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Foley e-mail query

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Columbo, Oct 4, 2006.

  1. Columbo

    Columbo Active Member

    I am reading so much fire and brimstone about how this Foley stuff wasn't in the papers last year.

    It always troubles me, e-mail.

    As a reporter, how can you prove who has sent one?
  2. Please find another word besides "query."
    Thank you.
  3. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    Actually, I've had this "style" question from the start of the Foley story.

    ABC and others are using "e-mail" and "instant messages" interchangably. Well, not quite. But they keep referring to what were really instant messages as "e-mails."

    They're different, aren't they? Or do we consider them to be the same kind of electronic, written communication.

    Also, I've found it curious that these pages thought to save these IM exchanges. Was it just for fun, a souvenir, so to speak, or was using it against Foley down the road on their minds?

    Meanwhile, Columbo, I don't know how easy it is to fake e-mails. And nobody has denied their veracity.
  4. Columbo

    Columbo Active Member

    It would seem near impossible to confirm an e-mail's/IM true originator.

    I don't see how you can publish such stuff without knowing.
  5. fatking

    fatking New Member

    While I'm sure these pages deliberately saved the IMs, I checked a box somewhere in some panel so that all of my IMs would be saved automatically. And I have no idea why I started doing that.
  6. somewriter

    somewriter Member

    I think that if you asked a congressman whether he wrote sexually suggestive emails to teenage boys and, instead of denying it, he resigned ... that probably counts as confirmation.
  7. spaceman

    spaceman Active Member

    heh heh... he said "query."
  8. jgmacg

    jgmacg Guest

    If you were trying to break a story based on an e-mail trail, you'd need an IT investigator. Bigger papers now often have one. And there are private consultants/detectives you can hire.

    If the congressman had put up a fight, for example, about the authenticity of the IMs or the e-mails, a good IT detective would have been able to track down the IP address of the computer from which they were sent. The cops often do this with internet predators, and other folks of low character. If the source computer is in his office or home, that fact can be pretty damning.

    It's not necessarily incontrovertible ("Someone else must have used my computer to send those 131 salacious notes over the course of eighteen months, officer."), nor is it always possible - but it can be used to strengthen a case, or a story, considerably.
  9. Columbo

    Columbo Active Member

    That's what I was looking for.

    Not the preceding shit post.

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