Home » News » News media industry terminology

News media industry terminology

Your next read

All industries have their lexicon and jargon, and the world of news media and advertising is no different.

Here’s a list of some of the terminology you might encounter and their definitions:


Print terms

Agate line: Space for one line of print (one column wide and 1/14 inch deep) used to measure advertising.

Bleed: An area of an ad that runs beyond the margin of a normal printed page.

Broadsheet: Newspaper format with two folds, usually larger than tabloid.

Bulk distribution: Multiple copies of a publication delivered to the same addressee.

Centre spread: Two facing pages in the centre of a magazine or newspaper.

Circulation: The total number of copies of the newspaper distributed in one day.

Column inch: The depth of a column measured in inches

Cost per thousand (CPM): Used in comparing the cost of different advertising options. It is the amount an advertiser pays for one thousand advertisement impressions. In the case of newspapers, it cost by circulation or number of readers. For broadcast, it the CPM of homes and people reached using average audience.

Designated Market Area (DMA): A media market or region where the population can receive the same newspaper, internet, television or radio offerings. Widely used in audience measurements.

Display advertisement: In print media, any advertisement other than a classified ad.

Four-colour process: A printing process that combines differing amounts of each of four colours (red, yellow, blue & black) to provide full-colour.

Gatefold ad (or Spadea / Spadia): A page folded around a newspaper or magazine covering part of the front page and part or the entire back page.

Gutter: The margin between facing pages where the fold lies.

Island ad: An ad surrounded by editorial content on a printed page.

Linage: Refers to the size of an ad, based on the number of lines of type taken up by the ad.

Marketing cut through: The technology revolution means we are inundated with messages from brands. It is getting more difficult for marketers to “cut through” and get the attention of customers.

Masthead: Part of a page devoted to the official heading/name of the publication, usually positioned at the top of the page.

Modular advertising: Pre-determined ad sizes, which work in synergy with the publication’s editorial to provide a cleaner layout.

Native advertising (also known as advertorial or sponsored content): Content that takes a news- or feature-like form and promotes the interests of the sponsoring advertiser.

NIM: Newspaper Inserted Magazine.

Opinion (or “Editorial”): Journalism content that takes a stance, and goes beyond mere reporting of facts.

Off the record: When a source agrees to speak to a reporter, on the condition that they will not be named, and their quotes will not be used.

Press release: An announcement by a company or organisation, promoting itself or its products and services.

Rate card: Information concerning advertising costs, mechanical requirements, issue dates, closing dates, cancellation dates, and circulation data, etc.

Run-of-press / Run of paper (ROP): Advertising that appears printed within the newspaper (as opposed to the inserts).

Skyscraper: A tall ad (e.g. 120 x 600) appearing on the right or left side of a webpage.

Spec Ad: A preliminary layout showing illustrations and text for a proposed ad.

Tabloid: A newspaper format, folded once, usually smaller than a broadsheet.

Tearsheet: A page (actual or electronic) from a magazine or newspaper that is sent to the advertiser as proof of the ad insertion.

Total Market Coverage (TMC): One hundred percent household coverage within a given area.

Digital terms

Aggregation: A collection of content headlines and summaries from sites around the web, often compiled and published by someone who is not affiliated with those sites.

Banner ad: Ads that run horizontally on a page of a publication or website.

Blog: Short for web log, it is maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse chronological order.

Click through rate (CTR): Obtained by dividing the number of users who clicked on an ad by the number of times the ad was delivered (impressions).

Co-op advertising: An arrangement between a manufacturer and a retailer whereby the manufacturer will reimburse the retailer in part or full for advertising expenditures.

Frequency: The average number of times an audience member is exposed to a medium.

Gross rating points (GRP): A measure of the exposure of an ad; reach x frequency.

Impressions: The number of times a web page has been viewed by a user.

Leaderboard: Online ad usually 728 x 90 pixels.

Page impression: The number of times a web page has been viewed by a user.

Rating point: In television, one percentage of all TV households who are viewing a particular station at a given time. In radio, one percentage of all listeners who are listening to a particular station at a given time. Both instances vary depending on time of day.

Reach: Number of individuals an ad is exposed to over a specific period of time.

Referral traffic: visits that came to your site from sources outside of its search engine. 

Unique user: Distinct user to a website identified by IP address.

User-generated content: Text, pictures or video produced by non-journalists.

UTM parameters: short text codes added to a URL to track important data about website visitors and traffic sources.



We use a lot of acronyms in news media! Here are some that you might come across: 

ACCC: Australian Competition and Consumer Commission 

CTR: Click Through Rate 

EDM: Electronic Direct Mail (ie. Our fortnightly newsletter)  

emma: Enhanced Media Metrics Australia  

NIM: Newspaper Inserted Magazine. 

NMI: News Media Index  

ROI: Return on Investment  

SMI: Standard Media Index 

TMC: Total Market Coverage

Related downloads