I am the editor of a small news blog. I am trying to train my writers to link to their sources.

One writer sends me an article without linked sources, so I ask for the sources. They email back responding that the way they obtained their sources was that they simply saw some information on television. The information in their article was detailed with a lot of data. They would have needed to be paying very close attention to some in-depth coverage if this were true.

I emailed back and told them to find an online version of the source since news outlets often put their material online.

I'm not sure if that was the best advice or if there is something better I could advise them to do.

If you know the best way to give proper attribution to sources in this situation please let me know. I do not want to do it wrong or teach it the wrong way.


  • 1
    I don't see anything wrong with what you did, and it's true that most channels now upload at least part of their materials online.
    – Liquid
    Oct 19, 2018 at 7:30

2 Answers 2


There are websites out there that can be set to format citations for every single form of media. Citing just the televised report, you'll need as much of the following information: The Reporter's name (the one in the field, not the anchor unless the anchor is telling the story quickly), the date of original air, the time to the most recent top or bottom of the hour (6:00 is top, 6:30 is the bottom. Local/Network News tends to run in half hour blocks, while cable news runs in hour long blocks. In this case, cite the top of the hour first.), the broadcasting channel, the broadcasting network.

If you are using a web link, provide the link and date you originally access the link. Make sure it's the same story (one of the problems in making sure the story is still accurate is that some publishers put the corrections at the very bottom of the page... because most readers don't read a story that far down.).


While that's fine, I wouldn't require online citations. Hszmv's description is how I would go. Don't forget the channel. A number and city if it is local, the company if it is not local.

ABC7 News, KGO Bay Area and San Francisco
BBC World News America
CCN International

Include the date and time (and time zone if relevant), the name of the segment/reporter (if relevant), title of the piece (if any), etc.

If online, yes, include the link and any title/reporter info, plus the date it was posted. Time doesn't matter there (unless a breaking story).


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