-assisted reporting community, but it has been overtaken in popularity by languages such as Python and Ruby. Perl still has an active development community and is noted for the scope of its freely available libraries, which simplify development. (Courtesy of Hacks/Hackers Survival Glossary)

Photoblogging - Contributing photos to a blog.

Photoshop - (noun) Computer program used to edit photographs.

PHP — A popular web scripting language to generate web pages that was first developed in 1995, when it stood for “Personal Home Page.” (It is now a recursive acronym, standing for “PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor.”) Popular websites that are written in PHP are Wikipedia, Facebook and WordPress. It is criticized as being slow because it generates web pages on request. However, Facebook recently released its internally developed version of HipHop for PHP, which is designed to make the language dramatically more efficient. (Courtesy of Hacks/Hackers Survival Glossary)

pica pole - A metal ruler used by printers in the composing room to measure type by picas (12 points to the pica, six picas to the inch). The pica pole is pounded against a metal surface in the ritual of banging out an employee leaving the premises for the last time. (courtesy of John E McIntyre)

Pitch - Story idea sent to an editor by a reporter.

Pixel - An on-screen measurement. Most monitors display around 1024 pixels wide by 768 pixels high.

Platform — In the technology world, platform refers to the hardware or software that other applications are built upon. Computing platforms include Windows PC and Macintosh. Mobile platforms include Android, iPhone and Palm's webOS. More recently, in an extension of its commonly used definition, Facebook has created a “platform,” allowing developers to build applications on top of it. (Courtesy of Hacks/Hackers Survival Glossary)

Podcasts - MP3 audio recordings that can automatically download to a user's computer as soon as they are published online.

Point size - Size of the type face.

Pop-under/pop-behind - A web advert that opens under the browser window.

Pop-up - A web advert that pops up on screen. These are commonly blocked with a pop-up blocker.

Post - To add a comment to a blog.

Posterous — A blogging and publishing platform to which users can submit via e-mail. Through APIs, it can push the content to other sites such as Flickr, Twitter and YouTube. It is a for-profit company based in San Francisco that came out of the YCombinator seed start-up program. (Courtesy of Hacks/Hackers Survival Glossary)

PostgreSQL - An alternative to MySQL, another free and open-source relational database management system on the Internet. PostgreSQL is preferred by some in the technology community for its ability to operate as a spatial database, using PostGIS extensions. This enables developers to create applications that sort information based on geography, which can mean sorting by whether various places are within a certain county or pointing out the places that are geographically closest to the user. (Courtesy of Hacks/Hackers Survival Glossary)

Pork - Material held for later use, if needed.

PPA - Periodical Publishers Association. Industry body representing UK magazine publishers.

Portal - A busy site often used as a starting point online through services such as messaging, news and searches.

Programming language — A special type of language used to unambiguously instruct a computer how to perform tasks. Programming languages are used by software developers to create applications, including those for the web, for mobile phones, and for desktop operating systems. C, C++, Objective C, Java, JavaScript, Perl, PHP, Python and Ruby are examples of programming languages. HTML and XML are not programming languages, they are markup languages. (Courtesy of Hacks/Hackers Survival Glossary)

Proof - Copy of a laid-out page ready to be corrected.

Prosumer - Marketing term used to describe professional consumers.

Puff piece - A news story with editorialised, complimentary statements.

PTC - Periodicals Training Council - The lead body for best practice in training and development for the magazine and business media sector. Primary accreditation body for magazine journalism courses.

Pulldown - Web text that is activated by a down arrow on a web menu.

Pulitzer Prize - American journalism awards. There are fourteen prizes for journalism. The prizes have been awarded by Columbia University since 1917.

Pulitzer-Prize-winner - An article of surpassing artistry or investigative virtuosity, usually of considerable length, written for Pulitzer jurors rather than the readership of the publication, despite the unlikelihood that the former group will have read it in its entirety before bestowing the laurels. (courtesy of John E McIntyre)

Pull-out quote - Selected quote from a story highlighted next to the main text. Often used in interviews.

Python — A sophisticated computer language that is commonly used for Internet applications. Designed to be a very readable language, it is named after Monty Python. It first appeared in 1991 and was originally created by Guido van Rossum, a Dutch computer programmer who now works at Google. Python files generally end in .py. (Courtesy of Hacks/Hackers Survival Glossary)

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Q

QuarkXPress - Desktop publishing program.

