The industry is littered with bizarre jargon. Here’s a guide to save you embarrassment.

Here’s a list of words you might hear in a newsroom.

AFP Agence France Presse news agency

AP Associated Press news agency

Back bench The senior journalists at a newspaper who make important production decisions

Blob par Paragraph introduced by a bullet point (blob), usually at the end of a story

Byline Space where the reporter’s name appears at the top of a story

City desk Business newsdesk

Copy The main text of a story

Cross ref A plug for a related story somewhere else in a newspaper

Headline Heading at the top of a story

Kicker One or two word teaser that appears before a picture caption

News agency Organisation that gathers news and information and sells it to newspapers

Newsdesk Desk on which news editor and his/her deputy sit. Decisions on news stories are made from the newsdesk

NIB News in brief. One or two paragraph news story

Off-stone The moment a newspaper is sent to the printers

Off the record A conversation that is unattributable

PA Press Association news agency

Page lead The main story on a page

Par Paragraph

Patch The (usually geographical) area which a reporter covers

Picture story A news story which centres on a photo, with short copy explaining it

Reuters News agency

Scoop Publishing a story or information before all your rivals

Snapper Photographer

Source A person who gives information to a journalist

Splash A newspaper’s main front page story

Spike Deciding a story will not be published

Standfirst Introductory sentence or two before a story

Sub Sub-editor, journalist responsible for cutting and editing reporter’s copy

Top line Most important fact or element in a story. Also called the hook, angle or peg

Two decks Two lines of text. Three decks Three lines of text

Vox pop Interviews on the street, asking people their opinions on a topic. Should be short and snappy, usually with pictures of each person interviewed

Wires Live feeds of information from news agencies

WOB A white headline on a black background

The Tab Journalism