Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Anonymice Protection Act redux

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We traffic in rumor, innuendo, and character assassination. That is why we prefer to be off the record.

Media Coalition Letter Urges Shield Law Approval
NEW YORK A group of 50 media companies and organizations, as varied as News Corporation and the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies, have penned a letter urging Congress to take up a pair of federal shield law bills and enact them as soon as possible.

Almost every scandal in journalism in my lifetime has involved the abuse of anonymous sources. Either reporters are simply making stuff up, or they are serving as a laundromat for false allegations.

The use of anonymous sources makes journalists power brokers, a role that is very sweet to them, if ruinous to their profession. This is not the free flow of information, this is the protection of the news organization as gate keeper of information.

What would really promote the free flow of information would be to enact tough laws protecting whistle blowers.

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