Quote - Record of what a source or interviewee has said.

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R

Radio spectrum - Total capacity of radio frequencies that can be received.

Rate card - A list of advertising rates provided by a publisher.

reader - An article devoid of immediate news interest that will supposedly be of interest to the readership. (courtesy of John E McIntyre)

Recto - Right-hand page.

Relational database — A piece of software that stores data in a series of tables, with relationships defined between them. A news story might have columns for a headline, date, text and author, where author points to another table containing the author's first name, last name and email address. Information must be structured, but this allows for powerful queries. Examples include MySQL, Oracle, PostgreSQL and SQLite. Most modern websites use some kind of relational database to store content. (Courtesy of Hacks/Hackers Survival Glossary)

Redletter - Exclusive, breaking news coverage of a major news event, printed in red type.

refer - A short summary attached to an article indicated a related story elsewhere in the publication. (courtesy of John E McIntyre)

Reporter - Someone who writes and researches news stories.

Reporters without borders - An organisation founded in 1985 that fights for press freedom around the world.

Retraction - A withdrawal of a previously-published story or fact.

Revision - A re-written or improved story, often with additional quotes or facts.

Rich media - Artwork formats such as Flash, Java and DHTML that allow interactive or multimedia content.

Rim editor - A copy editor, a nonentity. (courtesy of John E McIntyre)

Roadblock - The sale of all the adverts on your home page to one advertiser.

RSS - This began life as Rich Site Summary in 1999, then mutated to Really/Real Simple Simple Syndication in 2002, then Real Simple Synchronisation in 2005.

Ruby — An increasingly popular programming language known for being powerful yet easy to write with. Originally introduced in 1995 by Yukihiro “Matz” Matsumoto, Ruby has gained increasing traction since 2005 because of the Ruby on Rails development framework, which can create websites quickly. Ruby is open source and is very popular for content-based sites (Courtesy of Hacks/Hackers Survival Glossary)

Ruby on Rails — A popular Web framework based on the Ruby programming language that makes common development tasks easier “out of the box”. The power of Ruby on Rails, which was developed by the Chicago-based firm 37 Signals, comes from how quickly it can be used to create a basic website. (Courtesy of Hacks/Hackers Survival Glossary)

Run - To publish a story.

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S

SaaS (Software as a Service) — A pricing strategy and business model, where companies build a software solution, usually business-to-business, and charge a fixed monthly rate to access it on the Internet. It is a type of cloud computing. Salesforce.com is the best example, but other notables include Mailchimp and even Amazon Web Services. (Courtesy of Hacks/Hackers Survival Glossary)

Sacred cow - News or promotional material which a publisher or editor demands be published, often for personal reasons.

Satellite television - TV received through a satellite dish.

Scoop - An exclusive or first-published story.

Scoopt - the world's first citizen journalism photograph agency owned by Getty Images.

Scribd — A document-sharing site that is often described as a “YouTube for documents” because it allows other sites to embed its content. It allows people to upload files and others to download in various formats. Recently Scribd, which is based in San Francisco, moved from Flash-based technology to HTML5 standards. (Courtesy of Hacks/Hackers Survival Glossary)

Scripting language — A programming language designed to be easy to use for everyday or administrative tasks. It may involve trade-offs such as sacrificing some performance for ease of programming. Popular scripting languages include PHP, Perl, Python and Ruby. (Courtesy of Hacks/Hackers Survival Glossary)

Search box - A tool that allows users to enter a word or phrase to search a database.

Sell - Short sentence promoting an article, often pulling out a quote or a interesting sentence. See also Pull-out quote.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) — A suite of techniques for improving how a website ranks on search engines such as Google. SEO is often divided into “white hat” techniques, which (to simplify) try to boost ranking by improving the quality of a website, and “black hat” techniques, which try to trick search engines into thinking a page is of higher quality than it actually is. SEO can also refer to individuals and companies that offer to provide search engine optimization for websites. (Courtesy of Hacks/Hackers Survival Glossary)

SEM (Search Engine Marketing) — A type of marketing that involves raising a company or product's visibility in search engines by paying to have it appear in search results for a given word. (Courtesy of Hacks/Hackers Survival Glossary)

