Back to a pet peeve: Anonymous sources

I’m no fan of anonymous-source reporting. Getting a story through unnamed sources should be an exception (and a damn rare) one, not the rule.

Glenn Greenwald is unhappy with the recent spate of belt-way source hiding.

There are two serious and obvious dangers generated by reports which rely upon anonymous government sources — (1) it allows the government to disseminate false and misleading claims without any accountability, and more importantly, (2) it elevates rank government propaganda to the level of “investigative reporting” by implicitly bestowing it with the appearance of journalistic approval. From Watergate forward, readers instinctively view information “leaked” by anonymous sources as more credible than formal government statements …

I’m not being partisan here, or even entering into the current political debate, because both sides do it: So, my question is, why can’t these supposedly highly trained, highly educated, elite, big media reporters see that they’re just being used as propaganda tools? Since when has getting the story become more important than honest reporting?

(via Romenesko)

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