A Glossary of Important Concepts*  

Advertisement: A public notice or announcement usually paid for, about things for sale.

Angle: To give a specific aspect, bias, or point of view to a story or report.

Article: A complete piece of writing on a single subject; it is nonfiction.

Attribute: To give someone the proper credit for what he or she has said or written.

Byline: A line between the headline and the article, telling who wrote the article.

Caption: The copy (what is written) underneath a photograph

Cartoon or Comic Strip: A drawing, as in a newspaper, caricaturing or symbolizing, often satirically, some event, situation, or person of interest. Or a humorous drawing, often with a caption.

Column: An article that appears regularly. It is written by one writer or about a special subject.
Click to do activities: Editor's Opinion, and Opinion Columns 

Communications: A giving or exchanging of information, signals, or messages by talk, gestures, writing, etc. Or a system for sending and receiving messages, as by telephone, radio, etc.

Editorial: A column written by the editor that expresses his or her opinion about a particular subject of interest.
Click to do activities: Editor's Opinion, and Opinion Columns 

Ethics in Journalism: The code of morals that journalists are supposed to uphold. These include a commitment to revealing the truth, objectively and without being influenced by self-interest, maintaining the secrecy of sources, and attributing what is said to the appropriate source.
Click to see: Did you Know? Learn About Research Techniques 

Feature: A carefully researched article, that either explains, interprets and/or provides background or tells of interesting, unusual occurrences that interest the reader. Feature stories sometimes have emotional, personal, and/or humorous slants.
Click to do: Feature Article, and to see:  Did you Know?--Writing Feature Articles

Headline: The title of the article or column.
Click to see activity: News Headlines 

Interview: A meeting in which a person is asked about views, activities; as by a reporter on a radio or a published account.
Click to do activity: Interview 

Investigative Reporting: Reporting that requires a careful search to uncover facts and determine the truth.
  Click to do activity: Investigative Report 

Journalism: The work of gathering, writing, editing, and publishing or disseminating news, as through newspapers and magazines or by radio and television.

Layout: The way the newspaper is designed and laid out on the page.

Mass Media: Those means of communication that reach and influence large numbers of people, especially newspapers, popular magazines, radio and television.

News article: It presents, as objectively as possible, the facts about the latest news events.

News brief (or News Item): The basic structure for a newspaper article.
Click to see: Did You Know? Basic News Brief Structure or to do: News Item  

Objectivity: The state or quality of being without bias or prejudice; detached, impersonal. The journalist's job is to report the facts, not colored by his personal opinion; except in the case of opinions or editorials.

Opinion: Letters or articles that express the subjective opinion of the writer.
Click to do activity: Opinion Columns 

Photography: Each article must be accompanied by an appropriate photograph and caption. Photographs should be colorful, interesting, clear and well composed.
Click to do activity: Pictures Worth 1,000 Words 

Plagiarism: The act of taking ideas and writings from another and passing them off as one's own.
Click here for more information on Plagiarism 

Profile: A short biography of an interesting person. It is usually based on an interview with the person.
Click to do activity: Profile 

Report: An article meant to tell a story and inform.
Click to do activity: News Item 

Review: An article that presents a critic's opinion about an artist's work (for example: books, plays, movies, television and dance).

Subjectivity: The state or quality of being effected by the feelings or temperament of the subject or person thinking. (It is extremely important for us to teach our students to distinguish between subjective and objective journalism. Even though it is presented in black and white that does not mean that it is free from the writer's opinion.)

Survey: It collects the demographic profile of the reader and their opinions about a subject that has been chosen for study.

Target Audience: Who are the readers of the newspaper? The editors and journalists must gear themselves towards writing what will interest this population, in order for the newspaper to be successful.

Yellow Journalism: The use of cheaply sensational or unscrupulous methods in newspapers to attract and influence the readers. (The New York World of 1895 would print the "Yellow Kid" comic strip in yellow ink to attract readers.)
Click to do activity: Celebrity Watch 


* Many of the definitions offered here have been adapted from Creating a Newspaper - A Teacher's Guide, by Amy Gelbart, AMAL/AMIT, 1998, some of which were based on the following sources:

Additional information was compiled by Gail Shuster-Bouskila