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The value of the sources: 7 rules for the writer

pennamontata sources

Sources: duty of the writer; right of the reader. The writer can follow these 7 rules because the reader must be treated with respect. Always.

Let's start from this assumption, so simple and at the same time fundamental: anyone who writes has the duty to verify the sources from which he draws. You must first check them and then mention them.

* by Valentina Falcinelli

I started by saying that this assumption is simple, yet today the ease with which it is possible to publish content has broken down any type of barrier. Unfortunately, that of professional ethics included. A content editor or blogger are not journalists, true, but they should still follow rules, rules dictated by what we could trivially define as common sense or respect, if we want. These rules, for journalists, were put on paper in the Consolidated Text of a Journalist's Duties. With regard to sources, for example, in article 9 on the duties concerning the rectification and respect of the sources of the aforementioned text, we read: Why shouldn't a blogger or content editor stick to rules similar to these? My rhetorical question; I don't know the answer, my friends. I can only hypothesize it: laziness, lack of professionalism, ethics, respect for the trade and for the reader. Now I want to talk to you about what, in my opinion, should be the correct way to work even for a blogger or a content editor.

Not all sources are (real) sources

Today, those involved in drafting corporate content often believe that Google always offers authoritative sources. First mistake. Not all sources, in fact, are true sources. Let's take Wikipedia, for example: can we consider this site an authoritative source? No, I wouldn't say. Often the notes of the Wikipedia entries are more authoritative than the entry itself. First of all, therefore, sensitivity and intelligence should be developed in order to understand which sources we believe to be such. It should be understood that the authoritativeness and reputation of a site or placement of a page at the top of Google Serp are two completely different things.

Which sources are really authoritative?

Emphasizing the importance of not taking as an authoritative source the first site proposed by Google for a given query, we come to the second point: which sources can we consider authoritative? I'll give you some examples. I want to inform you about issues concerning the Italian language? Well, then for me the most authoritative source is the Accademia della Crusca website. Because it is quickly said: Crusca is one of the major linguistic institutions, not only of Italy, but of the world. What if I needed to write pieces for the tourism sector? The source that I would consider authoritative would be the Lonely Planet guides, or my direct experience or, again, information found by contacting, I know, embassies, municipalities … And, again, if I had to write blog posts for a client who deals with health, I would consider authoritative sites of associations (eg Italian Chiropractic Association), university research, medical-scientific texts published by publishing houses …

The sources must be mentioned

It is not enough to write According to some research…. If we consider some research a source for us, then we must specify what research we are talking about. If we extrapolate a sentence from a book, we must insert it in quotation marks and mention the source from which we have derived it. In short, the juice is this: after having researched and verified the sources, we must never forget to mention them. Such as? We can also use notes on the web: just enter a number (1), as I just did, and return it to the end of the page; we can use simple parentheses and write within them, so for example (Source: Digitalic, n 62).

The 7 rules for the writer

Anyone who reads texts, on the web or not, has the right to know that they are true; whoever writes, has the right to verify the correctness of the chosen sources. The reader should be treated with respect. Always. Who writes can follow these 7 rules. A writer who respects the sources:

adjustment, even in the absence of a specific request, promptly and appropriately, the information that after their disclosure has proved to be inaccurate or incorrect;

not aware of accusations that could damage a person's reputation and dignity without guaranteeing opportunities for replication. In the event that it proves impossible, it informs the public;

verification, before publishing the news of a guarantee notice that the interested party is aware of. If this is not possible, it will inform the public;

check the information obtained to ascertain their susceptibility;

respect professional secrecy and giving notice of this circumstance in the event that the sources ask to remain confidential; in all other cases he always mentions them and this obligation persists even when using texts, images, sound-of agencies, other information means or social networks materials;

does not accept conditions for publication or the suppression of information;

do not omit facts, statements or essential details for the complete reconstruction of an event.

pennamontata sources

* Valentina Falcinelli: creative director of pennamontata, an agency specialized in copywriting and content marketing, Valentina takes care of writing in all the sauces. Training included. Work with small and large brands to help them find their personality with words. Di s says: I can write without looking at the keyboard, but I can't look at the keyboard without writing.