Director of community engagement and social media at the Journal Register Company, Steve Buttry, has published an incredibly useful handout on how and when to attribute in articles, which he refers to as “a matter both of journalism ethics and of strong writing”:
Readers are entitled to know where we got our information. If we are citing official statistics gathered by a government agency, that tells the readers something. If we are citing the contentions of an interest group or a political partisan, that tells the readers something else. If we don’t attribute our information, readers rightly wonder how we know that.
Buttry’s advice includes when a journalist should and shouldn’t attribute, giving specific examples, as well as the importance of using copy and paste carefully, how to link out to sources, how to attribute anonymous sources and how best to reference press releases.
Tipster: Rachel McAthy
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Tags: attribution, ethics, journalism tips, sources, Standards, steve buttry, tip
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