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Sources say once again

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Stitch, Jan 23, 2010.

  1. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    ESPN thinks it's doing some real journalism with another "sources said "story, this time on Percy Harvin traveling with the team to New Orleans.


    The Strib story doesn't use anonymous sources.


    Does anyone say anything on the record to an ESPN writer anymore?
  2. Point of Order

    Point of Order Active Member

    Doesn't appear that the Strib used any source for the proposition that he was on the plane. They just state it flat out unsourced.
  3. EagleMorph

    EagleMorph Member

    They, unlike ESPN, probably had someone at the facility and saw Harvin arrive there. They also reference the Twitter page and the conversations with people in contact with Harvin.
  4. Babs

    Babs Member

    Right, if it's something directly observable, like someone's presence, you don't need a source to tell you that. You observe it, and you write it.
  5. flexmaster33

    flexmaster33 Active Member

    "Excuse me, Mr. Favre, but are my eyes decieving me or is that Percy Harvin across the way?"

  6. Point of Order

    Point of Order Active Member

    Not buying it. If that's the case they should have made it clear.
  7. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    I'm not buying why ESPN needs to use anonymous sources.
  8. bob

    bob Member

    this whole "source" thing is getting out of hand, and not just with ESPN. i see so many writers quoting "sources," like they've done some kind of investigatuve reporting, and it often turns out to be the team's PR director. wow. that's impressive reporting.
  9. armageddon

    armageddon Active Member

    Just curious:

    What if you, the reporter, have discovered a way (area/vantage point/whatever) to observe certain things and the team is ignorant of this?

    Is it worth spelling it out and tipping the team off and allowing them to do something to take away your ability to observe and report to your readers?
  10. Point of Order

    Point of Order Active Member

    No, if that was the situation I would just say "a source close to the team observed" XYZ, whatever. There's nothing untrue about it and you won't be burned.

    Reporters do this kind of thing all the time. If Urban Meyer tells me that he submitted his resignation to Jeremy Foley this morning, will let you write it, but doesn't want that information attributed to him yet, then you say a source close to Urban Meyer said Meyer submitted his resignation this morning. Jeremy Foley declined to comment on the story, but did not deny that Meyer had resigned.
  11. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    So lying is OK?
  12. Point of Order

    Point of Order Active Member


    You obviously can't discuss things like a grown-up, so I'll forgive your ignorance and naivete. You posted two articles, one which used an unnamed source, and one that contained no source at all for the main proposition. You criticized the first one, legitimately, because unnamed sources are a problem and overused. You held the second one up if it were a beacon for journalistic excellence, which it certainly is not. In my opinion, it's on more unstable footing than the first because it is destitute of a source. Go back to playing with your Legos.
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