A dateline is a brief piece of text included in news
News is the communication of selected information on current events which is presented by print, broadcast, Internet, or word of mouth to a third party or mass audience.- Etymology :...

 articles that describes where and when the story occurred, or was written or filed, though the date is often omitted. In the case of articles reprinted from wire service
Wire Service
Wire Service is an American drama series that aired on ABC as part of its 1956-57 season lineup.-Synopsis:Wire Service focuses on three reporters for the fictional Trans-Globe wire service, which was similar to real-life news wire services such as the Associated Press and United Press International...

s, 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
A city is a relatively large and permanent settlement. Although there is no agreement on how a city is distinguished from a town within general English language meanings, many cities have a particular administrative, legal, or historical status based on local law.For example, in the U.S...

 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
Political division
A political division is a term of art of geography defining the concept of a geographic region accepted to be in the jurisdiction of a particular government entity...

 and/or nation
A nation may refer to a community of people who share a common language, culture, ethnicity, descent, and/or history. In this definition, a nation has no physical borders. However, it can also refer to people who share a common territory and government irrespective of their ethnic make-up...

 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
Associated Press
The Associated Press is an American news agency. The AP is a cooperative owned by its contributing newspapers, radio and television stations in the United States, which both contribute stories to the AP and use material written by its staff journalists...

 (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
A military is an organization authorized by its greater society to use lethal force, usually including use of weapons, in defending its country by combating actual or perceived threats. The military may have additional functions of use to its greater society, such as advancing a political agenda e.g...

 operations while on a ship
Since the end of the age of sail a ship has been any large buoyant marine vessel. Ships are generally distinguished from boats based on size and cargo or passenger capacity. Ships are used on lakes, seas, and rivers for a variety of activities, such as the transport of people or goods, fishing,...

 at sea or following an invasion force.

Other media

The concept of a dateline has been adapted to television
Television is a telecommunication medium for transmitting and receiving moving images that can be monochrome or colored, with accompanying sound...

. 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 his stories by combining the location from where he filed the report with a "lockout" (the last thing a reporter says in the report, includes his name and station ID) 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
Current affairs (news format)
Current Affairs is a genre of broadcast journalism where the emphasis is on detailed analysis and discussion of news stories that have recently occurred or are ongoing at the time of broadcast....

 TV shows:
  • Dateline NBC
    Dateline NBC
    Dateline NBC, or Dateline, is a U.S. weekly television newsmagazine broadcast by NBC. It previously was NBC's flagship news magazine, but now focuses on true crime stories. It airs Friday at 9 p.m. EST and after football season on Sunday at 7 p.m. EST.-History:Dateline is historically notable for...

    , an American
    United States
    The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

     show on the NBC
    The National Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network and former radio network headquartered in the GE Building in New York City's Rockefeller Center with additional major offices near Los Angeles and in Chicago...

  • Dateline, an Australia
    Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

    n show on the SBS
    Special Broadcasting Service
    The Special Broadcasting Service is a hybrid-funded Australian public broadcasting radio and television network. The stated purpose of SBS is "to provide multilingual and multicultural radio and television services that inform, educate and entertain all Australians and, in doing so, reflect...

  • Dateline London
    Dateline London
    Dateline London is a weekly news discussion programme shown on both BBC News and BBC World News. The programme, presented by Gavin Esler, with Nik Gowing and Lyse Doucet acting as relief presenters, features a roundtable panel of foreign and British journalists who discuss the week's top news...

    , a British
    United Kingdom
    The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

     show on BBC World
    BBC World
    BBC World News is the BBC's international news and current affairs television channel. It has the largest audience of any BBC channel in the world...

  • Dateline, a news magazine made by CJOH-TV
    CJOH-DT is a television station serving Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, and the surrounding region. Owned by Bell Media, it is part of the CTV Television Network....

    CTV television network
    CTV Television Network is a Canadian English language television network and is owned by Bell Media. It is Canada's largest privately-owned network, and has consistently placed as Canada's top-rated network in total viewers and in key demographics since 2002, after several years trailing the rival...

    ) Ottawa during the 1980s and early 1990s
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