Semantic web — A vision of the web that is almost entirely machine readable, in which documents are published in languages that are designed specifically for data. It was first articulated by Tim Berners-Lee in 2001. In many implementations, tags would identify the information, such as <ADDRESS> or <DATE>. While there has been progress toward this front, many say this vision remains largely unrealized.(Courtesy of Hacks/Hackers Survival Glossary)

Server-sid — Referring to when network software runs in a central location, the server, rather than on the user's computer, often known as the client. (Also see client side). (Courtesy of Hacks/Hackers Survival Glossary)

Serif and Sans serif - Plain font type with or without (sans) lines perpendicular to the ends of characters.

Server - A computer that hosts the pages of a web site.

Shockwave - Software that allows the user to play multimedia animations; published by Macromedia.

Sinatra - A lightweight framework written in Ruby that can be used to set up web services, APIs and small sites at lightning speed. (Courtesy of Hacks/Hackers Survival Glossary)

Skype - Popular free internet telephony tool sometimes used to produce Skypecasts, or broadcast conference calls.

Skyscraper - A vertical banner advert, usually at one side of a web page and 60 x 468 pixels in size.

Slot editor - On a copy desk, the copy editor who checks and corrects the copy of other copy editors before approving it for publication. The term arises from the obsolete furniture of the newsroom, where once a horseshoe-shaped desk enabled the slot editor to hand out paper copy to the copy editors on the rim, the outside of the horseshoe. To slot (v.) is to check an article that has been copy edited before approving it for typesetting. (courtesy of John E McIntyre)

Slug - A line of type set in metal on a Linotype machine. Also the one-word working title of an article as it moves through production. SCOTUS (Supreme Court of the United States) is a familiar slug for an article about a Supreme Court decision. (courtesy of John E McIntyre)

Social bookmarking - A service that allows users to store interesting website addresses publicly on a web page and lets users network and pool recommendations.

Social graph — A mapping of the connections between people and the things they care about that could provide useful insights. The term originally promoted by Facebook and is now gaining broader usage. (Courtesy of Hacks/Hackers Survival Glossary)

Social media — A broad term referring to the wide swath of content creation and consumption that is enabled by the many-to-many distributed infrastructure of the Internet. Unlike legacy media, where the audience is usually on the receiving end of content creation, social media generally allows three stages of interaction with content: 1) producing, 2) consuming and 3) sharing. Social media is incredibly broad and refers to blogging, wikis, video-sharing sites like YouTube, photo-sharing sites like Flickr and social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. (Courtesy of Hacks/Hackers Survival Glossary)

Source - An individual who provides information for a story.

Spadia - An annoying flap of advertising copy that wraps around a portion of the front page of a section, preventing the reader from seeing the full page. (courtesy of John E McIntyre)

Spider - Also known as a crawler or ant, a program that uses hyperlinks to make methodical searches of the web to provide information about pages for search engines.

spike - The spindle on which paper copy that was not to run was impaled, giving rise to the verb to spike, to kill a story. (courtesy of John E McIntyre)

Spike - Not to publish a submitted article.

Splash - Front page story.

Standfirst - Line of text after the headline that gives more information about the article.

stet - (From the Latin) Let it stand; let the original copy go as written. The hardest word for a copy editor to use. (courtesy of John E McIntyre)

Sticky content - Content that encourages users to stay on one site for as long as possible.

Strapline - Similar to a subhead or standfirst, but used more as a marketing term.

Streaming - Watching or listening to video or audio in real time, rather than downloading files.

Structured thesaurus — A group of preferred terms created for editorial use to normalise and more effectively classify content. For example, the AP Stylebook is similar to (but includes more rules than) a structured thesaurus in that it gives writers preferred terms to use and standards to follow, so everyone following AP Style writes the word “website” the same way. (Courtesy of Hacks/Hackers Survival Glossary)

Sub-editor - The person that checks and edits a reporters' work and adds headlines and standfirsts.

Subhead - A smaller one-line headline for a story.

Superstitials - A type of rich media advert that downloads gradually without obscuring other content on the page; usually more popular than pop ups.

