The OLOA Project


3 C's of journalism - words beginning with the letter C which define the style of a good news story: clear, concise and correct.

5 W's - the primary questions a news story answers --Who? What? When? Where? Why? How?. Also known as the 4 W's and the H.

Ad - advertisement or commercial.

Atmosphere or 'atmos' - background noise that gives a sense of location to a voice piece. The 'natural' sound of a place, e.g. a school, an airport, a theatre play.

Audience - listeners.

Audio - sound.

Background effects - see atmosphere.

Breaking news - news which are brand new.

Broadcast - (n.) a radio programme ; (v) to send out a radio programme.

Broadcast journalism - news on television or radio.

Cans - slang word for headphones.

Catchline - a word/s at the top of a script that identifies the story or item; also known as a slug. See hook.

Citizen journalism - an expression describing the kind of journalism based on images, audio and reports sent in to news groups by ordinary members of the public who witnessed events.

Commercial - an ad that is presented on radio or television.

Cover a story - to report on an event.

Cue(1 n) - a signal either by hand or by light for the next person to begin.

Cue(2 n) - the written introduction to a piece of audio.

Cue(3 n) - the start point on a recording.

Cut (v) - see edit.

Deadline - the time you have to finish your report by.

Desk(1 n) - an office in the radio that deals with a particular subject.

Desk(2 n) - the control panel in a studio that mixes different sources for transmission.

Edit - to cut sound by eliminating or changing the order. See cut.

Editor - the person who coordinates all members of the team and ensures that all instructions are clear and consistent.

Editorial meeting - meeting of the journalistic/editorial team where important decisions are taken.

Editorial team - see Journalistic team.

Eyewitness reports - descriptions of people who really saw what happened.

Fact - statement supported by evidence.

Fade in - to increase gradually in volume of sound.

Fade out - to decrease gradually in volume of sound.

Feature - longer than usual broadcast news story that gives reporters 5-25 minutes (compared to usual 30 seconds) to develop a deeper look at a news event.

Gather - to collect. To get information from different sources and put it together in the same report.

Headphones - a piece of equipment worn over or in the ears that makes it possible to listen to the radio, etc. without other people hearing it. Essential when recording. They help a lot when you need sound insulation. See cans.

Hook - the opening five to ten seconds of a piece which catch the listeners' attention. It also helps set the scene. See catchline.

Interview - a meeting or conversation in which the reporter asks questions to a person who knows more about something.

Jingle - a short musical piece used to identify the station or a particular programme or presenter.

Journalistic team - team of people who take important decisions about the bulletin such as the topics of the reports, the organization of the work, etc. Also known as editorial team.

Key facts - the most important facts.

Mike - informal word for microphone.

News - information about something that has happened recently.

News agency - an organisation that provides news stories to other news media.

News bulletin - a short news programme on radio or television, reporting only the most important information.

News wires - the latest news stories written by news agencies around the world which are sent to radio stations, newspapers, etc.

On Air - to broadcast while it is actually happening.

Online journalism - news on the internet.

Open questions - questions that can not be answered saying yes/no but need an explanation. You normally use a Wh-word.

Opinion - a statement based on your own view.

Plagiarism - using the work of another person (both written words and intellectual property) and say it is your own work.

Presenter - the person who guides through a radio show.

Quotation - a sentence from a book, interview, magazine, etc which you repeat in your report because it is interesting and relevant to the information you are giving.

Record (v) - to speak so that it can be copied on the computer.

Report (v) - to present a written or spoken account of an event; (n) a piece of writing about something that is happening and is news. See script.

Reporter - journalist.

Research - the activity of finding information about what you are interested in.

Running order - the order the stories appear on the programme.

Running to time - the bulletin can only be a certain length. You have to make sure each story is written and edited to a certain time so your final school bulletinis not too long.

Script - A written text which is read on air. See report.

Scoop - an exclusive story that no-one else has reported. See Top story.

Silence - a situation in which there is no sound and no one speaking. On the radio, it is considered as a separating element.

Sound bite - brief extract from an interview.

Sound effects - what you can hear coming from the radio

Source - something or someone that gives you the information.

Stab - a short jingle.

Statement - something that someone says to express an opinion.

Style book - practical book which defines the way in which you have to write your report.

Tip - advice, recommendation.

Top story - the most important story according to the editorial team. See scoop.

Verify - to make sure something is correct

Voxpop - 'Voice of the people' (from Latin Vox populi). They are usually interviews with people in the street. Click here for an example of Voxpops (the question was What's news?)

Wire - a piece of metal used for carrying electrical currents or signals.


Basic Radio Glossary for learners
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