September 8, 2011

Business Insider | Jay Rosen
Henry Blodget describes Business Insider’s policy on anonymous sources: “We will grant anonymity to any source at any time for any reason.” He explains that the vast majority of people in the business world — other than the ones who write press releases — aren’t authorized to talk to the media. “If the goal is to get the real story — the drama and personalities and considerations and developments that led up to the press release — you have to talk to the people involved. And those people need to be confident that you won’t blow their cover.” Blodget acknowledges that “some sources spin and lie and exaggerate and embellish and plant information when they’re talking on background, knowing they won’t have to publicly defend their statements,” but “on-the-record sources do this, too.” The post is a response to Jay Rosen’s tweet about a Business Insider post on the Michael Arrington-TechCrunch saga: “I hate the way @BusinessInsider uses anonymity. Anytime, anywhere, any reason. As if it’s just as good as any other source.” || Related: Study shows that use of anonymous sources at newspapers peaked in the 1970s.

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Steve Myers was the managing editor of Poynter.org until August 2012, when he became the deputy managing editor and senior staff writer for The Lens,…
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