S3 — An online storage system run by Amazon that's often used as a cheap way to store (and serve) photos and videos used on websites. It is short for Simple Storage Service. Its fees are often pennies per month per gigabyte, depending on location and bulk discount. The service is often used in conjunction with other Amazon Web Services, such as EC2, to allow customers to process large amounts of data with low capital investment. The New York Times used S3 with EC2 in this way to process its archives. (Courtesy of Hacks/Hackers Survival Glossary)

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T

Tabloid - Smaller print newspaper size.

Tag — A common type of metadata used to describe a piece of content that associates it with other content that has the same tag. Tags can be specific terms, people, locations, etc. used in the content it is describing, or more general terms that may not be explicitly stated, such as themes. The term “tag” is also used in the context of markup languages, such as <title> identifying the name of the web page. In HTML, tags usually come in sets of open and closed, with the closed tag containing an extra slash (”/”) inside. For example: <title>This is the Title.</title>. (Courtesy of Hacks/Hackers Survival Glossary)

Take - A section of an article. An article that is transmitted to the copy desk or the composing room as it is being written is sent in takes. (courtesy of John E McIntyre)

Taxonomy — A hierarchical classification system. In the world of content, this can be a hierarchy of terms (generally called nodes or entities) that are used to classify the category or subject content belongs to as well as terms that are included in the content. In many cases, website navigation systems appear taxonomical in that users narrow down from broad top-level categories to the granular feature they want to see. An ontology is similar to a taxonomy in that it is also a classification system with nodes or entities, but it is more complex and flexible because ontologies allow for non-hierarchical relationships. While in a taxonomy a node can be either a broader term or narrower term, in an ontology nodes can be related in any way.(Courtesy of Hacks/Hackers Survival Glossary)

Technobabble - Confusing technical jargon.

Technorati - Powerful blog search engine.

Teeline - A form of shorthand.

Telegraph section - The section, in which national and foreign news was acquired by telegraph in the remote past. The copy was edited on the telegraph desk, a component of the copy desk. (courtesy of John E McIntyre)

Terrestrial television - TV sent through a beam transmitter directly into the home.

Testimonial - Endorsement of a product, often by a celebrity or well-respected client.

Thirty - A numeral indicating the conclusion of a take of copy. (courtesy of John E McIntyre)

Tick-tock - A step-by-step account of how a particular event or phenomenon developed. (courtesy of John E McIntyre)

TK - Proofreader's insertion mark for data to come. Sometimes written as TKTK.

Tie in - Placing the facts of a new story within the context of past events. Also known as a tie back.

Tip - A lead of piece of new information about a new story.

Tombstoning - In page layout, to put articles side by side so that the headlines are adjacent. The phenomenon is also referred to as bumping heads. (courtesy of John E McIntyre)

Top heads - Headlines at the top of a column.

Traffic - Amount of users recorded by a website.

Transparency — In the context of news and information, a term describing openness about information that has become increasingly popular. In many cases it is used to refer to the transparency of government releasing data to journalists and to the public. It is often used in the context of journalists being open about their reporting process and material by sharing with their readers before the final project emerges or providing more context in addition to the final product. (Courtesy of Hacks/Hackers Survival Glossary)

Tumblr — A free short-form blogging platform that allows users to post images, video, links, quotes and audio. The company is based in New York City and competes with Posterous.(Courtesy of Hacks/Hackers Survival Glossary)

Twitter - A service that allows users to send 140 character messages to 'friends' via mobile SMS, website or Instant Messenger.

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U

UI (User Interface) — The part of a software application or website that users see and interact with, which takes into account the visual design and the structure of the program. While graphic design is an element of user interface design, it is only a portion of the consideration. (Courtesy of Hacks/Hackers Survival Glossary)

Unique users - The number of individual users, as identified by unique computer addresses, that visit a web site.

Upload - To publish a file on the internet.

URI (Uniform Resource Identifier) — The way to identify the location for something on the Internet. It is most familiarly in “http:” form, but also encompasses “ftp:” or “mailto:” (Courtesy of Hacks/Hackers Survival Glossary)

URL - Uniform Resource Locator, technical name for a web address.

User - A visitor or reader on a web site.

User-generated content - Material created and submitted to sites by its users - such as photographs, video footage, comments, articles etc.

