In journalistic writing, if I need to attach some necessary background information within a quote, what's the proper way to do it? I want to indicate that the information is something that I've produced, and not the person that I'm quoting. Here's an illustration:

Israel has strong companies that plan to go public in 2015, and that’s one of the reasons I came to Israel. Furthermore, the biomed and hi-tech sectors are still strong. We feel that the Fintech (financial-technological) sector is on the move. We recently witnessed a merger if Fintech companies (Fundtech, an Israeli company, was sold to D+H ), so we feel optimistic in this regard.

The author of the text is a journalist (his name is Nir Zalik), and the quoted individual is Bruce Aust. The added information (Fundtech, an Israeli company, was sold to D+H) is background information added by the journalist. How would I indicate that? In Hebrew a journalist often adds his initials to a background note within a text.


  • The only real answer is "it depends on the house style of the publication you're writing for". But one common way of doing it is to use square brackets: Joe Bloggs said 'Jane [Doe, the party's leader] has my full support.'
    – Morton
    Jun 16 '15 at 9:48
  • Hi Morton, but how would I specifically attribute the "Doe, the party's leader" to an author? Could you write "Jane [Doe, the party's leader, J.D.]", for example?
    – Ilanysong
    Jun 16 '15 at 10:19
  • In my personal experience (and I do write pieces for newspapers and magazines) there isn't any way of doing that - at least, not one which would be clearly understood. The words in the square brackets are assumed to come from whoever wrote the whole article. If they're from someone else, then you'd need to quote them separately to make it clear who was saying what. The only exception would be if the editor has inserted the words, in which case you can use "Ed." - so [Doe, the party's leader - Ed.] - but that's used more for humorous effect than for real these days.
    – Morton
    Jun 16 '15 at 10:34