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The byline on a newspaper or magazine article gives the date, as well as the name of the writer of the article. Bylines are traditionally placed between the headline and the text of the article, although some magazines (notably Reader's Digest) place bylines at the bottom of the page, to leave more room for graphical elements around the headline.

The dictionary defines a byline as "a printed line of text accompanying a news story, article, or the like, giving the author's name."[1]

A typical newspaper byline might read:

Tom Joyce
Enterprise Correspondent

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 might read:

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 services. An exception is the British weekly The Economist, which publishes nearly all material anonymously.

False attribution

Articles that originate from press agency journalists are sometimes incorrectly attributed to newspaper staff. Dominic Ponsford of the Press Gazette gives the following examples:

  • Ben Ellery's interview with the boyfriend of murdered Jo Yeates appeared in the Daily Mail and Daily Mirror; the former newspaper carried four bylines, none of which credited Ellery.
  • Andrew Buckwell's exclusive on a paternity issue involving Boris Johnson appeared in the Daily Mail without a byline crediting him.[2]

Such practices are questionable in light of copyright law, which governs how the originator of a story should receive acknowledgement.

Ponsford also highlights cases in which newspapers byline fictional authors for pieces that attack other newspapers: for example the Daily Express's use of "Brendon Abbott".[2]

See also


  1. "the definition of byline". Retrieved 2015-10-31.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 Ponsford, Dominic (2011-04-13). "National press byline bandits: When the first line of a story is a lie, how can we trust the rest?". PressGazette. Wilmington Business Information. Retrieved 2011-04-18.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>