Citation in reporting is more accurately called attribution. It means the citing of sources by a journalist in his story. It is a key component of journalism ethics and gives credibility to a story by backing it up with documentation and references. 

It becomes a legal issue when information is plagarized, that is, used as if the reporter is the source of the research and information, even though he simply copies from someone else.

A reporter should attribute when it adds credibility to the story, when he uses someone else's words, when he is using information put together by other journalists, when he is unsure if the information is entirely factual and when what is reported is a matter of opinion. 

Return to Journalism Encyclopedia.