IELTS Speaking Vocabulary: The News Media (The News, Newspapers and Magazines)


In the IELTS Speaking test, the IELTS examiners often ask you questions about the news, newspapers and magazines. To help you prepare better for this topic, the article will cover useful vocabulary, collocations, idioms, & common IELTS Speaking topics & questions about this topic with suggested answers.

Types of News, Newspapers, Magazines and Media Vocabulary

Online news: is the online version of a newspaper

A broadsheet: a newspaper printed on large sheets of paper

The daily: a newspaper published every day except Sunday

A tabloid: a newspaper with fairly small pages mostly containing stories about famous people and not much serious news

A weekly publication:  a magazine, newspaper

A media outlet: a newspaper publishes news stories

biweekly a magazine that is published twice a month or twice a week

Bulletin a magazine or newspaper produced regularly by a club or organization to give information to its members

Compact a newspaper with fairly small pages that deals with serious news issues

Fanzine a magazine written for and by fans

Heavy (informal) a serious newspaper


Newspaper Content

  • headlines = heading or title appearing at the top of a page or article
  • columns = news that is printed in vertical columns rather than taking a whole page
  • advice column = a column in the newspaper where advice is given to people who write in for it
  • obituaries = a section in the newspaper about people who have recently died
  • horoscope = a section in the newspaper about star signs and zodiac signs which foretell the future
  • weather report = a section in the newspaper for weather forecasts
  • business section = a section in the newspaper with business news
  • international / world news section = a section in the newspaper which focuses on news from abroad
  • caption = an explanation or title matching a picture or cartoon
  • letter to the editor = a section in the newspaper for people to express their views to the editor of the newspaper
  • special feature = a special story
  • editorial = a news article containing the editor’s opinions
  • comic strip = a cartoon series in the newspaper
ielts recent actual test 2020

Your Habits

Follow a story, peruse my favourite column; track the news;  catch a news bulletin; subscribe to a publication

Types of News

local news; international news; world events; current affairs; business news; gossip; sensational news; the scandal received wide coverage in the press; libel; breaking news; make the headlines; objective reporting; cover a story; news coverage; analysis; the story went viral

The People Involved

paparazzi; unscrupulous reporters; a news anchor; a newscaster; a broadcaster; a columnist; a reporter; a journalist; a photojournalist

Phrases and idioms about the news

the gutter press: newspapers which focus on sensational journalism, often about the lives of famous people

yellow journalism: a type of journalism that presents little or no legitimate well-researched news and instead uses eye-catching headlines to sell more newspapers. Techniques may include exaggerations of news events, scandal-mongering or sensationalism.

information overload: exposure to too much information or data

invasion of privacy: unjustifiable intrusion into the personal life of another without consent.

a slow news day:  a day with little news to report

Other Useful Vocabulary for Newspapers

  • circulation = the number of copies a newspaper distributes on an average day (some newspapers have a wider circulation than others)
  • layout = the way articles are designed on a page (this can include the position of pictures, the number of columns and the size of headlines)
  • attention-grabbing = a news story which draws public attention
  • eye-catching = a picture or layout which catches a person’s eye
  • in-depth = with many details
  • sensational news = news which causes public excitement or interest
  • black and white = without colour
  • paparazzi = a freelance photographer who follows celebrities
  • front page = the first page of a newspaper
  • fact-checkers = a person (people) who checks if the newspaper facts and information in an article are correct
  • hot off the press = news that has just been printed and is very recent
  • readership = the collective readers of a newspaper (some newspapers have a large readership)
  • issue (n) = 1. an important topic for a debate   2. a copy of a newspaper



IELTS Speaking Part 1 Questions:

  • Do you often read the news?
  • Which magazines and newspapers do you read [Why?]
  • What kinds of articles are you most interested in? [Why?]
  • Have you ever read a newspaper or magazine in a foreign language? [When / Why?]

IELTS Speaking Part 2 Cue Card:

Describe a newspaper or a magazine that you like to read. You should say:
– What the publication is
– What kind of information it contains
– How often you read it
And explain why you read it

IELTS Speaking Part 3 Follow-up Questions

  • Why is it important to read the news?
  • Do you prefer to receive yours by reading it, or by listening to the news on the radio, TV or the internet?
  • Do you think newspapers and magazines might one day disappear?
  • What qualifications should a person have to work in a news corporation?
  • Would you say the media presents us with more good news than bad news, or vice-versa?
  • Should the government control what is in our newspapers?
  • Which news medium, TV, the internet, or mobile devices, do you think is best for broadcasting the news?
  • What kind of person can become a good journalist?
  • Is it easier to share news today than it was in the past?
  • In general, how do people share or communicate (good) news with others?
  • Which do you think is better for communicating (good) news, telling someone face-to-face or telling them on the telephone?  
  • How has modern technology affected the way people share information with others?


Practice with Newspaper Vocabulary

Fill in the following sentences with the word(s) from the above lists. Words can be adapted to make the sentences grammatically correct.

  1.  I can’t understand why people buy ……………….. because they don’t contain real news, just gossip.
  2. Famous people deserve the right to privacy and the government should do more to control and limit ……………
  3. There are so many mistakes in that article with information that they’ve got wrong. They really should employ a …………….
  4. I’m not keen on the …………… of some newspapers. It seems to me as though they are trying to fill the pages with pictures and big words to get people’s attention but I just think it’s messy.
  5.  Did you read about that amazing hero in WWII that recently died? There was a wonderful article about her life in the …………….. today.
  6. The reason that many people only glance through the papers to read the ……………….. is that they are so busy and don’t have time to read the details in the articles themselves.
  7. Although we live in a global world, where international news is important to follow, it is still vital that people read their ……………… newspapers in order to learn about the community in which they live.
  8. I quite like reading …………… because it’s interesting to read the views of the editor on particular issues.


  1. tabloids
  2. paparazzi (it is also possible to have the answer of “the gutter press”)
  3. fact-checker
  4. layout
  5. obituaries
  6. headlines
  7. regional / local
  8. editorials

Error Correction

Find the mistakes in the following sentences. There is one mistake in each sentence.

  1. The paparazzi, who work freelance, are notorious for hound celebrities.
  2. Gutter press focuses on mainly sensational news.
  3. Tabloid are not popular newspapers among the educated people in my country.
  4. Fact checkers do important work and are responsible to make sure that people are quote correctly in articles.
  5. The recent article about marine environmental problems is hot of the press.
  6. For my research, I had to go through a lot of back issues of various newspapers to find the articles relate to my degree thesis.
  7. I’m pleased that newspapers are starting to include some colour photographs and pictures because it makes the articles more interesting and eye-catch.
  8. One of my favourite parts of a newspaper is the comic strip because I find the message in the cartoons so relevent to the major issues of the day.


  1. hound = hounding (chasing)
  2. Gutter press = The gutter press
  3. Tabloid = Tabloids
  4. quote = quoted
  5. hot of the press = hot off the press
  6. relate = relating
  7. eye-catch = eye-catching
  8. relevent = relevant

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Written By

Sowmya is a content writer and is passionate about her job. She currently works on editing and writing engaging content for IELTS Material. She also has experience in the Software Testing Industry and has worked with Wipro for five and a half years.

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