Class Glossary & Syllabus

Intro to Radio Syllabus Winter 2017


Abbreviated Glossary



noun: The equipment used to generate, alter, transmit, and receive radio waves so that they carry information via sound.

Adjective: Involving the emission of radio waves: radio frequency.


noun: Broadcasting is the distribution of audio and/or video content to a dispersed audience via any electronic mass communications medium, but typically one using the electromagnetic spectrum (radio waves). Broadcasting refers to a method of transferring a message to all recipients simultaneously.  


noun: a category of artistic composition, as in music or literature, characterized by similarities in form, style, or subject matter.



  1. plural form of medium.
  2. The main means of mass communication (especially television, radio, newspapers, and the Internet) regarded collectively.
  1. a middle state or condition; mean.
  2. something intermediate in nature or degree.
  3. an intervening substance, as air, through which a force acts or an effect is produced.
  4. the element that is the natural habitat of an organism.
  5. surrounding objects, conditions, or influences; environment.
  6. an intervening agency, means, or instrument by which something is conveyed or accomplished: Words are a medium of expression.
  7. one of the means or channels of general communication, information, or entertainment in society, as newspapers, radio, or television.


Analog – of or relating to a device or process in which data is represented by physical quantities that change continuously

of a clock or watch : having hour and minute hands


  1. showing the time with numbers instead of with hour and minute hands
  2. of or relating to information that is stored in the form of the numbers 0 and 1
  3. using or characterized by computer technology


Internet radio

Internet radio (also web radio, net radio, streaming radio, e-radio, online radio, webcasting) is an audio service transmitted via the Internet. Broadcasting on the Internet is usually referred to as webcasting since it is not transmitted broadly through wireless means.


A podcast is an MP3 or other audio file delivered off a Web site via an RSS feed.

A webcast is a media presentation distributed over the Internet using streaming media technology to distribute a single content source to many simultaneous listeners/viewers. A webcast may either be distributed live or on demand. Essentially, webcasting is “broadcasting” over the Internet.

Podcast is derived from the terms “iPod” and “broadcast”. It is attributed to the original creators of podcasting who used iPods to listen to their RSS broadcasts. Then Apple added an RSS reader to the iTunes software, making it simple for anyone with an iPod to subscribe and listen to podcasts. All you need to know is the URL of the RSS (Real Simple Syndication) or XML.

Subscribing  to Podcasts: Unlike radio, you can listen to MP3 files at any time. However, podcasts combine the ability to subscribe to a Web site and learn about any new additions immediately with the MP3 downloads. So, unlike radio, when you sign up for a podcast, you can listen to either older editions of the podcast, or you can wait until the author creates and uploads a new one. You then set up your iPod to check periodically for updates. When a new podcast recording is available, iTunes downloads automatically.



  1. concerned with or engaged in commerce. “a commercial agreement”
  1. making or intended to make a profit. “commercial products”


  1. a television or radio advertisement.



  1. not having a commercial objective;
  2. not intended to make a profit.



Communication focuses on how people use messages to generate meanings within and across various contexts, cultures, channels, and media. The discipline promotes the effective and ethical practice of human communication.

Communication is a diverse discipline which includes inquiry by social scientists, humanists, and critical and cultural studies scholars. A body of scholarship and theory, about all forms of human communication, is presented and explained in textbooks, electronic publications, and academic journals. In the journals, researchers report the results of studies that are the basis for an ever-expanding understanding of how we all communicate.


  1. the activity or profession of writing for newspapers or magazines or of broadcasting news on radio or television.
  2. Journalism is gathering, processing, and dissemination of news, and information related to news, to an audience. The word applies to the method of inquiring for news, the literary style which is used to disseminate it, and the activity (professional or not) of journalism

Journalism is the activity and product of gathering, assessing, creating, and presenting news and information. It is also the product of these activities.

Journalism can be distinguished from other activities and products by certain identifiable characteristics and practices. These elements not only separate journalism from other forms of communication, they are what make it indispensable to democratic societies. History reveals that the more democratic a society, the more news and information it tends to have.



  1. a belief or judgment that rests on grounds insufficient to produce complete certainty.
  2. 2. a personal view, attitude, or appraisal



  1. an expression of opinions or offering of explanations explanations about an event or situation. “an editorial commentary”
  2. a descriptive spoken account (especially on a broadcast) of an event or performance as it happens.
  3. a set of explanatory or critical notes on a text.


Advertising – noun – a notice or announcement in a public medium promoting a product, service, or event or publicizing a job vacancy.

“advertisements for alcoholic drinks”

History of advertising in 30 seconds


Public Relations

  1. the professional maintenance of a favorable public image by a company or other organization or a famous person.
  2. the state of the relationship between the public and a company or other organization or a famous person.

The beginning of PR: Torches of Freedom and Edward Bernays



  1. a learned person
  2. teacher.
  3. a person who gives opinions in an authoritative manner usually through the mass media
  4. critic.


