TV/Video Industry Glossary

Anchor: TV show host.

As-Live: A pre-recorded report, conducted by the reporter and generally running to around 90 seconds, which has the appearance of a Live Hit. The reports are generally used to summarize the latest in an ongoing story, and asked for when the story either does not warrant a full package, or there is not enough to time to produce one.

B-Roll: Footage of an interviewee in which the person is not talking to the camera, used generally to introduce or paint their subsequent interview.

Back Bench: noun Journalistic term referring to a news organization’s managing editors.

Biz: abbreviation of Business. Generally referring to a tv news channel’s business-related show.

CGTN: acronym China Global Television Network. TV News channel.

Copy: Synonym for written text in journalism and publishing industries. e.g. “I’ll file copy and pictures tomorrow evening”.

Donut: A Live Hit conducted with the format of a live appearance in which the reporter will toss to their own package, and then reappear following the package to tag. This is a good example of a Donut.

Dope Sheet: A list compiled by a video agency, detailing the contents and order of elements contained in the video file.

Elements: The individual components that make up a complete piece of video journalism. i.e. Interviews, PTC, GVs and B-Roll are all elements, which should be collected on a shoot for a PKG.

File: verb. In journalism, to deliver a finished piece of work to the news outlet, usually an editor. While the piece may not be ready for publication, filing is the final thing a reporter will do as their contribution to a story. e.g. “I filed my copy half an hour before deadline.”

FPS: arconym Frames Per Second. The number of still images (frames) shot by a video camera over the course of a single second, in order to create moving video image. PAL is shot at 25 FPS. NTSC varies.

Gallery: The control room for the live broadcast.

GMT: acronym Greenwich Mean Time. Time most often used by TV channels to coordinate schedules, always given in 24-hour military format. Often abbreviated simply to ‘G’, when used alongside the specific time; e.g. “Live-hits at 23G and 0430G”

GN: acronym General News. The straight news broadcast delivered by a video news channel.

Grid: The spreadsheet format used by TV operations to plan and keep track of individual assignments.

GV: acronym General View. Video footage of a scene which is used to paint the subsequent package. GVs are generally still or panning shots used to contextualize the location of the video report.

Hack: Derogatory term for a journalist, although commonly used in confidence between colleagues.

Headroom: The space between the top of a person’s head and the top of the video frame.

HFR: acronym Hold For Release. Referring to a PKG or other which has not yet been scheduled for broadcast or release.

IFB: acronym for “Interruptible Foldback” (although few people known the full phrase). 1. The transparent earpiece with the spiral cable which disappears behind the neck, through which the user can hear the ongoing live TV broadcast. For live hits, this is usually connect4ed to the reporter’s cell phone. 2. The phone number the MCR will use to all, and connect you to the program.

In-the-can: Phrase referring to an element which has been filmed or recorded, and is safely stored. Its etymology has its origins in the Hollywood film industry, when video film was stored in round cans once used.

Live Hit: A live appearance on TV, generally conducted as a question-and-answer between anchor and reporter.

Lower Third: See Strap. Often abbreviated to L3.

MCR: acronym of “Master Control Room”. The technical hub of the video broadcast operation, through which all third party signals will be redirected. The MCR is not the same as the Gallery, although the two are in constant contact.

Media Manager: Job role at a broadcast operation. A media manager will receive all incoming media, conduct quality checks, convert video specs if necessary, and direct the media to its corresponding place within the organisation’s storage operation. Completed PKGs, for instance, will generally be filed, to the Media Manager.

Mic Flag: Foam cover placed over the microphone receiver with the logo of the channel or news outlet.

Mid-Close-Wide: Phrase used when shooting footage of a scene or subject, in which three shots of the same scene are taken from different focal lengths (wide shot, mid-length shot, and close-up), and put in-the-can. The shots can later be used together when editing to create professional-looking sequences.

NATSOT: acronoym Natural Sound On Tape. Better described as recorded ambient sound.

NTSC: acronym National Television System Committee. Video format setting used in the USA. Most camers have the option to switch between NTSC and PAL. If unsure, this can be corrected (at a loss of quality) later in post-production.

OC: acronym On Camera. The image of a perosn speaking directly to the camera, usually concerning the program anchor.

