When you turn on the lights in your home, do you quickly thank the electric company or power plant? Or the solar panels or wind turbines that provide the electricity? Of course not. So on the air, why do you credit your source?

Of course, there are times when a responsible journalist should reference the source of news content. It can add credibility to a story, protect the news organization from legal liability or advance a story. And, in some cases, it’s just irresponsible not to reference the source.

But air personalities are another matter. This isn’t journalism. It’s entertainment. And every time air personalities credit your source, credibility for creating original entertainment declines.

It makes no sense (to listeners) to say, “Did you see the article in People about Brad Pitt?”. Or, “I was watching ESPN this weekend, and they say that….”. Or, “According to a story in the Chicago Tribune…”.

This is transferring credit for your entertainment to someone else. Maybe it will sell some copies of People magazine, but it’s not going to advance the goals for your show.

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Why You Shouldn’t Credit Your Source


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