Tilted Forum Project Discussion Community  

Go Back   Tilted Forum Project Discussion Community > Chatter > General Discussion


 
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 06-04-2008, 03:51 AM   #1 (permalink)
has a plan
 
Hain's Avatar
 
Location: middle of Whywouldanyonebethere
Anonymous Sources, should they be the basis of a journalist's article?

Quote:
View: Journalist defends article slamming Bill Clinton // Source: Edition (http://edition.cnn.com)
Todd Purdum, the national editor of Vanity Fair, stood by his article's most controversial assertions in an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer, including charges that aides to the former president believe his 2004 heart surgery fundamentally altered the 61-year-old's state of mind.... "A tawdry, anonymous quote-filled attack piece, published in this month's Vanity Fair magazine regarding former President Bill Clinton repeats many past attacks on him, ignores much prior positive coverage, includes numerous errors, and ultimately breaks no new ground," he added.   click to show 
Quote:
View: Bill Clinton sorry for 'scumbag' remarks, spokesman says // Source: Edition (http://edition.cnn.com)
Purdum "didn't use a single name, he didn't cite a single source in all those things he said," said the former president, who added that the article was "part of the national media's attempt to nail Hillary for [Barack] Obama."

He said readers should be wary of news accounts that rely on unnamed sources.

"Anytime you read a story that slimes a public figure with anonymous quotes, it ought to make the bells go off in your head,"   click to show 
I know at times journalists have to conceal their sources in order to even get information. But information, in my opinion, should lead to investigation which will or will not lead to conclusive facts. The basis of information should rely on credible sources, and I believe that credibility requires either disclosing identity, thus one's name's credibility/honor is at stake, or verifiable facts.

What do you think about articles with nothing but unverifiable sources? I never liked anonymous sources. This is one of those reasons. I haven't yet read the article in question (getting to it). I don't think journalists should be allowed to write such articles without proof, and the publisher should be write a retraction in any instance.
__________________

Last edited by Hain; 06-04-2008 at 03:53 AM.. Reason: fixed title
Hain is offline  
Old 06-04-2008, 04:17 AM   #2 (permalink)
Darth Papa
 
ratbastid's Avatar
 
Location: Yonder
Without anonymous sources, the Watergate break-in would have gone un-noticed. Just to give one example.

Now, for sure it can be abused. But being able to cite a source and protect their identity is a cornerstone of journalism.
ratbastid is offline  
Old 06-04-2008, 05:23 AM   #3 (permalink)
Tilted Cat Head
 
Cynthetiq's Avatar
 
Administrator
Location: Manhattan, NY
Sure. Anonymous sources should be allowed to be a basis for an article. I get asked all the time for my opinion in many neighborhood affairs and I speak on the condition of anonymity.

One reason is because of my "stature" in the neighborhood. People would accuse me of impropriety and sticking my nose into other people's business. Just because I have a position within the community does not mean I'm no longer allowed to have an opinion.

Second is because I sometimes don't want my opinion saddled with my name. Just like using our screennames here, we have a level of anonymity from our real world lives.

Note what I used here to describe what I've mentioned, my OPINION.

But if we're talking about something like Watergate or whistleblowers, it's important for the anonymous' opinion to lead to facts that can be corroborated into something. Otherwise, suspicion is in my view equal to an opinion.
__________________
I don't care if you are black, white, purple, green, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, hippie, cop, bum, admin, user, English, Irish, French, Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Buddhist, Muslim, indian, cowboy, tall, short, fat, skinny, emo, punk, mod, rocker, straight, gay, lesbian, jock, nerd, geek, Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Independent, driver, pedestrian, or bicyclist, either you're an asshole or you're not.
Cynthetiq is offline  
Old 06-04-2008, 04:29 PM   #4 (permalink)
Junkie
 
Anonymous sources are fine, but as with sources that aren't anonymous, some fact should be done. The problem is, with the instant access media that we have today, taking the time to check sources may be the difference between being the one to break the news and just repeating what's already been reported.
__________________
"Fuck these chains
No goddamn slave
I will be different"
~ Machine Head
spectre is offline  
Old 06-04-2008, 07:29 PM   #5 (permalink)
All important elusive independent swing voter...
 
