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Quote of the Day - For most of history, Anonymous was a woman. - Virginia Wolff

Newsweek: Anonymously Reporting The News?

Newsweek has had a bit of an accountability problem lately. Regardless of the weekly magazine's demands of others for accountability, it still attempts to rely on anonymous sources.

Let's take a look at it from a legal perspective. I wouldn't stand a snowball's chance in hell in winning a case if I relied on an anonymous source for testimony. Can any lawyer rely on anonymous sources? Sure.


But even they're restricted. Sometimes search warrants will issue, sometimes not. Judges evaluate the prosecutors' reliance on anonymous sources before the deciding to grant the prosecutors' request for a search warrant. The key, however, is the system of checks and balances, a key missing from the fourth estate.

There are no such restrictions, apparently. The issue with the lack of any system of checks and balances in the media is troublesome. Our basic foundation for government rests solidly on those two precepts.

So why won't journalists create checks and balances? Would we get better news if reporters' stories that relied on anonymous sources had to be vetted by an independent evaluator?


Posted by J. Craig Williams on Tuesday, May 17, 2005

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