on a newspaper
A newspaper is a scheduled publication containing news of current events, informative articles, diverse features and advertising. It usually is printed on relatively inexpensive, low-grade paper such as newsprint. By 2007, there were 6580 daily newspapers in the world selling 395 million copies a...
Magazines, periodicals, glossies or serials are publications, generally published on a regular schedule, containing a variety of articles. They are generally financed by advertising, by a purchase price, by pre-paid magazine subscriptions, or all three...
article gives the name, and often the position, of the writer of the article. Bylines are traditionally placed between the headline
The headline is the text at the top of a newspaper article, indicating the nature of the article below it.It is sometimes termed a news hed, a deliberate misspelling that dates from production flow during hot type days, to notify the composing room that a written note from an editor concerned a...
and the text of the article, although some magazines (notably Reader's Digest
Reader's Digest is a general interest family magazine, published ten times annually. Formerly based in Chappaqua, New York, its headquarters is now in New York City. It was founded in 1922, by DeWitt Wallace and Lila Bell Wallace...
) place bylines at the bottom of the page, to leave more room for graphical elements around the headline.
A typical newspaper byline might read
A byline can also include a brief article summary, introducing the writer by name.
Penning a concise description of a long piece has never been as easy as often appears, as Staff Writer John Smith now explains:
Magazine bylines, and bylines on opinion pieces, often include biographical information on their subjects. A typical biographical byline on a piece of creative nonfiction
Creative nonfiction is a genre of writing that uses literary styles and techniques to create factually accurate narratives. Creative nonfiction contrasts with other nonfiction, such as technical writing or journalism, which is also rooted in accurate fact, but is not primarily written in service...
John Smith is working on a book, My Time in Ibiza, based on this article. He is returning to the region this summer to gather material for a follow-up essay.
Most modern newspapers and magazines attribute their articles to individual editors, or to wire service
Wire Service is an American drama series that aired on ABC as part of its 1956-57 season lineup.-Synopsis:Wire Service focuses on three reporters for the fictional Trans-Globe wire service, which was similar to real-life news wire services such as the Associated Press and United Press International...
s. An exception is the British weekly The Economist
The Economist is an English-language weekly news and international affairs publication owned by The Economist Newspaper Ltd. and edited in offices in the City of Westminster, London, England. Continuous publication began under founder James Wilson in September 1843...
, which publishes nearly all material anonymously
Anonymity is derived from the Greek word ἀνωνυμία, anonymia, meaning "without a name" or "namelessness". In colloquial use, anonymity typically refers to the state of an individual's personal identity, or personally identifiable information, being publicly unknown.There are many reasons why a...
Articles that originate from press agency journalists are sometimes incorrectly attributed to newspaper staff. Dominic Ponsford of the Press Gazette gives the following examples from the NAPA news agency awards.
- Ben Ellery's "'Spec' News Story of the Year", an interview with the boyfriend of murdered Jo Yeates, appeared in the Daily Mail
The Daily Mail is a British daily middle-market tabloid newspaper owned by the Daily Mail and General Trust. First published in 1896 by Lord Northcliffe, it is the United Kingdom's second biggest-selling daily newspaper after The Sun. Its sister paper The Mail on Sunday was launched in 1982...
and Daily Mirror; the former newspaper carried four bylines, none of which credited Ellery.
- Andrew Buckwell's "Exclusive of the Year" piece on Boris Johnson
Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson is a British journalist and Conservative Party politician, who has been the elected Mayor of London since 2008...
appeared in the Daily Mail without a byline crediting him.
These practices are in violation of the 1998 Copyright Act which states that the originator of a story must receive acknowledgement. Ponsford also highlights cases in which newspapers byline fictional authors for pieces that attack other newspapers: for example the Daily Express
The Daily Express switched from broadsheet to tabloid in 1977 and was bought by the construction company Trafalgar House in the same year. Its publishing company, Beaverbrook Newspapers, was renamed Express Newspapers...
's use of "Brendon Abbott".