Media Vocabulary For Learning English From The News
We can all agree that we can’t live without news anymore. We read them in newspapers and magazines, watch on TV, find on global news websites, etc., because we have to stay tuned and understand what is happening in our cities and countries. But if local news doesn’t require foreign language knowledge, global websites usually provide information using a lot of English media vocabulary. This article will guide you through international news websites and share the most common media words you might need.
Main types of media and news
Before moving forward to the most popular English media words, it is essential to determine the sources from which we can hear them. The Cambridge Dictionary defines mass media as different methods of providing information to many people. There are three main types of media today:
- Print media. It is probably the oldest method of providing and getting information. And, in fact, it is a good way to learn the news vocabulary and practice reading. Print media includes newspapers, magazines, books, flyers, etc.
- Broadcasting media. The information provided via various media materials and aimed at different audiences is spreading via broadcasting media. It includes television, radio, video materials, and even games.
- Digital media. It is the most modern type of mass media that appeared only at the beginning of this century. Since the invention of the Internet, people have started to get news from websites, social media, online messengers, etc. All these methods are called digital media.
These are the main ways where you can face media-related words. All these options are aimed mostly at broadcasting the news, which also can be separated into several types. Generally, we can divide news into two main categories – hard and soft ones. The first type usually provides information about important events, politics, extreme incidents, etc. Soft news, on the other hand, includes entertainment info, for example, about celebrity lifestyles.
Special grammar features of news headlines
Let’s stop at the print media for a little. As we said earlier, it is an excellent way to learn some media vocabulary words and strengthen your reading skills. But when you start practicing, please don’t learn with news headlines. The point is that even the biggest newspapers and online publishers neglect basic grammar rules in headings. Here are the most common mistakes that are not considered mistakes when it comes to the news:
- Ignoring the articles, determiners, and adjective and quantitative pronouns. The main goal of the headline is to catch the reader’s attention and allow them to quickly read the article's name to find the one they need. That is why most online and offline printing media ignore small parts of the sentence in the headline. You can see it in this report from USA Today. Harvey Weinstein back in court – and in the body of the article, you can see the correct version of the sentence with the missing word is.
- Present Simple describes the present and past. A great example of this grammar feature is this article from BBC. The headline tells readers about the NASA Moon Rocket that lifts off Earth, while in the main text, you see that the rocket already lifted a few hours ago.
- Words that are clear from the context are omitted. To make content easier to understand, editors may skip words that are understandable from the context. So, you may often see just the word dozens in headlines instead of the phrase dozens of people.
- Particle to is used to define future actions. Another uncommon grammar feature you can see mostly in articles’ headings. For example, the heading of this article, Macaulay Culkin To Legally Change Name, means that the actor will change his name in the future. Which we find really amusing, by the way.
When you read media in English, you can find even more impressive examples of headings written far from the usual grammar rules. But to understand them better, you need to know some basic words and expressions usually used in mass media. And this is what our next section is about.
Comprehensive media words list to expand your vocabulary
If you want to master your English, it is necessary to enrich your vocabulary. This step will help you communicate with people and discuss various topics easily. To achieve this, you need to have basic knowledge of common themes. Below, you can find some words related to news, mass media, and information.
Media vocabulary list: Professions
To pay tribute to the people who supply us with dozens of types of content every day, we will begin our word list with the most popular media professions. All of them are somehow related to creating and providing information.
- A journalist.
It is the most common word in media vocabulary English. We usually use it to describe anyone who works in the media sphere. In layman’s terms, a journalist is a person who collects and spreads information about a particular topic for various publishers. You can also use this word to define a news presenter, reporter, columnist, etc.
- An editor.
Editors are those guys who skip the grammar rules that we’ve mentioned above. An editor is a person who reads and corrects the text according to linguistic terms, supervises the layout of print publications, sets deadlines, collects information about competitors, etc. Editors can also correct storyline scripts when it comes to video reports and broadcasting media.
- An anchor.
In American English, people use this word to define a person who reads the news on the radio or television. In British English, speakers use the simpler word – newsreader.
- A paparazzo.
