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Best way to handle it when a source gives you bad intel

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Jim Luther Davis, Oct 3, 2014.

  1. So as a young reporter, wanted to get the advice of some of the more seasoned vets in the field on this subject.

    Recently, there has been a recent firestorm around Globe Pats beat reporter Shalise Manza Young and how she reported earlier this week that WR Aaron Dobson was benched due to "mouthing off" to Pats OC according to her source.

    However, Bill Belichick denied that later and Manza Young posted a tweet today saying:

    "I spoke to Aaron Dobson...he told me he didn't have an incident with McDaniels. we shook hands. sources can be wrong sometimes."


    Personally, I think she handled the situation best she could. But looking at her Twitter Feed, doesn't stop the haters from coming out of the woodwork.

    What's the best way to handle these kind of situations? Especially with a matter that could paint a negative light around a player on the team you're covering?
  2. PaperDoll

    PaperDoll Well-Known Member

    Aside from naming all your sources? (Some media organizations require that, except in some very limited cases which require sign-off from higher-ups.)
  3. MisterCreosote

    MisterCreosote Well-Known Member

    Stop using anonymous sources for gossipy bullshit. That'd be step one.

    Also, after the Belichick denial, since she says, "I spoke to Aaron Dobson," am I left to assume she DIDN'T speak to him about the source's allegation prior to going public? If so, she deserves whatever criticism she gets.
  4. SnarkShark

    SnarkShark Well-Known Member

    Hard to give you an answer without knowing exactly what the source said and how it went down, and most crucially, how important the source is.

    But I'm all for fucking over sources who give bad info, especially if it's suspected that they did it for a nefarious reason.
  5. MisterCreosote

    MisterCreosote Well-Known Member

    What is so important about this piece of "news" that it merits protecting the source's identity?

    A second-year wide receiver with one catch for 13 yards gets "benched," even though he's only suited up for one game so far?
  6. RickStain

    RickStain Well-Known Member

    Go back to the good ol' days of real journalistic ethics and don't print things you can't verify with multiple sources?
  7. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Well-Known Member

    This isn't real hard to figure out. Don't use anonymous sources.
  8. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    There is a place for anonymous sources. I think others on here had this right. Anonymous sources should be used way more judiciously than they are.
  9. MisterCreosote

    MisterCreosote Well-Known Member

    By the way, she cited a "league source,." Any reason why it wouldn't be a "team source?" And, if it wasn't someone involved with the team, who was it and why should we care?
  10. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Well-Known Member

    There is? In 20+ years I've never used one. If you're good, you don't need them. ;)
  11. Isn't that all the Chris Broussards and Adam Schefters of the world use these days though?
  12. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Well-Known Member

    Ever since Al Gore invented this contraption doomahodgey thing called the Inter-Nets, it's pretty much been an accepted form of journalism for bloggers, message boarders and recruiting service guys.

    All that mattered was being first. To hell with being right.
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