AskDefine | Define dateline

Dictionary Definition



1 an imaginary line on the surface of the earth following (approximately) the 180th meridian [syn: date line, International Date Line]
2 a line at the beginning of a news article giving the date and place of origin of the news dispatch v : mark with a date and place; "dateline a newspaper article" [syn: datemark, date-mark]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. A line at the beginning of a document (such as a newspaper article) stating the date and place of origin.

Extensive Definition

For other uses, see dateline (disambiguation).
A dateline is a short piece of text included in news articles that describes where and when the story was written or filed, though the date is often omitted. In the case of articles reprinted from wire services, the distributing organization is also included (though the originating one is not). Datelines are traditionally placed on the first line of the text of the article, before the first sentence.
The location appears first, usually starting with the city in which the reporter has written or dispatched the report. City names are usually printed in uppercase, though this can vary from one publication to another. The political division and/or nation the city is in may follow, but they may be dropped if the city name is widely recognizable due to its size or political importance (a national capital, for instance). The date of the report comes after, followed by an em dash surrounded by spaces, and then the article.
A typical newspaper dateline might read
BEIRUT, Lebanon, June 2 — The outlook was uncertain today as ...
The same story if pulled from the Associated Press (AP) wire might appear as
BEIRUT (AP) — The outlook was uncertain today as ...
Datelines can take on some unusual forms. When reporters collaborate on a story, two different locations might be listed. In other cases, the exact location may be unknown or intentionally imprecise, such as when covering military operations while on a ship at sea or following an invasion force.

Other media

The concept of a dateline has been adapted to television. Reporters on news programs might have their location mentioned in an introduction from the news anchor ("Here now from Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, is reporter Nigel Obediah Culpepper"). A field reporter might also end their stories with the dateline, especially if the segment is recorded and not live. (For example, the last bit of a report could sound like "... prompting an investigation into the matter. Richard Hansen, NBC News, London.")
The term has also been used as the name for a few current affairs TV shows:
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