TV Jargon

Confused by TV jargon? here’s a handy guide:

Aston, Strap, caption

The onscreen text that provide extra information on an interviewee or news story

Atmos, short for atmosphere

Background noise recorded on location. In TV this is often called actuality, which is confusing because actuality has a different meaning in radio!


A line that indicates who wrote a story.

Chroma-key or greenscreen or bluescreen.

A process which allows you to film a presenter in front of a blank screen and add in different pictures behind, making it look as though they are somewhere else.


an abbreviation for discussion


the presenter in the studio hands over to the presenter on location. They describe the situation and interview a guest before handing back to the presenter in the studio.

Down the barrel

To look and deliver a statement into the camera lens

Down the line

An interview set up whereby the interviewee, on location and looking into the camera lens, is interviewed from a studio. The questions are delivered via an earpiece.


The abbreviation for sound effects. In TV the sound effects are often added to the film in a dubbing suite.

To File

To send a report back from a location.


A series of pictures when a presenter is talking or interviewing that are floated over the voice of the presenter. They are used to illustrate what the presenter or guest is talking about. Video
A room next to the studio where the technical team work to put the programme on air.

Graphics, or Gfx

These are the words, diagrams, maps etc that appear on screen.


A list of the recorded pictures and words usually compiled as the material is filed. Having a log makes it easier to assemble or edit the report.

News belt

A round-up of short news stories.

News In Brief, shortened to NIB

Short stories displayed on a website or broadcast on TV or radio. They are also known as wraps, round-ups. Collectively, they form a news belt.

Out Of Vision, shortened to OOV

The name for a shot when a presenter is talking but you can't see them on the screen. In other words they are out of vision. See Float.

PTC or ‘peastie’

Piece to camera - the short report delivered by the reporter direct to camera


tape or more commonly a card containing the raw media shot by crew


A key word which sums up the news story. It saves the journalists writing out the headline over and over again. It's used in the running order to identify the story and should be used by the whole team thereafter.

Sound On Tape, shortened to SOT

Recorded sound. Even when it's recorded digitally, it's referred to as SOT. It is generally referred to as SOT when it follows an Out Of Vision. So a presenter aims to stop talking in time for the SOT.


The sound recordist. A dying breed in broadcast news but an essential part of a proper film crew


A bit of music or sound (with pictures if on TV) used to punctuate the programme. Stings are often used at the beginning or the end of a report or to highlight the headlines.

Strawberry Filter

Pretending to film something for the benefit of an interviewee. The reporter will say to the cameraman, ‘the subject wants some shots of the outside of his shop, shoot it with strawberry filter’.

The Talent

How producers and camera crew refer to the reporter..


A short advertisement for an item coming up later on the programme.

Transmission, shortened to Tx

The time and date when the programme is broadcast.

Voice over, shortened to VO

A shot in which a presenter talks over a video clip to explain to the audience what is going on. See also Out Of Vision.

Vox pops

The "voice of the people”, a type of short interview where members of the public are stopped at random and asked a question.