jorgelito's Avatar
 
Location: People's Republic of KKKalifornia
No. Absolutely not, unless there are extreme extenuating circumstances. People need to be held accountable and responsible for themselves. Libel/slander seems to easy otherwise. Plus then there's the matter of corroboration and fact checking, so no.
jorgelito is offline  
Old 06-04-2008, 08:01 PM   #6 (permalink)
Junkie
 
Seaver's Avatar
 
Location: Fort Worth, TX
Anonymous sources are as trustworthy as the voices inside the homeless man's head, only he knows if they're there or not. Unfortunately the news have brainwashed themselves (and us) that journalistic integrity exists on some plane of existence. We should, therefore, simply trust this journalist, whom no one knows, that this other guy, whom no one knows, knows someone who told him the secret truth about this guy who people actually DO know. It's amazing how sketchy that sounds suddenly huh?

Look, you can say what you want about the good these can do. They can direct the investigator to uncover dangerous things, this is true. However, there is a reason you MUST stand in public in a trial if you want your testimony to be heard. It is a foundation of our government and society that accusations can be defended against those who toss them out. It is impossible to defend oneself against a ghost whom no one is certain even ever existed outside of the reporter's mind.
__________________
"Smite the rocks with the rod of knowledge, and fountains of unstinted wealth will gush forth." - Ashbel Smith as he laid the first cornerstone of the University of Texas
Seaver is offline  
Old 06-05-2008, 11:11 AM   #7 (permalink)
has a plan
 
Hain's Avatar
 
Location: middle of Whywouldanyonebethere
@ Seaver: Bingo.
__________________
Hain is offline  
Old 06-05-2008, 11:32 AM   #8 (permalink)
 
roachboy's Avatar
 
Super Moderator
Location: essex ma
on the other hand---two curiously intertwined points.

1. on the topic directly: it is self-evident that there are situations in which it is important that a source be anonymous and for the anonymity of a source to be protected and respected---whistleblower law exists to provide formal protection for such sources (who might have information concerning unethical practices on the part of the company they work for, but whose livelihood might be endangered were it to become known that x was the person to made that information public)--but it is pretty obvious that this law only protects in some ways, not in all. this type of situation is generally understood as the rationale for anonymous sourcing.

none of this is new or even rocket science, so i am a bit confused about how it is that the specific type of situation that enframes source anonymity nine times of ten got bracketed in this discussion, and it got shifted onto a non-sequitor level of not using one's name in general when presenting information.

but that leads to the other point:
what exactly is attested to when one appends one's name to a statement?

it is pretty obvious that, say, statements generated by writers or talking heads from within conservativeland--to take an example--are not necessarily accurate, but rather are wrapped tightly around ideological propositions and are often meaningless if you subtract them---yet these statements float about attributed. you could say the same of all kinds of infotainment sources, but it's just plain fun to think about the sorry state of conservative-specific forms of infotainment as a general example, dont you think?

o sure we have all heard the rationale--that tedious projection they call "the liberal press" the referent for which is always at best secondary, which is pure signified, the sole function of which is to justify explicitly politicised infotainment aimed at a conservative audience by staging the action as reaction---it is pretty bloody obvious that this is a piece of fiction repeated by many conservative pundits in their own voice, with attribution---but nothing about that makes the proposition less arbitrary.

so what gives with this?

2. maybe in the pathetic world of american commercial logic, the proper name is a brand, and what is attributed to the brand a commodity and we all know that commodities can be trusted. what could possibly be a problem with a commodity?

this from earlier in the week:

Quote:
MLB Loses Appeal in Fantasy Baseball Lawsuit
Topics:Supreme Court (U.S.) | Sports
By Reuters | 02 Jun 2008 | 04:37 PM ET


Major League Baseball and the players association struck out on Monday when the U.S.
James A. Finley / AP
Supreme Court rejected their appeal of a ruling that sided with a company that uses player statistics for fantasy baseball.