Package: A scripted video report, consisting of VO, interviews and footage, edited together, generally to a length of around 2:30.

Paint: verb. Video editing technique referring to the video footage and images used to accompany VO or SOT. Also used to cover cuts in SOT. i.e. “Let’s paint over the second half of that SOT with his B-roll.”

PAL: acronym Phase Alternating Line. Video format, shot always at 25 FPS, used most everywhere outside of the USA. Most cameras have the PAL option, but if in doubt, leave shooting at 25 FPS.

Pan: A horizontally-moving shot taken from a stationary camera as it turns on its axis.

Phoner: A Live-Hit conducted over the telephone. i.e. voice-only.

PKG: acronym for Package.

Post-Production: The stage of production which follows the shoot. i.e. script writing, editing, export, up to delivery. Often simply abbreviated to ‘Post’.

Presser: noun Informal term for a press conference.

Producer: Job role within camera crew. Person responsible for ensuring everything runs smoothly during a shoot. A producer will organise interviews and elements for an assignment.

PTC: acronym of “Piece to Camera”, also known as Stand-Ups. An element of a package during which the reporter will narrate part of the report whilst appearing on camera. This is generally around 20 seconds, or two sentences, long. PTCs are generally pre-approved by script editors.

Sandwich: British term for a Donut.

Script: The written version of the story from which a video is edited. Scripts are often written into channel templates, and usually sub-edited and approved before the package is edited and delivered.

Sequence: Video editing term for a series of related shots placed concurrently. When shooting for a sequence, the mid-close-wide technique is often important.

Shoot: 1. verb To record video. e.g. “We’re just shooting GVs, as the interviews are already in-the-can.” 2. noun The period of work during which video footage is recorded and collected. e.g. “Let’s start the shoot at 10am.”

Shooter: Informal term for a cameraman.

Shotgun mic: A directional microphone designed to pick up sound exclusively from the direction in which it is pointed.

Sign-off: A formulaic spoken phrase which will usually offer: Reporter’s name, Location, Media outlet. Order and formula of the sign-off depends on outlet’s house style. Common synonymous phrase is to ‘Sig-out’.

Slug: The brief code-phrase used to identify individual assignments. Usually no more than three words, and generally written in upper-case letters. e.g. An assignment on the U.S. President meeting with the British Prime Minister may be ‘slugged’ PRES-PM MEET.

Sound Check: A test conducted to ensure that the audio quality is at the proper level. If conducted ahead of a Live Hit, the best technique is to practice exactly what you plan to say during your appearance, until you are advised that sound levels are good.

SOT: acroynm for “Sound On Tape”. Phrase generally meaning a recorded interview, or any piece of spoken audio to be used in a video report. Also used to refer to the exact spoken content of recorded interview, i.e. “they gave some fantastic SOT.”

Sound Bite: Synonym of SOT.

Stand-Up: See PTC.

Sting: A visual or musical punctuation in the broadcast, designed to signal the change between two features or programs.

Strap: The information bar on the screen, generally used to provide relevant details about the story, i.e. headline, interviewee information. Supers is a synonym.

Tag:  A brief spoken line, following a feature or news report, in which an additional piece of information is added.

Talent: Industry term to refer to the person appearing on camera in a video report or during a live broadcast. In a PKG, the talent is generally the reporter. Interviewees are not ‘talent’.

TRT: acronym for “Total Run Time”. The time length of a video piece, program, or show.

TRT World: TV news channel based out of Istanbul.

VO: 1. acronym of “Voiceover”. A spoken audio track, which generally narrates the story. 2. acronym of “Video-Over”. Used to refer to footage played over an anchor’s OC.

Walk-and-Talk: common acronym: W&T. An As-Live conducted in a location where the news story is very apparent, and during which the reporter walks around, followed by the camera explaining what is occurring. A Walk-and-Talk generally runs to around 90 seconds.

Wrap: 1. verb To complete a shoot, once all required video footage elements have been recorded and collected. e.g. “I hope to have wrapped by 20G.” 2. noun The end of a shoot. e.g. “That’s a wrap!”


This list is constantly updated. If you have any other definitions, or have come across a piece of jargon you don’t know, please email me and I will add them to this list.