Common journo jargon and how to avoid it


At some point, nearly every journalist has been guilty of having used the oft-dreaded, always-loathed jargon in his or her copy. When you read this list, try saying some of them out loud—they'll probably sound weird. That’s because nobody (outside of police and spokespeople, maybe) actually says this stuff in real life.

Bob Ingrassia has compiled a neat little list of jargony terms and has put some of them to use in conversation with his children. Among them are “largely,” “critics contend,” “altercation,” and “probe.” They sound just as ridiculous as you might imagine.

Check out his full list—which includes more natural ways to write common jargony phrases—here.

(I only read over this short blurb about four or five times to make sure I didn’t include any blatant jargon myself.)


"Journo" is "journo jargon."

Terry Murray


Comment Policy

J-Source invites comments on any content items or on any other topics relevant to journalism. Those posting comments are expected to adhere to standards of accuracy and fairness that would be recognized by those who practise, teach or study journalism.

  • Comments are restricted to registered users. You must register with your full first and last name in order to be eligible to comment.
  • Please communicate as effectively and intelligently as you would in a professional or academic forum, focusing on the issues at hand rather than the characters or characteristics of those involved.
  • This forum is intended for discussion of the craft of journalism, not of the issues of the day that journalists cover; please do not post story tips or press releases.
  • We moderate the forum for adherence to these standards of discourse, and reserve the right to decline any comment or restrict any user from commenting without giving reasons. Every effort is made to approve valid comments within 24 hours of submission.