The high court declined to hear the appeal of a lower-court ruling that a St. Louis-based company called C.B.C. Distribution and Marketing has a free-speech right to use the names and performance statistics of famous athletes.

Fantasy sports in the United States has become a $1.5 billion annual industry involving millions of participants, according to court documents in the case. Fantasy leagues involve participants who manage imaginary teams based on the statistics of real players.

C.B.C. sued after it was unable to obtain a license from a subsidiary of Major League Baseball to use players' names in its fantasy baseball games. The players association then intervened in the case, joining Major League Baseball and further asserting a breach-of-contract claim.

A federal judge and then a U.S. appeals court in St. Louis ruled for the company. The high court rejected the appeal by the players and the league without comment.

After the Supreme Court refused to get involved in the dispute, a spokesman for the players union said, "We're considering our options." Officials from Major League Baseball declined to comment.
http://www.cnbc.com/id/24936540
though it really doesn't matter because this is a reuters wire release that bites an ap wire release.

sp far as major league baseball is concerned--and the player's association, it's double--the proper names and stats of players are elements of brand identities---and fantasy baseball sites that generate income based on the use of these elements in imaginary alternative baseball universes are violating trademark law.

so maybe that's the logic, as it operates today: the proper name appended to a statement is like appending skippy to a jar of peanut butter--the product might be shit, but at least it's consistent shit.

is that what's at stake here?
__________________
a gramophone its corrugated trumpet silver handle
spinning dog. such faithfulness it hear

it make you sick.

-kamau brathwaite
roachboy is offline  
Old 06-05-2008, 03:59 PM   #9 (permalink)
Junkie
 
Seaver's Avatar
 
Location: Fort Worth, TX
Quote:
what exactly is attested to when one appends one's name to a statement?
Enough that it is a requirement in our, and almost any rule of law.

The Whistleblower law was a great point. However they still are required to provide the evidence if they are to be taken as their word. At minimum, the whistleblower simply states the problems are occuring and then an investigation takes place.

The problem lays with the news agencies, liberal or not. They have no reason to investigate, it takes time and money. They also know if they take too much time, the anonymous guy might tell another paper. This is the major problem, that the desire is not to discover truth, but to sell ads.
__________________
"Smite the rocks with the rod of knowledge, and fountains of unstinted wealth will gush forth." - Ashbel Smith as he laid the first cornerstone of the University of Texas
Seaver is offline  
Old 06-05-2008, 06:47 PM   #10 (permalink)
Confused Adult
 
Shauk's Avatar
 
Location: Spokane, WA
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cynthetiq
we have a level of anonymity from our real world lives.

I wish, one thing about screen-names... if you dont change them and they're unique enough, it's as good as a real name.

/threadjack
Shauk is offline  
Old 06-06-2008, 08:31 AM   #11 (permalink)
MSD
The sky calls to us ...
 
MSD's Avatar
 
Super Moderator
Location: CT
Anonymous sources are as reputable as the journalists and media outlets who use them. I am more likely to trust that the New York Times or Christian Science Monitor verified a source and is protecting that source than if the New York Post does it. I agree that a name gives value to information as a commodity, and if the source is not that name, the institution that uses the source becomes that name.
MSD is offline  
Old 06-06-2008, 09:22 AM   #12 (permalink)
 
roachboy's Avatar
 
Super Moderator
Location: essex ma
the idea behind attribution of information to a name probably comes from contract theory/law--there is an attestation in it. i think that is more a quirk, a rhetorical tic, than a guarantee of anything in terms of accuracy, really--but at the same time, it also enables traceability, cross-referencing, etc., so it's functional that the convention be in place, generally speaking. but it is not the case that the absence of a proper name entails that all the above is simply inverted, right? you can still cross-reference, you can still situate information, you can still make judgments about plausiblity without having the name floating about to make all appear hunky dory, it seems to me.

personally, i'd rather have references than author names floating atop articles that do not provide them.
__________________
a gramophone its corrugated trumpet silver handle
spinning dog. such faithfulness it hear

it make you sick.

