Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Hero of the Week

posted by The Vidiot @ 1:13 PM Permalink

Bill Dupuy for sending the following memo to his editors and writers at his public radio station in Santa Fe, New Mexico
Excerpt: Effectively immediately and until further notice, it is the policy of KSFR's news department to ignore and not repeat any wire service or nationally published story about Iran, China, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia or any other foreign power that quotes an "unnamed" U.S. official.

What we have suspected and talked about at length before is now becoming clear. "High administration officials speaking on the condition of anonymity," "Usually reliable Washington sources," and others of the like were behind the publicity that added credibility to the need to go to war against Afghanistan and Iraq.

Our news department covers local news. But, like local newspapers and others, we occasionally are taken in by national stories that we have no way to verify.

This is a small news department with a small reach. We cannot research these stories ourselves. But we can take steps not to compromise our integrity. We should not dutifully parrot whatever comes out of Washington, on the wire or by whatever means, no matter how intriguing and urgent it sounds, when the source is unnamed.

I am also calling on our colleagues in other local news departments -- broadcast and print -- to take the same professional approach.
Frankly, I've had enough of the anonymous sources thing. On PBS last night, they started their 3-part series on the war and media called News War. They put the anonymous source thing into perspective. Basically, the difference between anonymous sources today and anonymous sources of yesterday is that yesterday's sources were reluctant and hesitant. Today's sources are eager and are basically doing nothing more than spinning. Then, the reporter had to ferret out a source who would only give over the info if they remained anonymous. Today, the reporters are fed info by people who insist on being anonymous.
I'm so sick of it. Now, when I read something that has a nameless source, I don't believe it, no matter what the caveat the reporter uses. Too bad. Anonymous sources could be a good thing, but it's been twisted and perverted, just like everything else in our political system.


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