We have a young team at WikiTribune and in order to focus their attention on reputable sources and sources as close as possible to stories they may need to refer to, I wrote them a guide to “preferred sources.” This doesn’t mean they’re the only source, it just means staff can usually be pretty certain the report is from where it says it is and that if there is an error that it will be corrected clearly and as quickly as possible.
The feedback on our original posting on this list has been interesting with a number of community members urging us to broaden the range. We do so on a daily basis in our actual work and I will keep this list fresh too. We are also encouraging the team to look for multiple sources and points of view on stories they need to refer to others on.
Here’s the guide staff are currently working with as of October 24, 2017:
Staff should consider sources from this list as reliable and ethical places. Sources in the first section can be hyperlinked directly, the second section requires description.
Any links or materials from other news sources should be clearly attributed and explained, such as “human rights group Amnesty International” or “the U.S. Weather Bureau.”
The list is not exhaustive or final. It is a group of news organisations which are transparent, have large or effective networks and have robust processes or corrections and attribution. We should aim to drill down to the original source which is frequently AP or Reuters. This is not a substitute for our own sourcing and fact-checking. It is an aid to sourcing information on events we may not be able to get to or get information on effectively.
Preferred news sources which do not require specific attribution beyond the hyperlink to the original source:
Sources we’re comfortable linking to for hard news but which require attribution in addition to the hyperlink include:
New York Times
The Financial Times
Wall Street Journal
The New Yorker
The Times (of London)
Agence France Presse
[Links to opinion, commentary or editorials on these sites must be distinctly marked and labeled as that to distinguish from hard news reports.]
Sources we believe staff can use with reasonable certainty of quality processes at the publisher:
Mosaic, Wellcome Trust
Bureau of Investigative Journalism, London
Gazeta Wyborcza , Poland
El Confidencial — Spain
The Intercept [reporting rather than commentary]
Center for Investigative Reporting, San Francisco
Die Zeit, Hamburg
Süddeutsche Zeitung, Munich
The Sydney Morning Herald
South China Morning Post
El País, Spain
- Is it clear they had the information first? If in doubt attribute to the original if you can.
- Are they putting a spin on an original report from elsewhere? If in doubt who is actually on the spot.
- Do they have expertise in the area you are sourcing to them on?
- Can I more effectively source this material directly myself?