-kamau brathwaite
roachboy is offline  
Old 06-07-2008, 02:59 AM   #13 (permalink)
Too Awesome for Aardvarks
 
stevie667's Avatar
 
Location: Angloland
Quote:
Originally Posted by MSD
Anonymous sources are as reputable as the journalists and media outlets who use them. I am more likely to trust that the New York Times or Christian Science Monitor verified a source and is protecting that source than if the New York Post does it. I agree that a name gives value to information as a commodity, and if the source is not that name, the institution that uses the source becomes that name.
Seconded.
__________________
Office hours have changed. Please call during office hours for more information.
stevie667 is offline  
Old 06-08-2008, 02:41 PM   #14 (permalink)
Tilted Cat Head
 
Cynthetiq's Avatar
 
Administrator
Location: Manhattan, NY
Quote:
View: Culling the Anonymous Sources
Source: NYTimes
posted with the TFP thread generator

Culling the Anonymous Sources
June 8, 2008
The Public Editor
Culling the Anonymous Sources
By CLARK HOYT
A STUDY that I requested by students at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism suggests that The Times has made progress in its effort to set higher standards for using anonymous sources, the lifeblood and the bane of journalism.

Anonymous sources have provided some of the most important information in The Times, like the disclosure of the Bush administration’s extralegal bugging of international communications. But they have embarrassed the newspaper too, as with unsubstantiated suggestions that John McCain had an extramarital affair with a lobbyist.

Vital as they can be, their use is sometimes silly: a CBS producer talking about Katie Couric could not be quoted by name because management did not want anyone criticizing her. The producer said people who work with her like her.

Readers hate anonymous sources because they cannot judge the sources’ credibility for themselves.

“How does a reader or a viewer know if the ‘high-ranking official’ ... simply has an ax to grind and may even be the janitor or imaginary?” wrote James R. Poling of Laguna Niguel, Calif., who said he discounts stories with unnamed sources because he does not trust news organizations and thinks they are biased.

Because the painful Jayson Blair scandal involved articles containing unnamed sources who apparently did not exist, The Times tightened its standards in 2004. Bill Keller, the executive editor, and Allan Siegal, then the standards editor, wrote a policy declaring, “We resist granting sources anonymity except as a last resort to obtain information that we believe to be newsworthy and reliable.”

The policy requires that at least one editor know the identity of every source. Anonymous sources cannot be used when on-the-record sources are readily available. They must have direct knowledge of the information they are imparting; they cannot use the cloak of anonymity for personal or partisan attack; they cannot be used for trivial comment or to make an unremarkable comment seem more important than it is.

Although the purpose of the policy was not explicitly to reduce the number of anonymous sources, Keller said last week, “If you tell the editing system to be more challenging of anonymous sources, it ought to reduce the number.”

Not long after I arrived as public editor last spring, I asked a class at Columbia to study The Times’s use of anonymous sources to see how well the newspaper was living up to the 2004 policy.

A group of 17 students under the direction of Professor Richard C. Wald, a former president of NBC News, read every word of every article in six issues of the newspaper published before the policy and six from last fall. Here is what they found:

The number of articles relying on anonymous sources fell by roughly half after the policy was introduced.

Most anonymous sources — nearly 80 percent — were still not adequately described to readers. How did they know their information? Why did they need anonymity? But that was still better than before the policy, when nearly 90 percent were inadequately described.

The use of anonymous sources to air opinion, not fact, increased after 2004, even though the policy would seem to discourage that.

Anonymous sources were much less likely to appear on Page 1 under the new policy, perhaps because front-page articles got more scrutiny from editors.

The use of anonymous sources declined in virtually every part of the newspaper, except the Business section, where they inexplicably shot up. Stories from Washington, where anonymity is bred into the political and government culture, accounted for roughly a third of all anonymous sources in the newspaper before the policy and declined to roughly a quarter of them afterward.

The findings suggest that The Times is policing the unnecessary use of anonymous sources better than the students or I expected — but that it still has a long way to go to help readers understand the reliability of an unnamed source and why that source cannot be identified.

“I’ve worked in newsrooms,” said one of the students, Jim Edwards, who hopes to be an investigative business journalist. “I was expecting that there would not be a very dramatic effect, and it surprised me there was.”

