What Is a Newspaper Byline?


Quick Answer

A newspaper byline is the line, usually below the heading, that gives the author's name. The byline gives credit to the writer of a newspaper story or article.

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Full Answer

The American byline developed during the Civil War. At the time, most journalists did not publish under their names. In fact, most stories did not have a byline at all, which gave newspapers the freedom to publish information without fear of repercussions. However, Civil War General Joseph Hooker on the Union side eventually ordered that all journalists had to publish stories with their names attached, thus holding them more accountable for what they wrote and hopefully, stop them from publishing information that was critical to the war effort.

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