4 guidelines for aggregating news content

Media consumers are bombarded with information from an ever-growing range of sources. Many journalists and news sites act as curators, collecting and sorting information for their audience. You add credibility--and avoid the appearance of plagiarism--when you are transparent about the sources of your information.

Here are some guidelines for avoiding plagiarism when you are aggregating content.

  • Publish just the content (from the headline or article) to identify the story. Do not post the entire story.
  • Prominently identify each source.
  • Link to the original source. Not only are you attributing the source of the information, you're providing context and detail for your readers.
  • Be clear about what you're providing. Offer context or commentary for information you include.

Taken from Avoiding Plagiarism and Fabrication, a self-directed course by Geanne Belton, Ruth S. Hochberger and Jane Kirtley at Poynter NewsU. This list is based on a 2010 white paper for the Berkman Center for Institute and Society, “The Rise of the News Aggregator: Legal Implications and Best Practices,” by Kimberly Isbell, with additional information from Sue Burzynski Bullard, at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

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    Vicki Krueger

    Vicki Krueger has worked with The Poynter Institute for more than 20 years in roles from editor to director of interactive learning and her current position as marketing communications manager.

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