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News Sources

Lawrence Soley


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Sources are the individuals that reporters interview to obtain information. It is on this information that news stories are based. Because no standard definition exists for what constitutes a source, documents such as accident reports, corporate press releases, and even other news media reports sometimes serve as sources, providing information that becomes part of, or the basis of, news stories (→  news ). Sources also originate news. They call reporters, send press releases, or provide documents in an attempt to disseminate their views through the mass media. By originating news stories and providing viewpoints to reporters, sources have a major influence on the framing of news stories ( Sigal 1973 ; →  Framing of the News ). Studies have examined the types of sources used by reporters in countries such as New Zealand, Hong Kong, the United States, Great Britain, and Denmark, and the results show similar sourcing patterns in most cases. Individuals interviewed and identified in stories are called on-the-record sources. Reporters are expected to quote and identify these sources accurately. Reporters have been dismissed for falsifying sources' identities and quotations ( Quill 2004 ). Different types of news stories use different sources. With breaking news, which concerns unplanned events, reporters locate individuals who were involved in, or who observed, the event. The term ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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