I’ve had a few questions recently (and I love questions, so thank you!) about what I wish I’d known before becoming an intern, particularly within the magazine industry.
So here’s a little list for you hardworking, word-loving-go-getters. The quoted statements in yellow were my confused thoughts during the early days of my internship, while the text that follows each statement explains what I learned.
1) “People always be talking ‘bout them heds and deks.”
Heds and deks (aka Heads and Decks) are the same as “headlines” and “subheads.” The hed is obviously the title of the story. The dek is a blurb or tease that makes someone want to continue reading an article. You may also see some publications call the first sentence of a story the “lede” (aka the Lead sentence).
2) “What in the world is a “deskside” and why am I sitting in on one?”
Typically PR companies are happy to pitch stories and products to your magazine, based on the type of publication. For example, at Parents Magazine we have tons of baby toys come through our doors. If an editor asks you to “cover a deskside” for them, they are asking you to listen in on a PR pitch. These sometimes take place right at your desk (ahh… the name…) but can also occur in meeting spaces or conference rooms throughout your office. Grab a pen, takes notes, and ask a question or two – that’s all you’re expected to do.
3) “Why are the prices TK and the editors TK and the dates TK?”
When looking over layouts still in progress, chances are you’ll find a few “TK’s” throughout the page. This is the intentional misspelling of “to come” as in “more information to come.” Most likely, parts of the story are still missing or haven’t happened yet. Many believe that TK looks odd and is easier to spot than the words “to come” which could easily be a phrase within an article.
I’ll try and update this post when I think of more terms or instances of confusion If you have any questions, feel free to email me at: thewhyblogger (at)
And now I’m going back to work…