Explaining Today's Papers

Answers to your questions about the news.
Sept. 7 1999 8:38 PM

Explaining Today's Papers

(Continued from Page 1)

Reefer: A brief front-page synopsis of a story that appears inside the paper. USA Today's "Newsline" and the Wall Street Journal's "What's News" are essentially multiple reefers. The New York Times, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times tend to integrate reefers into their front-page layouts.

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Slug (as a verb): To run under the headline of (e.g., "The Chicago Tribune slugged the story, 'Teen births fall to record low' "). The term originally referred to the pieces of lead which held the type in place on printing presses.

Stuff (as a verb): To place a story inside the paper. Slightly derogatory, usually implying that the story was underplayed. (e.g., "The New York Times and Los Angeles Times fronted the Waco controversy, while USA Today stuffed the story").

Tease (as a verb): Synonym for reefer. A brief front-page synopsis of a story that appears inside the paper.

Thumbsucker: A usually derogatory reference to story that ponders a bit of news and doesn't introduce any.

Explainer thanks Scott Shuger.

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