Terms to know for StoryMaker Lessons

Glossary

Accountability

An obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one's actions.

Source: Merriam Webster


Accuracy

Free from mistake or error. Coverage of topics and facts in appropriate detail.


Algorithm

Complex equations that collect data and monitor users’ behavior to put content in their feeds that they’re likely to engage with.


A-Roll

The primary video and audio that drives your story from beginning to end.


Assumption

Something that is accepted as true or as certain to happen, without proof.


Audience

The people who read, watch and consume news. Often, journalists think about audience and newsworthiness in similar ways. How will the news story serve their local or national audience? Who am I writing the story for and why?


Audio Scene

A recording of something going on (versus an interview).

Note: Think b-roll but for audio.


Bias

Prejudice in favor of or against one thing, person, or group compared with another, usually in a way considered to be unfair.

Source: Lexico, Powered by Oxford


Broadcast News

Non-fiction video or audio communication about topics of public interest disseminated through broadcast or digital methods including tv, radio, streaming, and social media.


B-roll

The supplemental footage used to visually support your A-ROLL.


Character

A person or other physical being in a narrative. Stories are made up of different characters who provide information and help shape the narrative with their knowledge, experience and perspective.


Close Up

Close Up of the face including neck and shoulders in the shot. Also used for objects.


Community

A group of people who live in the same area (such as a city, town, or neighborhood). It can also be a group of people who have the same interests, religion, race, etc.

Source: Merriam Webster


Conflict

When violence strikes or when people argue about actions, events, ideas or policies, we care. Conflict and controversy attract our attention by highlighting problems or differences within the community or between groups. Sometimes conflict can be subtle and manifest as tension.


Creative shots

These can include low/high angles, dollies, POVs (point-of-view), rack focus, etc.


Critique

A detailed analysis and assessment of something.


Curiosity

A desire to learn and know about something or anything.


Diversity

The condition of having or being composed of differing elements. Especially in the context of the inclusion of people of different races, cultures, etc. in a group or organization

Source: Merriam Webster


Empathy

The term “empathy” is used to describe a wide range of experiences. A generally definition is the ability to sense other people’s emotions, coupled with the ability to imagine what someone else might be thinking or feeling. In media-making, creators can have empathy for their subjects and the audience can empathize with the characters.


Ethics

A set of moral principles based on standards of right and wrong, usually in terms of obligations, benefits to society, fairness, or specific virtues.

Source: Markkula Center for Applied Ethics


Evidence

The availability of facts or information indicating whether a belief or proposition is true or valid


Expert

A person who has a comprehensive and authoritative knowledge of or skill in a particular area.


Explainer video

Narration and/or voiceover (VO) with a host, commentary, research, personal experiences, explanations, infographics, nats (natural sound), music, entertainment.


Extreme Close Up

Shows parts of a person or object in detail.


Extreme Long Shot

Commonly used as an establishing shot.


Fact

Something that is known or proved to be true.


Fact-check

The process of verifying the accuracy of a piece of information.


Fairness

Journalists should strive for accuracy and truth in reporting, and not slant a story so a reader draws the reporter’s desired conclusion.


Feedback

After someone reviews your work, it is good practice to receive feedback, or an evaluation of your work based on certain standards. Feedback from multiple perspectives is an important part of the process. Masterpieces are rarely created in isolation.


Follow-up Question

A question that comes after an interview subject responds to an initial question asked by the interviewer. A good follow-up question derives from listening to what the interviewee is saying and determining how best to help them elaborate and share more information.


Hook

An attempt to grab the reader or viewer’s attention with interesting information that will keep them reading or watching.


Human Interest

People are interested in other people. Everyone has something to celebrate and something to complain about. We like unusual stories of people who accomplish amazing feats or handle a life crisis because we can identify with them.


Inclusion

The act or practice of including and accommodating people who have historically been excluded (as because of their race, gender, sexuality, or ability)

Source: Merriam Webster


Interview

A conversation between two or more people where the purpose is to gather information and facts. The interviewer asks questions and the interviewee provides information based on their knowledge about a specific topic or issue.


Issue

​​A subject or problem that people are thinking and talking about

Source: Cambridge Dictionary


Journalism

Journalism is the activity of gathering, assessing, creating, and presenting news and information.

Source: American Press institute


Journalism Ethics

Ethical journalism strives to ensure the free exchange of information that is accurate, fair and thorough. An ethical journalist acts with integrity. Ethical journalism should be accurate and fair. Journalists should be honest and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting information.

Source: Society of Professional Journalist Code of Ethics


Long Shot / Wide Shot

Full shot of the person or location. Full body.


Media

Media refers to all electronic or digital means and print or artistic visuals used to transmit messages.

Source: NAMLE


Media consumption

The act of consuming any form of media including anything that is text or visual. It can be books, television, papers, flyers, advertisements, newspapers, information on the Internet, etc.


Medium Shot

Half body, normally from the waist up.


Montage

A selection of separate sections of video that form a continuous, edited piece.