This is probably the most popular type of media worker. Paparazzi are photojournalists who mostly specialize in taking pictures of celebrities in informal circumstances. And even though most famous people don’t like paparazzi, this profession remains trendy since more and more readers want to look behind the curtains of the stars' life.
- Weather person/weather reporter.
As you can see from the name, the weather reporter is a person who describes the weather forecast for a particular area, city, or country. Weather reporters often work for television, but sometimes you may hear them on the radio.
English vocabulary on media: Common news-related terms and idioms
Many expressions in English are related to the news. When you learn some words from this list, you will be able to understand the general information you can hear from news anchors. Here are some widespread terms you can see in mass media:
- Newsworthy – a topic or event that is important enough to be mentioned in the news.
- To hit/make/grab the headline – to become the subject of media discussion.
- To go on record – speak publicly about something.
- A leak/to leak – leakage of confidential information/to disseminate confidential information.
- To go viral – to become extremely popular.
- Backlash – negative criticism.
- Trial balloons – information that was leaked deliberately to see the reaction.
- Yellow journalism – media information based on rumors, scandals, and sensations.
In addition to general terms, there are also many media-related idioms. You can hear such expressions from people working in mass media. Here are our favorite media idioms you can use when talking about this topic:
- Gooseberry season.
This idiom describes a period of a news lull when there are no high-profile events, and editors have nothing to publish in their media. For example:
It was gooseberry season, so we had nothing to discuss except Beyoncé’s new hairstyle.
- Media darling.
You can use this idiom to describe a celebrity who receives a lot of attention from the mass media. For example:
Harry Styles became a media darling in the last few months.
- A publicity hound.
While a media darling gets attention unintentionally, a publicity hound literally lives to see their name in the headlines. For example:
Thomas is definitely a publicity hound – obsessed with fame.
- Word on the wire.
This simple idiom describes the rumors over the Internet. For example:
I don’t believe he said that! I hope it is just a word on a wire.
- Film at 11.
Last on our list is the expression that defines irrelevant information. You can use it not only when discussing media but in your daily conversations as well. For example:
X: Did you know that Jake is going to marry Kate?
Y: Film at 11. They broke up a month ago.
Learning English media vocabulary with the Promova
Promova mobile application is a perfect solution for those who want to learn English on the go. This convenient app was created to meet the needs of students of different language levels and preferences, meaning everyone can find something suitable for themselves here. The application is available for various devices, and the best thing is that you can get it for free! Just go to the Promova website, find the app download button, install it on your phone or tablet, and enjoy dozens of lessons, amazing topics, and useful exercises.
If you want to learn more digital media vocabulary words but think that you need some help, join our personal or group lessons with professional tutors. Our team of experienced educators will prepare a curriculum based on your proficiency level and interests to make your studying process as fun and enjoyable as possible. And if you require practice instead of studying, join our free Conversation Club to discuss various topics with people worldwide.
As we stated at the beginning of this article, we can’t imagine our today’s life without the media. Knowing current news and information about local and global events is necessary. Therefore, learning English media words is also essential since most worldwide news is presented in this language. We hope that you've found this article helpful. And now, please tell us what media vocabulary and terms we've forgotten to mention – we will be happy to read them in the comments.
What are the main types of media?
There are three main types of media – print, broadcasting, and digital media. They differ in the ways of spreading the information. Print media includes all printed methods – newspapers, magazines, books, etc. Broadcasting media is everything that can be broadcasted – television, video materials, and radio. Digital media includes all the ways of spreading information via the Internet.
Are there any special news headings' grammar rules?
Yes, there are a few grammar features peculiar to news headlines. It includes skipping articles and determiners, using Present Simple to discuss events not only in the present but in the past as well, omitting words that are understandable from the context, and using a particle to for defining future actions.
Who is a journalist?
A journalist is a person who collects and spreads information on a particular topic for a news publication. Mostly, this term includes many other professions – reporters, column writers, news anchors, announcers, etc. Journalists can work in printed, broadcasting, and digital media as well.
What does the gooseberry season mean?
In the media sphere, this idiom means a dull season when nothing big is happening, and mass media don’t have any juicy information to provide. Usually, it is during the summertime, when most people are on vacation and don’t participate in any big events. Journalists create materials about celebrity clothes, hairstyles, or other insignificant situations when it is gooseberry season.