Page last updated at 11:19 GMT, Tuesday, 8 July 2008 12:19 UK

Glossary of common media terms

If you need to know your OOV from your ACT, have a look at the list of definitions below.

If you come across any other words that you need explaining, contact us and we'll add them to our list.

Actuality, shorted to Act
Audio
Audio material recorded on location. In news programmes it is usually someone speaking and lasts for 10 to 20 seconds. People outside radio often call it a sound bite. In features and magazine programmes however, the word actuality is often taken to mean recorded material that isn't speech. In TV it is called sync.

Alt tag
Text-based
Words that appear when you hover the cursor over a picture that describe the picture.

Aston
Video
See name super.

Atmos, short for atmosphere
Video and audio
Background noise recorded on location. In TV this is often called actuality, which is confusing because actuality has a different meaning in radio!

Byline
Text-based
A line that indicates who wrote a story. For example by BBC Political Correspondent John Smith.

Caption
Text-based
A sentence underneath a picture explaining what it is.

Caption
Video
A still image with text. It could be a way of illustrating someone being interviewing on the phone (with a picture of where they are, or what the story is about, plus some text giving their name). It could be a still picture or photo illustrating the story.

Chroma-key
Video
A process which allows you to film a presenter in front of a blank screen and add in different pictures behind, making it look as though they are somewhere else. It is sometimes called greenscreen or bluescreen. In the BBC it is often called Colour Separation Overlay (CSO )

Contacts book
Video, audio and text-based
The place journalists keep the names, addresses and phone numbers of the people they meet and speak to.

Correspondent
Video, audio and text-based
A journalist who is an expert in a particular subject who reports on that kind of news e.g. a cricket correspondent, arts correspondent or Middle East correspondent.

Cubicle
Audio
A room next to the studio where the technical team work to put the programme on air.

Deadline
Video, audio and text-based
The time by which a journalist must finish their report.

Debrief
Video and audio
A meeting after the programme during which everyone involved discusses how the programme went, what worked, what didn't work and what to do differently next time.

Disco, short for discussion
Video and audio
No, it's not a party but the abbreviation for a discussion in the studio.

Donut
Video and audio
No, it doesn't contain jam. It's an interview on location in which the presenter in the studio hands over to the presenter on location. They describe the situation and interview a guest before handing back to the presenter in the studio.

Edit suite
Video and audio
A room full of computers where the sound and video and visual material is assembled or edited.

Effects, shortened to Fx
Video and audio
The abbreviation for sound effects. In TV the sound effects are often added to the film in a dubbing suite.

File
Video, audio and text-based
To send a report back from a location.

Float
Video
The name for a series of pictures when a presenter is talking or interviewing a guest but you can't see them on the screen. The pictures you see are called a float because they are floated over the voice of the presenter. They are used to illustrate what the presenter or guest is talking about. The sequence is sometimes called an OOV, which is short for Out Of Vision or underlay, which is shortened to ulay.

Gallery
Video
A room next to the studio where the technical team work to put the programme on air.

Graphics, shortened to Gfx
Video and text-based
These are the words, diagrams, maps etc that appear on screen.

Log
Video and audio
A list of the recorded pictures and words usually compiled as the material is filed. Having a log makes it easier to assemble or edit the report.

Name super
Video
A caption on screen. In news programmes it is often the name and job title of the person speaking but you can also have date supers. They are called supers because they are superimposed over the person who is speaking. Often they are called Astons, taken from the name of a company which supplied them for a long time. They are also known as cap gens (cg) as they are often created by a caption generator. They can also be called captions.

News Agency
Video, audio and text-based
An organisation set up to provide news material to many journalists. Examples include Reuters, Associated Press (AP) and Agence France Presse (AFP).

News agency wires, sometimes just called wires
Video, audio and text-based
The latest news stories written by journalists from different news agencies around the world and fed into a computer system. Media organisations, like the BBC, pay for their journalists to be able to access these stories on their computers.

News belt
Video
A round-up of short news stories.

News In Brief, shortened to NIB
Video, audio and text-based
Short stories displayed on a website or broadcast on TV or radio. They are also known as wraps, round-ups. Collectively, they form a news belt.

Out Of Vision, shortened to OOV
Video
The name for a shot when a presenter is talking but you can't see them on the screen. In other words they are out of vision. See Float.

Panel
Video
The vision mixing equipment in a TV gallery.

Picture feeds
Video
Video that has been provided by news agencies which media organisations, like the BBC, pay to use.

Prospects
Video and audio
A list of possible stories to include in a news programme.

Running order
Video and audio
The order the stories appear on the programme, containing key details about each of the reports.

Running to time
Video and audio
A report or programme is "running to time" if it's on target to finish at a certain time. A programme can only be a certain length, because there other programmes come before and before and after it in the schedule. The producer has to make sure their programme doesn't overrun.

Rushes
Video
Video filmed by a camera crew that requires editing.

Scoop
Video, audio and text-based
An exclusive story that no-one else has reported.

Shoot
Video
A reporter who accompanies a camera operator to film a report is "on a shoot."

Shorthand
Video, audio and text-based
A written language used by journalists to note down everything a person says at top speed.

Slug
Video and text-based
A key word which sums up the news story. It saves the journalists writing out the headline over and over again. It's a bit like writing your initials instead of your full name. It's used in the running order to identify the story. Once a slug has been decided, everyone should stick to that name to avoid confusion.

Sound On Tape, shortened to SOT
Video
Recorded sound. Even when it's recorded digitally, it's referred to as SOT. It is generally referred to as SOT when it follows an Out Of Vision. So a presenter aims to stop talking in time for the SOT.

Still
Video and text-based
A photograph or graphic. Not a moving picture.

Sting
Television and audio
A bit of music or sound (with pictures if on TV) used to punctuate the programme. Stings are often used at the beginning or the end of a report or to highlight the headlines.

Storyboard
Video
A set of drawings or diagrams showing the shots that will make up a TV report or feature.

STYLE GUIDE LINKS
Style
Video, audio and text-based
These are the rules about language and presentation you must stick to when broadcasting. Each media organisation, like the BBC, has its own style.

Stock footage
Video
Shots of common events used to help tell a story e.g. a crowd turning up for a football match. News organisations, like the BBC, often have a library of useful footage that can be used, hence it is often called library material.

Titles
Video
Titles mark the start and end of a programme. They usually contain music. They are opening titles and closing titles. Closing titles usually include the names of the people involved in the production, or credits, although news programmes often don't run credits.

Trail
Video and audio
A short advertisement for an item coming up later on the programme.

Transmission, shortened to Tx
Video and audio
The time and date when the programme is broadcast.

Voice over, shortened to VO
Video
A shot in which a presenter talks over a video clip to explain to the audience what is going on. See also Out Of Vision.

Vox pops
Video, audio and text-based
A type of short interview where members of the public are stopped at random and asked a question. It helps the audience gauge opinion on a particular subject. Vox pop is short for vox populi, a Latin phrase which means "voice of the people".

Video Tape, shorted to VT
Video
Before digital technology, video tape was widely used for recording moving pictures. The term VT is still used to refer to all video, whether it's on tape or digital.

SEE ALSO
Journo lingo: Phrases used on a shoot
29 Sep 08 |  School Report

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