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Tip #11: Linking to sources in news articles

By David Silverberg
Posted Jul 9, 2009 in Internet
In the newsroom, reporters often have to provide sources to their readers on where they got their information. They need to back up their stories with evidence. The same credo pertains to news articles on, where our readership expects stats, quotes and news to be backed up with sources.
Linking to news sources is important for every Digital Journalist. You should link to your source for those U.S. demographic stats; you should link to the source of that President Obama quote; you should link to the breaking news article on that earthquake in China.
Please link to a specific news article, and not the general news site of, say, BBC. Some Digital Journalists forget to link to the actual article, we've noticed.'s system allows for an easy way to link to other sources. In Edit mode, find a relevant keyword to highlight with your cursor. Often, you want to highlight a word introducing the source of the news, such as "President Obama recently told Associated Press". In that case, you can highlight the words "Associated Press".
Don't link to an entire paragraph. A few words is fine. Remember, the linking feature underlines the word, so you can understand why underlining an entire paragraph would look ugly.
When the word or words are highlighted, click the button LINK, found at the top of the body box. It's between Italics and Quote. A pop-up will appear, asking you to paste in the Web address of your source. Copy the URL of your source, and then paste it in the field. Look it over a couple times to make sure it was pasted correctly.
Click OK and you're done! Your embedded link has been added to the article.
Link to sources for stats and quotes and news links, but you can also link to other articles too. If you cite a published article on, then link to that post. If you mention a YouTube video, link to it or, better yet, embed it. And if you are mentioning a topic that you are familiar with but may require some clarification (such as "cloud computing"), we recommend you link to a Wikipedia entry or something similar.
If you are writing about commercial products like the new iPhone or Nike shoes, it's a good idea to link to those company websites so readers can get more info if they want.
It's always smart to proofread your article before posting, testing each link to make sure it goes to the appropriate website.
If you have any questions about linking, let us know in the comments section.