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Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Johnny Dangerously, Mar 12, 2009.

  1. Johnny Dangerously

    Johnny Dangerously Well-Known Member

    Inspired by sidebar on another thread ...

    If you value the anonymity most user names here provide, for all of the reasons that have been stated often here, is it a contradiction if you also think newspapers should rarely or never use unnamed sources? I realize they are not perfect parallels, but are you (or your editors) expecting something from potential whistleblowers and other sources that you wouldn't do here? I know polluting a river isn't the same as the kinds of things we discuss about our bosses and CEOs (and mundane B.S.), but is there a double standard within you about anonymity and its value in encouraging truthfulness?

    I'm not accusing or looking to start something other than a discussion. I have some thoughts, having outed myself on here more than once. In fact, family members wonder if I've hurt my six-month job search by posting openly about what went down at my last paper. So, this is a topic I've thought about a lot lately.
  2. Simon_Cowbell

    Simon_Cowbell Active Member

    I know why I need to maintain anonymity.

    Using an anonymous source, though? There are so many variables that we, as reporters and editors are not privy to. Usage is fraught with peril. Different can of worms, I think.
  3. Johnny Dangerously

    Johnny Dangerously Well-Known Member

    Good points, and no surprise. I just thought this would be a place for discussion about anonymity and allow the Miami Herald thread to get back on topic out of respect to those folks.
  4. Simon_Cowbell

    Simon_Cowbell Active Member

    And, that's why you are one of the good'ns
  5. Shaggy

    Shaggy Guest

    Newspapers should be held to higher standards than message boards.
  6. mustangj17

    mustangj17 Active Member

    Agreed. And most of us being journalists and in the industry we have much more credibility then the message board crazies.
  7. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    Good call...
  8. Andy _ Kent

    Andy _ Kent Member

    Maybe I'm a little naive and will find out the hard way that posting under my real name could have some bad consequences, but since I am a full-time freelance writer and for all intents and purposes my own boss, I guess I feel more comfortable on here.

    In the interest of full disclosure, when I originally started reading and occasionally posting on here, I did so anonymously because I was employed at a daily paper, so I can understand the reasons why some of you choose to continue posting in that fashion. I'm not going to begrudge anyone for making that decision.

    As for me, I guess I feel if I am going to make a strong enough comment about any of the topics on here, I want to be able to do so out in the open so I can't be accused of hiding behind a "handle,", but again, that's me, and so far I haven't paid for anything I have said because I still like to believe that honesty is a valued currency.
  9. RickStain

    RickStain Well-Known Member

    I post anonymously for two reasons (no, my name is not really Rick Stain. But that would be cool)

    1) Everyone else seemed to be doing it.
    2) I work for a small daily but enjoy discussing the larger issues of the industry, and I don't want my modest post reflecting on my opinions.
  10. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    I just went through the first several pages of members by number of posts and not counting Webby, the person with the most posts who is posting under his real name is Michael Gee, who I'm guessing wishes he had gone the anonymous route when he first registered.
  11. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    I deleted my posts on anonymity from The Herald thread.
  12. Johnny Dangerously

    Johnny Dangerously Well-Known Member

    I realize that many threads spin off into subplots that are an organic part of the discussion, but it seemed like there was enough awkwardness there that it wouldn't hurt to steer things here.
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