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News glossary

News-related vocabulary that your pupils will encounter and use in NewsWise lessons

Algorithm

A step-by-step set of instructions or ‘formula’ for solving a problem.

Balance

Giving both sides of an argument in a fair way so that your audience / readers can make up their own mind.

Bias

Where a news report is slanted (or unbalanced) to make one side of the story seem more important.

Breaking news

Reports of events that have just happened and are coming in while a newspaper or broadcast is in production.

Byline

The name of the person who wrote the report.

Caption

A brief description of a photograph.

Chief editor/editor-in-chief

The leader of the news organisation, in charge of the overall strategy of the paper and the values it stands for.

Closed question

A question which gets a short answer (normally ‘yes’ or ‘no’), or where there is only one possible answer.

Concise

Short and clear.

Desk editor

The person in charge of a specific section (news desk) eg: national, international, sport, science. Makes decisions about what stories to cover in their section and approves reports before sending them to the subeditors.

Direct speech

The actual words of the speaker.

Fact

Something that is true and definitely known about a situation. Fact is supported by evidence.

Fake news

News which is not true, or does not include all of the facts.

Fiction

A story that comes from the writer’s imagination eg a novel. Related words: fictional, fictitious.

Filter bubble

When someone only sees information that they already agree with or like. Filter bubbles can be caused by algorithms that predict what someone will be interested in.

Headline

A phrase that summarises the main point of the article. Headlines are in large print and aim to catch the attention of the reader.

Hoax

A trick, designed to fool people.

International news

News stories that are happening around the world (outside the UK).

Interview

A structured set of questions (planned in advance) that you ask a guest.

Interviewee

The person being interviewed.

Journalist

Someone who produces news reports. May be a reporter or an editor.

Local news

News stories that are happening near to where you live, in your village, town or community.

National news

News stories that are happening in the UK.

News

Information which the audience / reader either needs to know or wants to know.

Newsworthy

A story that is important or interesting enough to be reported.

Open question

A question where there could be lots of possible ways to answer and which is likely to receive a longer answer than just ‘yes’ or ‘no’.

Opinion

1. A person’s view or idea about a situation.

2. A type of writing in a news publication that includes what the writer thinks about a situation, rather than just the facts.

Page furniture

Everything on a news page that isn’t the report or photos, eg headlines, captions.

Parody

A funny, exaggerated version of something designed to make people laugh.

Picture editor

The person who chooses which pictures to use with a story.

Press conference

When reporters are gathered together in one place to question someone in the news, usually taking it in turns to ask questions.

Point of view/perspective

What an individual person thinks or feels about something.

Redundant

Not needed or no longer needed.

Regulated (news)

Controlled with rules and regulations, ensuring news organisations uphold high standards of journalism. Newspaper regulators in the UK include the Independent Press Standards Organisation (Ipso) and Impress. The broadcast regulator is Ofcom.

Reported speech

A speaker’s words paraphrased by a reporter, eg ‘He said that he was happy’.

Reporter

The person who researches and writes the news story.

Rumour

A story about a situation that has not been proven, is not supported by facts and may not be true. Each time it is repeated it can change, until you cannot be sure what is true.

Social media

Websites and apps which enable users to create and share content or to speak to people online (eg Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook).

Source

Where a news story has come from. For example, a source could be an official report, a tweet, a press conference, a named person or an unnamed (anonymous) person such as ‘an insider’ or ‘a neighbour’.

Speculation

A guess or ‘inference’ about what has happened. Anyone can speculate about a situation, even if they weren’t there or the event hasn’t happened yet.

Standfirst

Words linking the headline to the story. The standfirst is in smaller print than the headline but larger print than the story.

Subeditor

The person who reads a news report (which has been written by someone else) and corrects mistakes. They also double-check the facts, and write headlines and captions.

Trustworthy

Something that you can believe is real or reliable.

Value

A set of agreed standards that a news organisation aims to meet in everything they do. NewsWise aims to uphold the highest standards of journalism through four key values: truthful, fair, balanced and interesting.

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