Journalist use attribution in their work to provide their reader a source for where the information in their stories come from. Sources are usually people (first and last name with their job title included-when relevant), websites and books. Information from these sources can be paraphrased or quoted directly.

From BBC World News I chose the article: Russian officials create Santa letter template

In first sentence of the second paragraph,- “Roskomnadzor, which also regulates telecoms, says it’s seen a growth in the number of websites offering letters to Grandfather Frost which collect children’s personal details.” This form of attribution is called is called an indirect quote  in which what was said in the story is not verbatim, it is a slightly edited or paraphrased quote version of what the speaker said. Indirect quotes are not enclosed in quotation marks and represents what the reporter tells us someone said. Another example of indirect quotation is seen in the same paragraph, second sentence: “In a post on the VKontake social network it says it’s investigating 76 such sites.” 

In the third paragraph the reporter begins with deep background attribution which is define as anything that is said in an interview but cannot be directly quoted or attributed because the reporter uses his/her own words. “The suggested letter is rather formal, but opens in traditional fashion with blank spaces for children to fill in their first name, age and good behaviour.”

As the story  progresses we see examples of direct quotation where the reporter publishes a speaker’s exact words, a verbatim reporter enclosed in quotation marks. Sometimes is is edited slightly for better syntax or correct grammar. We see several examples of this throughout the story, for example- “This year I have been studying very well… I was obedient to my parents,” “They say that you give presents to children for the New Year. Please give me and my parents [blank]. I would be very grateful for this present. Thank you!”

Another form of attribution is background attribution where all statements are directly quotable but cannot be attributed to any one specific person. An example of this is found in paragraph four- “Prices are going up, mass redundancies, and they are writing letters to Grandfather Frost.”  In the article the reporter attributes this quotation to “Another person,” without providing a name or job title.

Attribution can be very helpful to readers and to reporters as information may be wrong and needs to be corrected. It is also important to have reliable news as readers share information with those around them.


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