The study highlighted something else. It is easy to say, in the abstract, that anonymous sources are bad. But when the students started discussing them, the judgments were very difficult. Cassandra Lizaire said the students had a lot of debates over whether a particular anonymous source was necessary and even what constituted an anonymous source.

The students decided, for example, to count quotations from the Defense Ministry of Sri Lanka or a Ford spokeswoman as anonymous sources, because an individual was not named. Keller did not agree with that, and I agree with him that these clearly are official statements that an institution is standing behind.

The study highlighted something that bothers readers and that Times editors were already trying to fix: the common but uninformative explanation that a source could not be named “because he was not authorized to discuss the matter.” Sanjay Arwade, a reader from Amherst, Mass., wrote recently to ask if such explanations “really mean anything more than that the source did not want to be quoted by name. They seem like empty justifications to me.”

In an in-house critique to the staff in April, Phil Corbett, the deputy news editor in charge of the style manual, said that relying “on such standard formulas works directly against our goals in accounting for anonymous sourcing.” He said that if the source is afraid of getting in trouble with the boss, that is what the explanation should say. But the more important thing to tell readers, Corbett said, is how reliable the source is. The Columbia students found that The Times failed to do that quite often.

Wald, Edwards and Lizaire presented the findings a week ago Friday to Keller, Jill Abramson, the managing editor for news, and Craig Whitney, the standards editor. The full study will soon be posted on the Web site of the Columbia Journalism Review. Abramson will answer readers’ questions about anonymous sources on the Web site of The Times this week.

Keller sent a memo Wednesday telling the newsroom that the Columbia study presented “an excellent opportunity to remind ourselves that unnamed sources are not to be used lightly.”

But he said it was “high-minded foolishness” to suggest that The Times or any newspaper forswear them altogether. “The ability to offer protection to a source is an essential of our craft,” he said. “We cannot bring readers the information they want and need to know without sometimes protecting sources who risk reprisals, firing, legal action or, in some parts of the world, their lives when they confide in us.”

That is why it is so critically important that anonymous sources not be used lazily or out of habit, and why, when they really are necessary, readers need to be told as much as possible about why the sources can’t be identified and how they know what they know.
And Jayson Blair is one of the reasons that anonymous sources should not be used.

Quote:
Because the painful Jayson Blair scandal involved articles containing unnamed sources who apparently did not exist, The Times tightened its standards in 2004. Bill Keller, the executive editor, and Allan Siegal, then the standards editor, wrote a policy declaring, “We resist granting sources anonymity except as a last resort to obtain information that we believe to be newsworthy and reliable.”

The policy requires that at least one editor know the identity of every source. Anonymous sources cannot be used when on-the-record sources are readily available. They must have direct knowledge of the information they are imparting; they cannot use the cloak of anonymity for personal or partisan attack; they cannot be used for trivial comment or to make an unremarkable comment seem more important than it is.
I do hope that NYTimes uses this as their gold standard of vetting out anonymous sources.
__________________
I don't care if you are black, white, purple, green, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, hippie, cop, bum, admin, user, English, Irish, French, Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Buddhist, Muslim, indian, cowboy, tall, short, fat, skinny, emo, punk, mod, rocker, straight, gay, lesbian, jock, nerd, geek, Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Independent, driver, pedestrian, or bicyclist, either you're an asshole or you're not.
Cynthetiq is offline  
Old 06-08-2008, 05:21 PM   #15 (permalink)
Banned
 
They have no read crediblity. I mean, anyone can be an anounymous source.
JohnBua is offline  
Old 06-09-2008, 02:46 AM   #16 (permalink)
MSD
The sky calls to us ...
 
