Articles about "Attribution"


Washington Post Executive Editor Marty Baron complained to the New York Times about not crediting his paper. Times Public Editor Sullivan e-mailed with the Times’ associate managing editor for standards, Philip B. Corbett, about the issue. He replied:

One complication is that there’s no clear or simple rule on when and how to credit. When information reported by another news organization is not widely known and we haven’t been able to match it ourselves, we normally attribute it or link to the source. But in cases where we have done our own reporting, it’s less clear-cut. We still want to credit another news organization if they have done major enterprise or have unearthed a big story — something no one would have known about without that initial reporting. But for an ongoing story or beat — where lots of reporters are chasing the same story line and may break different elements at different times — it’s not always practical or useful to tell readers, well, this element was first reported by News Organization A, and this other part was broken by Organization B, and we were the first to report these other pieces, etc.

Margaret Sullivan, The New York Times

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Attribution in a digital age is getting murkier. (Depositphotos)

Getting digital attribution right, Part 2

This is the second of a two-part series. Part 1 is here.

Traditional journalism standards have typically governed attribution, and the general rule when using the work of others verbatim is to put quotation marks around the republished content and clearly indicate the source.

But this isn’t the only method of attribution used in the digital world — publishers are trying different tactics, and audience expectations may be changing as well. During a recent Poynter and MediaShift symposium on journalism ethics in the digital age, Tom Rosenstiel, former Project for Excellence in Journalism director and current executive director of the American Press Institute, said that the norms and ethics of journalism “have come from the streets,” adding that “audience has been the determiner of what works.”

Aggregation and curation, two techniques that often overlap, have become popular forms of publishing — and places where problems with attribution often arise. Read more

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Computer keyboard keys used CTRL, C and V for copy and paste. (Depositphotos)

Getting digital attribution right, Part 1

Control+C, Control+V.

These two simple keystrokes — copy, paste — have created a culture that makes it easy for online publishers to share others’ content and use it in their own work. Much of this sharing and reuse is done appropriately, but sometimes the way a work is credited may not meet traditional standards for attribution.

Most people agree on a definition of plagiarism: It’s a verbatim republication of work that was originally published elsewhere, without clear attribution to the original publication. But ask how to apply that definition to practices and things get murky. Some say any use of more than seven words should be attributed. Others say attribution becomes necessary when more than two sentences are used. Applying that definition to the online publishing world introduces even more gray areas.

The Poynter Institute has written about attribution-related topics frequently in recent years. Those efforts have led to lively discussions, in part because there are new ways to give credit when using another’s work besides the traditional and widely accepted quotation marks. Read more

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Journalism orgs launch free ebook for preventing, detecting and handling plagiarism and fabrication

By the end of last summer, I was worn out.

It seemed like every week brought a new, awful incident of plagiarism or fabrication at news organizations large and small. My job was to write about all of them, to try and get more information about what happened and why, and to make sense of what was taking place.

A lot of the time I was rebuffed by senior newsroom staffers when asking for more information or basic disclosure.

Why I was expending so much effort when it seemed no one wanted to talk about what was going on? I was frustrated, and I channeled that into a post called “Journalism’s Summer of Sin marked by plagiarism, fabrication, obfuscation”, which listed every recent known incident and called out newsroom leaders for being unwilling to engage and show accountability.

“When the worst happens at a news organization, wagons are circled, stonewalls erected,” I said. Read more

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Editor of Daily Mail’s website defends attribution practices in face of growing criticism

This week’s issue of The New Yorker has a profile of the Daily Mail and the place it holds in Britain. The timing is perfect: last week the paper won 10 prizes at the U.K. Press Awards and the Mail was named Newspaper of the Year.

Writer Lauren Collins focuses most of her New Yorker piece on the paper, but also talks with Martin Clarke, editor of Mail Online, the Web version of the Mail. Recently, it was recognized as the newspaper site with the biggest online reach worldwide, according to one major analytics firm.

In addition to attracting lots of traffic, the Mail’s website has recently become a lightning rod for criticism. Earlier this month, I wrote about two Newsweek/Daily Beast writers (1,2) who said Mail Online stole their work and either offered no credit or the “tiniest fig leaf of attribution.”

These accusations have become increasingly frequent. Read more

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