Twice in the last two weeks, New York Times reporters got burned by anonymous sources, Jack Shafer writes. The Times and The Washington Post “tend to rely more heavily on” anonymous sources “than other print outlets” — “In the past four days, the Post cited unnamed sources in at least 18 pieces and the Times did the same in 17 stories ranging from the Iraq civil war to a smartphone app that predicts what a user will type next.”
• “I have nothing against anonymous sources who help guide reporters toward the verifiable — I just draw the line at routinely printing what they say,” Shafer writes.
10 MEDIA STORIES
- Jason Leopold was a sloppy journalist who realized that FOIA scoops meant “no one sharing it had to worry about whether they could trust the person who had unearthed the documents; they only had to trust the documents themselves.” Jason Fagone writes a fascinating profile of a self-described “FOIA terrorist.” (Matter)
- Former employees at the Salt Lake Tribune have filed suit to suspend changes to the newspaper’s joint operating agreement with the Deseret News.