Kelly Sans Culotte


Journalism 101

Using Quotes
Adding spice to your story.

Related Section
Journalism 101

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What Is News?
How to Write News
Using Quotes
Writing Leads

What is a Quote?

A quote is the transcription of what someone has said. It's usually short (a sentence or a paragraph).

Quotes give authenticity and flavor to hard news.

They humanize the reporting of news.

They give a voice to the people involved, creating for the reader flesh and blood meaning in place of abstraction.

Quotes should always be accurate.

There are two kinds of quotes: direct and indirect
The direct quote is an exact transcription, word for word, of what a person said. You always put them within quotation marks.

The indirect quote is faithful to the meaning of what a person said, though the wording is not exactly the same. You don't use quotation marks.

An example of a direct quote:
The gay director Pablo Rodríguez said that he believed that "this work would be beneficial for the whole community."

Here, you have the transcription between quotes exactly as Rodríguez said it.

An example of an indirect quote:
The gay director Pablo Rodríguez said the the work would be positive for this part of the population.

This is faithful to what he said, but doesn't use his exact words.

Remember!
Quotes are like the salt and pepper of hard news. Don't abuse them. Use them only when it adds something: color, humanity, authenticity, or verisimilitude.



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