Newspaper glossary |

Newspaper glossary

All news organizations, including the Steamboat Pilot & Today, are divided into two departments: advertising and editorial. News coverage is created separately from advertising efforts. While newsrooms and advertising staff occasionally collaborate on business initiatives and projects, all news coverage decisions are made by the editor and independently of any revenue-based influence.


An advertisement that is designed to look like editorial content. The term is a blend of the words “advertisement” and “editorial.”

Anonymous source

The writer and editor know who the source is, but the source wishes to remain unnamed, usually for fear of retribution. The Pilot & Today seeks to avoid using anonymous sources and last used one in 2007.


These columns are opinion and not news. They are the thoughts of individual writers. Other news organizations call these columns op-eds, or “opposite the editorial.”


The opinion of the Editorial Board on a community issue. The Pilot & Today’s Editorial Board comprises the publisher, the editor and two community representatives. Get more information about joining the Editorial Board by emailing

Off the record

When a source tells a journalist a secret. The source and the journalist must agree that the conversation, or a portion of the conversation, is off the record before it begins. Journalists will never report on off-the-record conversations, not even to say they had them.

On the record

All conversations with a journalist are on the record unless the reporter and the source have agreed otherwise. All quotes can be attributed to a source who is sharing information during an on-the-record interview.

Political advertising

Advertising by or on behalf of a political candidate or group that is bound by federal and state campaign finance laws, including expenditure reporting and “paid for by” statements.


A person, group, organization or publication that provides information to a journalist.

Sponsored content

Paid stories that are designed to look like editorial content. The Pilot & Today will always clearly distinguish this content as sponsored.

Source: News Media Alliance and Steamboat Pilot & Today staff