Quick guide to Bleacher Report Attribution Guidelines
Attribution requirements can vary from different one media outlet to the next. We have our own guidelines at Bleacher Report, and this post aims to spell them out clearly, so we’re all on the same page.
Adding Links and Attribution
As laid out in our Attribution Guidelines, Bleacher Report requires firsthand links to all breaking news reports, rumors, proprietary advanced stats, quotes and paraphrased statements, as well as any allegations/character-damaging references or obscure factual information.
A firsthand source means the outlet doing the original reporting—not a site that is re-reporting that information. (If the firsthand source is not available online, we allow secondhand sources, which we’ll explain more about later.)
Along with the necessary links, writers should provide an accompanying attribution/citation whenever their hyperlinked source references breaking news, rumors, proprietary advanced stats, direct quotes or paraphrases that are exclusive to one source.
An important note on advanced stats before we touch on citations: As we state in this blog post, ”Advanced stats—such as salary cap information, points per possession and pitch percentages—must be credited and linked to the exact location where you found the information online.”
In cases where all advanced stats are sourced to one website, writers can add an italicized attribution line (and link) at the article’s end (or at the end of the first slide). Example: All advanced statistics used in this article are from Pro Football Focus.
How to Cite: To properly cite something, a B/R writer must specifically name where the information comes from. Naming the media outlet is mandatory at minimum, and the writer of the story should be named for anything exclusive in its nature, such as a writer breaking news and/or rumors from a personal source, or someone quoting a one-on-one interview.
You can write out the citation in the way that best suits the syntax of the piece, so make your best call. Some examples:
- Via Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News …
- According to Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News …
- Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News reports …
Be sure to maintain grammatical correctness and avoid awkward structure when incorporating citations into a sentence: It’s not always as easy as adding “according to …” at the beginning or end of the sentence.
In addition, please note that the proper method of citing a source is by incorporating the citation into a sentence—not by adding a parenthetical note.
Correct: In a 2009 interview with ESPN’s Tim Graham, Randy Moss threw his own hat into the ring for consideration among the game’s all-time greats.
Incorrect: In a 2009 interview, Randy Moss threw his own hat into the ring for consideration among the game’s all-time greats (via ESPN’s Tim Graham).
Parenthetical citation should only be used to cite secondhand sources, either as a hat tip (h/t) or when the firsthand source is not available online.
This attribution format gives credit to both the original and secondary source, and still provides readers with a link to support the information.
Please review this Content Standards blog post for further clarification on attribution, and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.
* * *
Paul Kasabian is the Manager of the Quality Control Team. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.