Movement

A group of people with a shared purpose who work to create change together. Movements use power in numbers—be it 5 people or 5,000 people—to bring attention to important issues and create solutions for the future.


Narrator

A person who gives an account or tells the story of events, experiences, etc. In news, it is the person who adds spoken commentary to the video news story.


Natural sound

Sounds produced in their actual setting. Natural sound, commonly known as NAT sound, puts the viewer in the place the story was told by enhancing the scene(s) with video containing rich audio such as a musician singing at a train station, a storm approaching, or the sound of a tractor plowing the field.


News Media

All forms of media created with the purpose of informing the public and delivering news through specific mediums such as radio and broadcast stations, digital news organizations and others.


News package

Video stories about newsworthy issues and topics, factual information, balanced reporting, research, voice overs, soundbites, b-roll footage, infographics, reporter standup, nats (natural sound bites).


Opinion

A view or judgment formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge.


Over-the-shoulder Shot

Shows a person’s back of head and shoulder looking at someone or something.


Perception

Awareness of the elements of environment through physical sensation or intuitive cognition. A capacity for comprehension and understanding.

Source: Merriam Webster


Pitch

A description of what your story might be and WHY it’s important. An outline of your story idea and the steps to achieve your goal. A summary of what you hope to accomplish in your story


Podcast

A digital audio or video file or recording, usually part of a themed series.


Podcast Segment

An audio story within a podcast episode


Pre-interview

A conversation with someone who is relevant to your story. Typically done over the phone or through video conferencing, but they can be done in person, too.


Proximity

Local information and events are newsworthy because they affect the people in our community and region. We care more about things that happen “close to home.”


Relevance

People are attracted to information that helps them make good decisions. If you like music, you find musician interviews relevant. If you’re looking for a job, the business news is relevant. We need to depend on relevant information that helps us make decisions.


Research

An investigation into and study of sources in order to establish facts and reach new conclusions.


Revision

The process of changing and updating your work based on feedback with the goal of making it stronger. To successfully revise your story, listen to other perspectives, be open to reconsidering parts of your story and remember not to take feedback personally - it's about the story, not about you.


Script

A document with transcribed (written-out) soundbites and voiceover narration. A VIDEO script is a two-column document with the audio (soundbites and voice over) in the right-hand column and a description of what the audience sees (visuals) in the left-hand column.


Sequence

A sequence is a series of shots of an action or scene. A classic action sequence consists of a combination of at least three shots of an action in sequential order.


Short documentary

Narration and/or voiceover (VO), scene reconstructions, archival footage, nats (natural sound), b-roll, images, research, lengthy interviews, soundbites.


Shot List

A document with the details of each shot of the scene or action sequence you plan to record. It contains the Shot Number, Composition/Angle, and Description.


Solutions

Investigating and explaining, in a critical and clear-eyed way, how people try to solve widely shared problems. Solutions journalism focuses on responses to problems.

Source: Solutions Journalism


SOT (Sound on Tape)

Generally considered to be audio captured from an individual who is on camera, like an interviewee and may also be referred to as a soundbite.


Soundbite

A short extract or clip from a recorded interview, chosen for its relevance to the story, pungency or appropriateness.


Source

A source is an individual, company, document or more that can provide information to fuel a new story. In order for a story to be considered verified and to maintain a reputation as a news outlet, it is important to have a credible source.


Standup

When a television reporter appears in front of the camera to narrate part of a story – most often at the beginning to set up the story, in the middle as a transition or if there is no good b-roll to cover voiceover, or at the very end.

Source: Berkeley Advanced Media Institute


Stereotype

A simplified and standardized conception or image invested with special meaning and held in common by members of a group; a set form or convention

Source: Dictionary.com


Story

An account of past or current events. In journalism, stories are presented with a combination of people, facts, and typically includes a beginning, middle and end.


Story Angle

In news, it’s a story’s point or theme. It's the lens through which the producer or writer filters the information they have gathered and focuses it to make it meaningful to viewers or readers.

Source: ThoughCo.


Story Arc

An example of using a little person to tell a big story. For example, you want to tell a story about pollution in your community’s water system. That is a big issue. Your video will use the story of a person (character) to illustrate the effects of bad water quality.


Subject

The main person or character in a story. There can be multiple subjects in a story. The subject can also be the main theme of your story.


The Framing Effect

In news media, when storytelling presents a “frame” or window into important events or topics.


Timeliness

Immediate, current information and events are newsworthy because they have just recently occurred. It’s news because it’s “new.”


Transcription

A word-for-word document of what was said in a conversation or interview


Trust

Belief that someone or something is reliable, good, honest, effective, etc.

Source: Merriam Webster


Video Portrait

A short video clip that captures the interview subject in their natural state. It involves a person looking into the lens for a few seconds. It’s like a still photo but video!


Video profile

The story of one person, has voiceover (VO), b-roll, pictures, nats (natural sound), interviews of family members or peers of that one person.


Voiceover

Narration done by a broadcast reporter, usually reading from a script. The reporter's voice is recorded over a sequence of video clips that tell a story.

Source: Berkeley Advanced Media Institute