Propaganda is a form of communication aimed towards influencing the attitude of a population toward some cause or position.

Today it is also referred to as derogatory information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote or publicize a particular political cause or point of view.

“he was charged with distributing enemy propaganda”

synonyms: information, promotion, advertising, publicity, spin…

Propaganda is information that is not impartial and used primarily to influence an audience and further an agenda, often by presenting facts selectively (perhaps lying by omission) to encourage a particular synthesis, or using loaded messages to produce an emotional rather than a rational response to the information presented.



  1. a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common.
  2. a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.


Culture – the arts and other manifestations of human intellectual achievement regarded collectively. “20th century popular culture”


Authenticity – being genuine


Further on Journalism


What are the ethics of journalism?

Journalism ethics and standards comprise principles of ethics and of good practice as applicable to the specific challenges faced by journalists. Historically and currently, this subset of media ethics is widely known to journalists as their professional “code of ethics” or the “canons of journalism”. The basic codes and canons commonly appear in statements drafted by both professional journalism associations and individual print, broadcast, and online news organizations.

While various existing codes have some differences, most share common elements including the principles of—truthfulness, accuracy, objectivity, impartiality, fairness and public accountability—as these apply to the acquisition of newsworthy information and its subsequent dissemination to the public.

Like many broader ethical systems, journalism ethics include the principle of “limitation of harm.” This often involves the withholding of certain details from reports such as the names of minor children, crime victims’ names or information not materially related to particular news reports release of which might, for example, harm someone’s reputation.

Some journalistic codes of ethics, notably the European ones, also include a concern with discriminatory references in news based on race, religion, sexual orientation, and physical or mental disabilities. The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe approved in 1993 Resolution 1003 on the Ethics of Journalism which recommends journalists to respect the presumption of innocence, in particular in cases that are still sub judice

Canons of Journalism are ethical rules adopted by the American Society of Newspaper Editors on April 28, 1923, and endorsed by many state associations and other groups of journalists.

The primary function of newspapers is to communicate to the human race what its members do, feel and think. Journalism, therefore, demands of its practitioners the widest range of intelligence of knowledge and of experience, as well as natural and trained powers of observation and reasoning. To its opportunities as a chronicle are indissoluble linked its obligations as teacher and interpreter.

To the end of finding some means of codifying sound practice and just aspirations of American journalism, these canons are set forth:

(1) Responsibility— The right of a newspaper to attract and hold readers is restricted by nothing but considerations of public welfare. The use of newspaper makes of the share of public attention it gains serves to determine its sense of responsibility, which it shares with every member of its staff. A journalist who uses his power for any selfish or otherwise unworthy purpose is faithless to a high trust.

(2) Freedom of the Press— Freedom of the press is to be guarded as a vital right of mankind. It is the unquestionable right by law, including the wisdom of any restrictive statute. To its privileges under the freedom of American institutions are inseparably joined its responsibilities for an intelligent fidelity to the Constitution of the United States.

(3) Independence— Freedom from all obligations except that of fidelity to the public interest is vital.

  1. Promotion of any private interest contrary to the general welfare, for whatever reason, is not compatible with honest journalism. So-called news communications from private sources should not be published without public notice of their source or else substantiation of the claims to value as news, both in form and substance.
  2. Partisanship in editorial comment which knowingly departs from the truth does violence to the best spirit of American journalism; in the news columns it is subversive of a fundamental principle of the profession.

(4) Sincerity, Truthfulness, Accuracy— Good faith with the reader is the foundation of all journalism worthy of the name.

  1. By every consideration of good faith, a newspaper is constrained to be truthful. It is not to be excused for lack of thoroughness, or accuracy within its control, or failure to obtain command of these essential qualities.
  2. Headlines should be fully warranted by the contents of the articles which they surmount.

(5) Impartiality— Sound practice makes clear distinction between news reports and expressions of opinion. News reports should be free from opinion or bias of any kind. This rule does not apply to so-called special articles unmistakably devoted to advocacy or characterized by a signature authorizing the writer’s own conclusions and interpretations.

(6) Fair Play— A newspaper should not publish unofficial charges affecting reputation or moral character, without opportunity given to the accused to be heard; right practice demands the giving of such opportunity in all cases of serious accusation outside judicial proceedings.

  1. A newspaper should no invade rights of private feelings without sure warren of public right as distinguished from public curiosity.
  2. It is the privilege, as it is the duty, of a newspaper to make prompt and complete correction of its own serious mistakes of fact or opinion, whatever their origin.

(7) Decency— A newspaper cannot escape conviction of insincerity if, while professing high moral purpose, it supplies incentives to base conduct, such as are to be found in details of crime and vice, publication of which is not demonstrably for the general good. Lacking authority to enforce its canons, the journalism here represented can but express the hope that deliberate pandering to vicious instincts will encounter effective public disapproval or yield to the influence of a preponderant professional condemnation.

Note:  Leaks of classified information to the press have only rarely been punished as crimes. See Edward Snowden as an example.