• 3-minute read
  • 31st August 2017

Chicago Referencing – Citing a Newspaper (Footnote Style)

News flash! You need to cite your sources when writing an academic paper. Perhaps you already knew that, but do you know how to cite a newspaper article using Chicago referencing?

We looked at how to do this using Chicago author-date citations here. Today, though, we’re going to set out how to cite a newspaper using the Chicago footnote and bibliography system.

When to Cite a Newspaper Article

In Chicago referencing, it isn’t always necessary to give full citations for newspaper or magazine articles. Instead, you can simply provide details of the article in the main text of your essay:

In a satirical piece by Mark Steel in the Independent (dated Thursday 6 July 2017)…

Here, we give the reader enough information to identify the article, so there is no need to give full publication details in a footnote or in the bibliography.

However, when writing a university essay, it’s usually better to give a formal citation. This shows that you understand the rules of academic writing and that you’ve engaged fully with the source.

Footnote Citations

If you’re giving a full citation, the format to use for the first footnote is:

n. Author Name(s), ‘Title of Article’, Title of Newspaper, date of publication, page number.

The page number here is the specific page you’re citing or quoting, not the complete page range for the article. If citing an online newspaper article, you do not need to give a page number. However, you should provide a URL and, if your university requires it, a date of access.

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In practice, then, the first footnote for a newspaper article would look something like this:

1. Mark Steel, ‘Why can’t these selfish nurses and firefighters try raising their salaries through crowdfunding?’, The Independent, 6 July, 2017, accessed 24 July 2017, http://www.independent.co.uk/Voices/public-sector-pay-cap-nurses-firemen-crowd-fund-wages-a7827591.html.

Subsequent footnote citations of the same source can then be shortened to just the author’s surname, an abbreviated version of the article title, and a page number (if applicable).


In a Chicago bibliography, the entry for a newspaper article is similar to the first footnote. However, there are a few differences in how source details are presented. The basic format is:

Surname, First Name(s). ‘Title of Article’. Title of Newspaper, date of publication.

For an online article, you would also include a URL and, if required by your university, a date of access. Consequently, the article cited above would appear in a bibliography as:

Steel, Mark. ‘Why can’t these selfish nurses and firefighters try raising their salaries through crowdfunding?’. The Independent, 6 July, 2017. Accessed 24 July 2017. http://www.independent.co.uk/Voices/public-sector-pay-cap-nurses-firemen-crowd-fund-wages-a7827591.html.

Finally, if no author is named for an article, you can use the title in place of the author’s name in both footnote citations and the bibliography.

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