So many professionals were doing
it wrong, or not at all, one media
group decided to give all
journalists a test.
How would you do?
QUESTION 1: IN YOUR REPORTING ON A STORY, YOU COME
ACROSS A STORY FROM ANOTHER NEWSPAPER’S WEBSITE
THAT EXPLAINS PRETTY WELL WHAT HAPPENED. YOU HAVE
ALREADY VERIFIED THESE FACTS, BUT YOU LIKE THIS
EXPLANATION, SO YOU DECIDE TO USE AN EXTENSIVE
PASSAGE FROM THE STORY IN YOUR STORY. WHICH OF THE
FOLLOWING IS THE APPROPRIATE WAYS TO ATTRIBUTE:
No attribution, link or quotation marks needed.
Attribute to “media reports.”
Attribute but do not link.
Attribute but do not quote.
Link but do not attribute.
Attribute to the news outlet or website by name, link to the other
site and use quotation marks or an indented block quote to note
where you are using the other story’s exact words.
QUESTION 2: IN YOUR REPORTING ON A STORY, YOU FIND A
STORY ON A COMPETING NEWS ORGANIZATION’S WEBSITE
THAT HAS A GOOD QUOTE FROM A KEY FIGURE IN THE
STORY WHO HAS DECLINED YOUR INTERVIEW REQUEST. YOU
DECIDE TO USE THE QUOTE IN YOUR STORY. CHOOSE THE
CORRECT WAY TO ATTRIBUTE.
Use the quote, saying the speaker said it to “reporters.”
Attribute to the news organization by name and link to the other
Link to the story but do not mention the competing organization.
Attribute but do not link.
Use the quote, attributing to the speaker but not the news
QUESTION 3: IN YOUR REPORTING FOR A STORY, YOU FIND A
BLOG THAT INCLUDES A CLEAR SEQUENCE OF EVENTS. YOU
HAVE VERIFIED THE FACTS REPORTED IN THE BLOG, AND
THIS IS THE CLEAREST EXPLANATION YOU'VE HEARD. YOU
WANT TO USE THIS SEQUENCE IN YOUR STORY. WHAT IS THE
PROPER WAY TO USE THIS INFORMATION.
It’s OK to use the passage verbatim because it’s just a blog, and
not a recognized news organization.
If you reword slightly, it’s OK to use the passage.
Use the passage verbatim, attributing it to “a blog.”
Attribute to the blog by name and link to the blog, whether you
quote or paraphrase. Use quotation marks if you are using the
blog’s exact words.
Use the passage verbatim, linking but not mentioning the blog.
QUESTION 4: AN ORGANIZATION ON YOUR BEAT SENDS YOU
A PRESS RELEASE. YOU DECIDE THE INFORMATION IN THE
PRESS RELEASE IS NEWSWORTHY. WHICH IS THE CORRECT
WAY TO USE THE PRESS RELEASE:
Use the press release verbatim and publish it under your byline
without attribution to the organization. After all, the organization
only wants publicity, not credit. It sent you the release hoping
you’d publish it.
Quote some or all of the press release verbatim, attributing it to a
press release from the organization and providing a link, if the
release is available online.
Verify the facts independently and write your own story, possibly
using and attributing a few quotes from the release.
QUESTION 5: YOU ARE ASSIGNED TO AGGREGATE CONTENT
FROM OTHER MEDIA ON A TOPIC. WHICH IS THE RIGHT WAY
TO USE CONTENT FROM OTHER MEDIA IN CARRYING OUT
Cut and paste the best quotes and facts that you find into your
story and publish them as your work without attribution, using
photos that you find on the other sites.
Publish an entire story on your site with attribution and a link.
Publish brief excerpts (1-3 paragraphs) from stories that you
aggregate, linking to the stories. Seek permission to use any
photos that you want to include.