There should always be attribution for news items, even if those pieces were rewritten and in some cases included personal reflections, writes The Globe and Mail's public editor Sylvia Stead.

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Talking Points is a regular feature that debuted in the Life and Arts section this summer. Labelled as a daily roundup of digital miscellany (which runs in the paper and online), it is meant to include a few interesting tidbits of news “talking points” with some personal observation from the writer.

But one reader wrote to me this week and said that while certain writers always included references as to where the original news item came from, some posts have not included such attribution.

“It’s not that it makes it more difficult to find the originating article(s) – good old Google; I’m just curious as to whether this is within ethical journalism practises?” the reader asked.


I checked the past two weeks of Talking Points and found that while most of the items referred back to an original source such as BBC, The Canadian Press or The New York Times, for example, too many did not reference the original reporting source. Kathryn Hayward, acting Life and Arts editor, said there should always be attribution for news items and there had been some slip-ups over the past few weeks. 

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Tamara Baluja is an award-winning journalist with CBC Vancouver and the 2018 Michener-Deacon fellow for journalism education. She was the associate editor for J-Source from 2013-2014.