Sources/Copyright Digital Journalism Seminar

(Karl Hodge)

Karl started the seminar by explaining that we would be learning about sources for interview and other important information to do with journalism, which affects all areas of journalism and tips we should engage with to further our knowledge in the field. I found this seminar extremely interesting as I found I learnt things that I wasn’t fully aware of before, such as: Copyright laws, Interview techniques, Ways of Interviewing, etc. Overall, I found this seminar very informative and instructing with the journey of my understanding of journalism.


Secondary Sources:

A secondary source is an article, document or report that is used as source material for another article.

Primary Sources

A primary source is material that you independantly research and/or gather yourself

Secondary sources may be:

  • quotes from newspapers/articles
  • infromation from blogs/online sources
  • materials from social media
  • quotes from books, films, tv or other narrative sources

How are they used?

  • as the basis for a story
  • as a springboard for an opinion piece
  • as the source of quotes- like interview material | common way of using secondary sources.


Respecting Copyright

When we use secondary sources in professional journalism- online or offline we must respect it.

Copyright is a form of legal protection that is automatically assigned to content creators at the moment of creation.

Content may be:

  • photographs
  • videos
  • music
  • artwork
  • articles
  • poster design

Just about any work.

Copyright gives the creator a number of exclusive rights. Only the creator can:

  • claim the authorship of the work
  • distribute the work
  • reproduce the work
  • create new works based on the original


People assume that if content is online that is it “public domain” and that it isn’t copyrighted- that is a myth!


The term “fair dealing” refers to circumstances where some limited use of copyright material is allowed:

  • research and private study
  • criticism/review
  • news reporting (except original photography and video
  • incidental inclusion

IN ALL these cases-

  • sources must be attributed
  • the amount of material quoted is necessary for the purpose

These are important in both journalistic and academic areas in order to cover yourself from plagiarism and copyright.

Rules for secondary source use ONLINE:

  • respect copyright and the rule of “fair dealing”
  • attribute sources correctly- to the author
  • link back to the original source where possible

These rules apply whether you’re using quotes or media from another piece.



They may be:

  • quotes from an interview you conducted yourself
  • information from statistics, reports or white paper
  • material gathered via social media
  • media that you created yourself- including photographs.



The main way you gather primary source material is by interviewing people- talking to them on/off reccord

on the record- means you can use their quotes in your work

off the record- means you can’t use quotes, but you can use information to guide your own research


  • do your research in advance, find our their subject or specialism.
  • basic questions- 5 W’s and a H. Who, what, where, when, why and How?
  • avoid asking questions you can verify elsewhere- eg. What date does the exhibition start?
  • get the human story, the persons opinions and feelings.
  • if asked, you can give the interview questions in advance, but remember– you’ll get prepared answers…
  • don’t go on for too long. 20/30 mins should be fine for any interview


  • test your equipment, ensure it’s working
  • check that you’re recording properly during the interview
  • if positioning a mic, its more important that you pick up the answers rather than your questions
  • if interiew in person, choose a quiet location
  • when using Skype, shut down any applications that use bandwith



  • Q and A
  • Block quotes- taken from interview and appears on its own in (text)
  • inline- in the body of the paragraph (with text)


  • 800 words long
  • use your own images- no more than 3
  • choose your own idea
  • mind map idea | pitch | approve with Karl



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