The Wire
The Wire

The Wire depicts a fictionalized version of The Baltimore Sun, the largest general-circulation daily newspaper in Maryland.



  • "A"-matter - the basic points of a story, the "Five Ws" (who, what, when, where, why), without the specific details.
  • "A"-section - the foremost pages (section) of a journal, as sometimes indicated by a letter numbering.
  • Art - graphic illustration of a story, including photographs.
  • The Associated Press (AP) - a news organization that employs a vast network of reporters to produce stories that will be syndicated throughout the country and sometimes the world.
  • Budget - the list of stories scheduled to be printed that night.
    • Budget Lines - short summaries of each story so that an editor can present them in an editorial meeting and ensure space is allocated for them in the budget.
  • Buyouts - removal of a position at the papers staff with the agreement of the employee who receives a one off payment of a fixed sum.
  • Byline - the name of the primary reporter appearing at the end of a piece.
  • Columnist - a Newspaper employee paid to write a periodic piece that includes their opinions.
  • "Chicago" - The Baltimore Sun is owned by the Chicago Tribune so many decisions about the paper are made in Chicago.
  • Contrib line - a contributing line is a credit for a secondary reporter on a story that will appear at the end of the article.
  • Colour piece - impressions or descriptions relative to a subject.
  • Copy desk - the desk where copy editing is done.
  • Deadlines - the time a reporter must submit a story in order for it to be included in the print run:
    • E-Dot Deadline - the deadline for inclusion of a story in the second edition of the paper.
    • Double Dot Deadline - the deadline for inclusion of a story in the third edition of the paper.
    • Copy deadline - the time when a finished draft must be submitted to a copy editor.
    • Print deadline - the time when an edition must be finished and laid out to be sent to the printer.
  • Dots - a small mark at the top of a page that indicates that a story has been re-worked from an earlier edition of the paper.
  • Editing - checking and correcting a story.
    • Source editing - checking that the facts of a piece make sense
    • Copy editing - correct typographical errors. (Copy editors also write the headlines, and sub-headlines.)
    • Slot editing - ensure the story fits on the space allotted on the page and adding the headline, graphics and pull quotes
  • Editions - multiple versions of the same issue of a paper are produced to allow for stories to be updated. The earlier deadlines are sent out to different distribution networks, particularly to locations that are far away. Later editions of the paper will feature the most up to date news and sports scores.
    • Four star edition - the first edition of the paper, which features no dots.
    • Five star edition - the second edition of the paper which features the single E-Dot. Also known as the E-Dot edition.
    • Five star chase edition - the third edition of the paper which features two dots or a dot and the letter F or C. Also known as the Double-Dot Edition. Often the only changes are to the sports scores.
  • "The Fold" - the physical crease across the front page of the paper.
    • "Below the fold" - major stories that appear in the lower half of the front page and are often continued within the paper or "after the jump".
  • Foreign Bureau - a bureau that is physically located in a foreign country with its own reporters and administrative staff. They are expensive to maintain and are commonly targeted in cost cutting exercises.
  • Foreign Affairs Desk - a section of the newspaper located domestically but dedicated to reporting foreign news.
  • GA reporter - General Assignment reporter: writes about a wide range of topics.
  • Graf (or graph) - short slang for paragraph.
  • Jump line - a line that indicates that a story continues on another page. Commonly used for stories that begin on the front page but continue within the paper.
  • Lead - the first sentence (or paragraph) of a story that should concisely summarize the content. Also spelled "lede."
  • Newshole - space available for news in the journal.
  • Peg - what makes a story newsworthy.
  • Pull quotes - a quote from a piece that is set in bold typeface to draw the reader's attention.
    • "Good Pull" - a compliment on a decent pull quote.
  • Rewrite - taking notes from others and (re)writing them into a story.