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Google News Initiative — Newsroom Dictionary

illustration, print | 2018
client: Google News Initiative
research: Marketcolor
project management: Theo Casey

We worked with Marketcolor to illustrate two pieces in a Financial Times Paid Post produced in collaboration with Google about the Digital News Innovation Fund.

This piece is a dictionary of terms that became common to hear around a newsroom today that didn’t even exist 10 years ago.

See also: Google News Initiative — Media Timeline

Dox

Who is Satoshi Nakamoto? In March 2014, Newsweek believed they had identified the creator of Bitcoin and publicly revealed his name and personal information to the world. This “doxing” is an increasingly common internet practice where savvy cyber-snoopers will uncover the owner of a url, the author of an anonymous piece or sometimes even the address of a controversial figure.

Alt-text

One can distinguish an accessibility- friendly outlet by its image captions. In what was initially intended as placeholders for images that didn’t load, alt text captions allow blind and partially-sighted web users to understand an image on social media or a news website using a written description.

Cache

Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson, Amy Pascal and Debbie Wasserman Schultz - three people who resigned in the wake of the Panama Papers, the Sony Pictures hack and the 2016 Democratic National Committee email leak respectively. It is an increasingly common phenomenon where a large mass or “cache” of emails will be leaked independently by WikiLeaks or in conjunction with a number of journalism outlets containing documents and conversations not originally intended for public consumption.

Paywall

Where a publication will limit free-viewing to a limited number of articles.

Meme

A picture with a caption, often intended as a humorous send-up. Memes, once the domain of internet message boards and Tumblr, were gentrified and made mainstream by BuzzFeed and other similar web news outlets. Now everyone including world political figures can be found taking advantage of the easy-to- digest format to get across complex messages.

Ratio'd

When a blog post, an article, a Facebook update or tweet has many more comments than likes it is likely sign that the public disagrees with it.

Parallax

Rich web storytelling experiences, pioneered by The New York Times, that combine animation, video, technology and the written word. More and more, outlets are using advanced web development techniques to tell their stories.

Scrape

Web scraping is a way to extract information from websites. Building bots that do the scraping can help data journalists collect raw information from vast disparate databases and websites.

Parallax

Bloomberg, CBS and Fox News are among those traditional television news players whose channels are free-to-view online 24/7.

Trolls

An unfortunate side-effect of the power of anonymity online is that it emboldens some internet users worst instincts. Trolling is online harassment that doesn’t just affect celebrities, scroll down past the text of an article online and you’ll often see comments intended to rile rather than contribute to the discourse. In 2015, New Zealand outlawed trolling in the country’s Harmful Digital Communications Bill.