MSD's Avatar
 
Super Moderator
Location: CT
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnBua
They have no read crediblity. I mean, anyone can be an anounymous source.
Anonymous source doesn't mean nobody knows who they are, it means that the journalist and editor have scrutinized the source, determined them to be credible, and decided to protect their identity.
MSD is offline  
Old 06-09-2008, 04:58 AM   #17 (permalink)
Junkie
 
Seaver's Avatar
 
Location: Fort Worth, TX
Quote:
Anonymous source doesn't mean nobody knows who they are, it means that the journalist and editor have scrutinized the source, determined them to be credible, and decided to protect their identity.
Try using that in a court of law. No your honor, you are not allowed to know who saw the murder but he saw it and this man did it.
__________________
"Smite the rocks with the rod of knowledge, and fountains of unstinted wealth will gush forth." - Ashbel Smith as he laid the first cornerstone of the University of Texas
Seaver is offline  
Old 06-09-2008, 05:16 AM   #18 (permalink)
 
dc_dux's Avatar
 
Location: Washington DC
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seaver
Try using that in a court of law. No your honor, you are not allowed to know who saw the murder but he saw it and this man did it.
Actually, most states have "shield laws" that protects a journalist from being compelled to disclose a source.

IMO, we need a federal shield law as well.
__________________
"The perfect is the enemy of the good."
~ Voltaire
dc_dux is offline  
Old 06-09-2008, 09:31 AM   #19 (permalink)
Crazy
 
mcgeedo's Avatar
 
If a journalist can get someone to talk who shouldn't be, then more power to them. But when someone requests anonymity because they aren't authorized to talk, they should be found and prosecuted. Read it carefully... they aren't authorized to friggin' talk!!!!
mcgeedo is offline  
Old 06-09-2008, 12:44 PM   #20 (permalink)
 
dc_dux's Avatar
 
Location: Washington DC
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcgeedo
If a journalist can get someone to talk who shouldn't be, then more power to them. But when someone requests anonymity because they aren't authorized to talk, they should be found and prosecuted. Read it carefully... they aren't authorized to friggin' talk!!!!
People who "aren't authorized to friggin' talk" are not committing a crime that would subject them to prosecution for doing so and requesting anonymity.
__________________
"The perfect is the enemy of the good."
~ Voltaire
dc_dux is offline  
Old 06-09-2008, 01:55 PM   #21 (permalink)
Junkie
 
Seaver's Avatar
 
Location: Fort Worth, TX
Quote:
People who "aren't authorized to friggin' talk" are not committing a crime that would subject them to prosecution for doing so and requesting anonymity.
Last time I checked a lot of classified information was released illegally. Releasing said information would cause the anonymous sources to go to prison. Hiding these informants is contempt of court, and thus a few journalists went to prison. In my opinion, they were fishing for Pulitzer's and deserved to do their time.
__________________
"Smite the rocks with the rod of knowledge, and fountains of unstinted wealth will gush forth." - Ashbel Smith as he laid the first cornerstone of the University of Texas
Seaver is offline  
Old 06-09-2008, 01:59 PM   #22 (permalink)
Banned
 
The Vanity Fair article about Clinton is more stenography than it is journalism:

Quote:
http://www.associatedcontent.com/art...nographer.html
What Type of Job Duties Do Stenographers Have?

If you are considering a career as a stenographer, one of the most important things that you should consider is what type of job duties stenographers have. They transcribe, or type, material which they are dictated. This can include orders, memos, correspondence, reports and various other types of information.
Quote:
http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/f.../clinton200807
The Comeback Id

....I just think those guys are radioactive,” one former aide to Clinton who is still in occasional affectionate touch with him told me recently, referring to Burkle and (to a lesser extent) Bing. “I stay far away from them.”

Another former aide, trusted by Clinton for his good judgment, said, “On the sort of money, women, all that stuff … I’m the bad guy. All this stuff is kept away from me. Whatever they’re doing, they definitely view me as somebody you cannot confide in.”

A longtime Clinton-watcher, who has had ties to the former president since his first campaign for governor of Arkansas, said of Clinton’s sometimes questionable associations, “I don’t know what to make of any of that, if it’s a voyeuristic experience, or if he’s participating in it.”

Yet another long-serving Clinton aide said simply, “If you figure it out, would you let me know?”.....

...There are those friends who worry that Clinton has never been the same since his quadruple-bypass surgery, in 2004, and the unexpected follow-up operation six months later to remove accumulated scar tissue on his lung.

