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Do we have a policy on citing blogs?


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August 17, 2005

Do we have a policy on citing blogs?

Stephen Baker

A reader comment from John Cass asks if we have a policy on referencing blogs at BusinessWeek. I don't think we do, but common sense should suffice. Blogs are people's voices. So quoting one is like quoting anyone else. It has more credibility if it comes with a name. If the blog attacks a person (or company), then that person must be given a chance to respond. If a blog is from a company official, such as GM's Bob Lutz, it can be quoted as his words (though an interview is preferable). No doubt quoting from blogs will be on the rise, simply because blogging is the way more and more people are talking.

10:00 AM

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? How Should Magazines and Newspapers Cite Blogs? from BloggersBlog.com

In the comments section of the Blogspotting post about blog citation Jeff Jarvis (BuzzMachine) said the quoting magazine or newspaper should give the URL or "at least a Googleable name." Someone could find Jeff Jarvis' blog by searching for his name or... [Read More]

Tracked on August 18, 2005 01:18 AM

I would say that quoting requires giving the URL or at least a Googleable name so a reader who wants more can get it and so a bloggers who wants link love gets that. I find it frustrating to see a blogger quoted without that.

Posted by: Jeff Jarvis at August 17, 2005 10:32 AM

Jeff, I certainly agree about the urls in online journalism. But I hate junking up the page of the magazine with them. They eat up precious lines, and the reader can't click on them. Maybe we should have little agate footnotes at the bottom with resource data. Le Monde Diplomatique has done that for a long time.

Posted by: steve baker at August 17, 2005 05:10 PM

the best way I see it done is in the Aussie MacWorld which has 'hotlinks' at the start or end of the article so that all are kept together nice and neatly yet credit is still given.

Posted by: Darren at August 18, 2005 01:00 AM

I'm a PR person and have recently run into a situation I'd love some thought on. We wanted to quote an industry analyst whom one of our clients works with regularly in an upcoming press release. We found an item on his blog that was perfect and included it in the release along with an appropriate citation. We sent it off to the analyst and he was find with everything. In steps the analsyt firm's VP of marketing. He puts the kibosh on everything and challenges the notion of quoting blogs at all, claiming that they are informal writings that do not, and should not, carry the same weight as a formally published work. How ought one deal with this situation?

My own belief is that a statement on a publicly accessible blog is fair game as long as it is properly cited.

Posted by: GregPC at October 18, 2005 10:16 AM


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