Guidance for bylines in University Communications

July 2017

University Communications believes in creating transparency in its news and feature writing – for accountability purposes and also to simply give credit where credit is due. This benefits readers both on and off campus in understanding who wrote and/or contributed to the content and who should be contacted with any follow-up, whether it is for praise or critique.

Here are guidelines used for our Appalachian Today and Appalachian Magazine websites:

All stories will have a byline with a person’s name. This is true whether the writer works as a University Communications staff member, a communication liaison or any other member of the Appalachian Community. We no longer use “From staff reports” or “By University Communications.”

Bylines go to the person(s) who wrote the content. Generally, the byline goes to the writer who is assigned the story and completes the assignment well. If heavy editing and rewriting is necessary, the writing team managers might give the byline to the writer and the editor or simply replace the byline with the person who reworked the text into publishable form. This decision is made in the spirit of accurate representation. No more than two names should be in the byline.

Contributors can be acknowledged at the end of the story. Sometimes, liaisons or others provide some text or offer heavy assistance in crafting the text. We want to recognize that involvement – again, for the sake of transparency and proper credit. This language should appear at the bottom of the story in italics. Example: Haley Childers contributed to this story.

It’s about the subject(s), not the credit. In the end, our work is about promoting Appalachian State University and its people and programs. While University Communications takes pride in its work and full responsibility for it, we don’t get hung up on our personal exposure as writers or editors. We support an atmosphere of collegiality, teamwork and love of Appalachian.

Questions? Contact:

Jessica Stump
Copy Editor
University Communications

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