“There’s an anger in him that I find surprising,” one senior aide, who has known and served both Clintons for years, told me this spring. “There seems to be an abiding anger in him, and not just the summer thunderstorms of old. He has been called into question repeatedly by top staff. The fact is, you can only weigh in so often on this stuff. It’s just a huge force of nature.”...

....“When he first started transitioning, it was hard,” one former longtime aide told me. “But then he said to me, ‘I’ve always been a guy who could bloom where I was planted.’ I’ve been impressed by how truly happy he’s been as an ex-president. He’s much more focused than I would ever think he would be.”...
Even on the TFP politics thread, this poll of members shows there is no expectation that journalists should seek and print the things that the powerful will not voluntarily say "on the record"....aka their "secrets", since they do not want what they are saying, actually attributed to them:

http://www.tfproject.org/tfp/showthr...crets+powerful

....so, since there is no demand for journalists to be other than obedient stenographers who take dictation and pass it on, they get away with it, as do the "unidentified sources" who freely use the stenographers to slur and manipulate without any accountability.....the stenographers only report what is dictated to them, on condition that they will keep the source secret. Who do the stenographers take dictation for....the powerful.....

Last edited by host; 06-09-2008 at 02:04 PM..
host is offline  
Old 06-09-2008, 02:17 PM   #23 (permalink)
 
dc_dux's Avatar
 
Location: Washington DC
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seaver
Last time I checked a lot of classified information was released illegally. Releasing said information would cause the anonymous sources to go to prison. Hiding these informants is contempt of court, and thus a few journalists went to prison. In my opinion, they were fishing for Pulitzer's and deserved to do their time.
You are correct, only to a limited extent in regard to classified information in some limited instances (the govt has to show that the release of such info would cause material harm to national security and not just an embarrassment to the govt)....in most instances, the Supreme Court case in the 70s, with the NY Times and the pentagon papers, would prevail and the journalists (and the source) would not have broken any laws.

The fact is that most cases of protecting sources dont involve national security, but rather government agency or corporate wrongdoing. In those vast majority of cases, where the person releasing the information is "not authorized to friggin talk", there is no crime on the part of the journalist or the source..as it should be.
__________________
"The perfect is the enemy of the good."
~ Voltaire

Last edited by dc_dux; 06-09-2008 at 02:27 PM..
dc_dux is offline  
Old 06-10-2008, 06:34 PM   #24 (permalink)
Junkie
 
Location: San Antonio, TX
Using anonymous sources is a valuable tool for a journalist, but it should be used sparingly. When a journalist quotes a source, the reader (or viewer) can judge the quote based upon how credible they think the source is (or the organization they represent). When a journalist quotes an anonymous source, he's essentially trading his on own credibility. The reader has to trust that the reporter is quoting a trustworthy source.

The next time you read an article where an anonymous source is quoted, ask yourself *why* the source should be anonymous. If it's an anonymous source in the Bush administration that's quoted bolstering the case for a war against Iran, then maybe you should wonder. Anonymous sources are especially useful in the context of a wider investigation, with corroborating evidence other than the word of the source. Ratbastid mentions Watergate, but remember that there was quite a lot of evidence in the Watergate affair. Deep Throat helped lead Woodward and Bernstein to a lot of important evidence - if it had just been his word with no evidence to back it up, Watergate wouldn't have been anything but gossip.

Glen Greenwald has been trashing the media for a while now about it's use of anonymous sources. For example:

http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwa...4/05/abc_news/
robot_parade is offline  
Old 06-11-2008, 03:31 PM   #25 (permalink)
Addict
 
Anonymous sources are valid as long as the information gained is truthful, factual and verifiable.

Unfortunately in our media today, there is to much subjective, non true bullshit getting passed around as fact that is being prefaced by,..sources say, it is said, recent studies show, it is well known that,...etc

Read any opinion piece or watch any program hosting so-called experts on any subject and you will get your fill.

Not to say what all these people say is bullshit. Just the selling of the opinion.
percy is offline  
 

Tags
anonymous, article, basis, journalist, sources

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 01:45 AM.

Tilted Forum Project

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0 PL2
© 2002-2012 Tilted Forum Project

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73