AITI 2006 Attribution

Some thoughts on attribution:

The information is a matter of public record
The city budget in fiscal year 2003-04 was $42 million.

It is generally known
Election day is the Tuesday following the second Monday in November.

It is available from several sources
And you have checked with several of them

You are a witness
Do not name yourself as a source

It is easily verifiable and you have verified it
• When using a direct quote
• When using an indirect quote
• When paraphrasing an opinion or assumption
• When you aren't sure whether attribution is needed

Off the record: You may not use the information, but you may seek it out from another source.

Not for attribution: You may use the information but may not attribute it.

Background: You may use it with a general title for a source (for example: "a White House aide said. ")

Deep background: You may use the information, but you may not indicate any source.

Nothing can be used from an anonymous source unless it can be confirmed by a second, independent anonymous source.
In essence, one anonymous source should be treated as a tip!

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