UX (User Experience) — Generally referring to the area of design that involves the holistic interaction a user has with a product or a service. It incorporates many disciplines, including engineering, graphic design, content creation and psychology. User interface is one element of user experience. (Courtesy of Hacks/Hackers Survival Glossary)

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V

Verso - Left-hand page.

Video blogger/Vlogger - A blogger who mainly uses video and publishes on the internet.

Video journalist - A journalist who publishes video reports on TV and/or on the internet.

Vertical search engine - A search engine containing information on a specific subject area.

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W

WAP - Wireless Application Protocol - an international standard for the application that enables access to a wireless internet network using a mobile device.

Web scraping - Automated process of finding content on web pages and converting it into another form for use on another web site.

Warblogs - Opinionated and political web logs.

Webcasting - Online visual and/or audio broadcasts, usually in real time.

Webmercials - Similar format to television adverts used online.

WebOS — Operating system used on the latest generation of Palm smart phones, including the Pre and the Pixi. Apps for webOS are developed using web standards (HTML, Javascript and CSS), which means there is a low barrier to entry for web developers to create mobile apps for webOS as compared to other mobile platforms. It allows for having several applications open at the same time, unlike the current iPhone. (Courtesy of Hacks/Hackers Survival Glossary)

Webinar/Web conference - A seminar, lecture or presentation delivered over the internet.

Web 2.0 — Referring to the generation of Internet technologies that allow for interactivity and collaboration on websites. In contrast to Web 1.0 (roughly the first decade of the World Wide Web) where static content was downloaded into the browser and read, Web 2.0 uses the Internet as the platform. Technologies such as Ajax, which allow for rapid communication between the browser and the web server, underlie many Web 2.0 sites. The term was popularized by a 2004 conference, held by O'Reilly Media and MediaLive, called Web 2.0. (Also see Ajax) (Courtesy of Hacks/Hackers Survival Glossary)

Web 3.0 — Sometimes used to refer to the semantic web. (Also see semantic web) (Courtesy of Hacks/Hackers Survival Glossary)

Widget - application available to download or embed on a desktop, homepage or social network. Allows you to share content, which will be automatically updated e.g. Journalism.co.uk's news headlines.

Widow - Last line of paragraph appearing on the first line of a column of text.

Wiki — A web site with pages that can be easily edited by visitors using their web browser, but generally now gaining acceptance as a prefix to mean “collaborative.” Ward Cunningham created the first wiki, naming it WikiWikiWeb after the Hawaiian word for “quick.” A wiki enables the audience to contribute to a knowledge base on a topic or share information within an organization, like a newsroom. The best-known wiki in existence is Wikipedia, which burst onto the scene around 2000 as one of the first examples of mass collaborative information aggregation. Other sites that have been branded “wiki” include Wikinews, Wikitravel, and WikiLeaks (which was originally but is no longer a wiki). (Courtesy of Hacks/Hackers Survival Glossary)

Wire service - (also the wire) The Associated Press or other news service whose dispatches are transmitted electronically to the publication. (courtesy of John E McIntyre)

Wi-fi - Wireless internet or network connection.

Wiki - An information site that can be edited and added to by readers. See Wikipedia - an online Wiki encyclopedia.

Wires - Stories or photographs sent electrically to your desktop. Here is a list of wire news services.

Wob - White text on a black or other coloured background.

WordPress — The most popular blogging software in use today, in large part because it is free and relatively powerful, yet easy to use. First released by Matt Mullenweg in 2003, WordPress attracts contributions from a large community of programmers and designers who give it additional functionality and visual themes. Sites that use WordPress include the New York Times blogs, CNN and the LOLCats network. It has been criticized for security flaws. (Courtesy of Hacks/Hackers Survival Glossary)

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X

XML (Extensible Markup Language) A set of rules for encoding documents and data that goes beyond HTML capacities. Whereas HTML is generally concerned with the semantic structure of documents, XML allows other information to be defined and passed such as <vehicle>, <make>, <model>, <year>, <color> for a car. It is the parent language of many XML-based languages such as RSS, Atom, and others. It gained further popularity with the emergence of Ajax as a way to send back data from web services, but has since lost ground to JSON, another data encoding format, which is seen as easier to work with. (Courtesy of Hacks/Hackers Survival Glossary)

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Y

Z

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Wiki glossaries

A-Z lists of online style tips and terms