Glossary of journalistic terms

Coverlines: The succinct ‘come hither’ information on a magazine cover about what’s inside that makes you desperate to buy that issue

DPS: Double Page Spread i.e. two pages facing each other, containing one feature

Dummy: Sometimes called ‘the book’ – a mock-up of a magazine issue to check all is correct before publication

Flat plan: Literally that, a plan of all a magazine’s pages and how they fall, dictated by how the magazine is put together at the printers (saddle stitched/perfect bound), the amount of advertising in that issue and space required for features.

Head/headline/title: The few attention grabbing words (usually in capitals) at the top of a feature

Lower case: Not capital letters

Proof: A page that needs checking before publication

Pull quote: A short quote taken from a feature and placed in a box in larger type to break up large areas of text

Sell/standfirst/subhead: The two lines or so under the headline that sum up what the reader is about to read and makes them want to read it.

Sidebar: Extra information on the subject a feature is written about – often done as bullet points. Also called an information panel.

Strapline: A running headline, usually along the top or bottom of a page or cover­

Typeface: The shape, style and size of type being used for text

Upper case: Capital letter

Widow: (see examples above!) A word left on its own at the end of a paragraph, looks ugly and should be dealt with by cutting the line above to take it back or filling the empty line it’s in


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