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attributing press releases

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by txsportsscribe, Oct 12, 2006.

  1. txsportsscribe

    txsportsscribe Active Member

    not sports but i figure the same rules would apply in a sports story:

    this week i've been covering a murder story and hunt for the killer that's gotten lots of notice and have had to rely many times on press release and press conference material in addition to other sources and some associated press, which i listed at end of story as "the associated press contributed to this report."

    when i used the info i attributed it as "according to a sheriff's department RELEASE," etc. but several other media outlets, particularly the big metro in the region, attributed the same info as "according to the sheriff's department." makes it sound like they talked to them personally when i know this isn't true.

    how would you handle the attribution?
  2. Clever username

    Clever username Active Member

    Hey, at least you're willing to give attribution. Our cops reporter types up those releases word for word and puts her name on them. Doesn't get quotes or anything.
  3. When I did the cops beat, I would say "according to a statement released by the sheriff's (or police) department" if they wouldn't take questions or make additional on or off the record comments. Kind of my insinuation that they weren't very forthcoming with info. But it's a very small nit to pick. As Clever said, it's still attribution.
  4. Kato

    Kato Well-Known Member

    You serve the readers best by telling them exactly where/how you got your information: written statement, press release, email, phone interview, etc.
  5. publicenemy

    publicenemy Member

    sometimes, in a small story or rewriting some BS PR release, saying "so and so said in a release" should be fine. nothing else need be said.

    but if it's a news story, i think it oughta be followed up with a note that you tried to get additional information, but no one would comment on it or no other information was forthcoming. to me, some readers may look at "the sheriff's department said in a release" and wonder why you didn't try to go beyond the homogenized, sterile info they put out.
  6. expendable

    expendable Well-Known Member

    Damn right.
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