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Usernames as sources?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Diabeetus, Mar 8, 2008.

  1. Diabeetus

    Diabeetus Active Member

    I know we discussed this recently, about the ethics of using a username as a source, but does anybody have any examples of this done in a published story? If you can link me on here, or send me one in a pm, my friend would be much obliged.

  2. Diabeetus

    Diabeetus Active Member

    Also, does anybody remember the name of the thread that discussed whether you should use them in stories? I'm having trouble finding it through the search.

    Again, thanks for the help.
  3. Angola!

    Angola! Guest

    One of the corrections threads had something about a story using quotes off of a message board to show how terrible a town was. I don't think they cited usernames, but they definitely used what was said on a message board.
  4. Hustle

    Hustle Guest

    I remember alan robinson from ap solicited sources from an xm msg board for a feature about the mlb package. He got folks to talk but used their real names.
  5. Sawker

    Sawker New Member


  6. Angola!

    Angola! Guest

    What the hell was the point of that story? Oh, and who wrote it?
  7. BillyT

    BillyT Active Member

    One of our local papers runs commentary pulled off the message boards in addition to letters.

    People are identified by the screen names.

    There is no registration process that links the screen names to actual names, so they are running them anonymously.

    Really bothers me.

    (These are pretty brutal message boards too. Among the most amusing I read).
  8. forever_town

    forever_town Well-Known Member

    I used a posting from a Topix.net message board from a guy who just identified himself as Mike. However, it was in relation to a specific case I'm covering. And I also ran quotes from the company where the guy claimed to work that said he worked for the company. I also researched my state's department of labor Web site for information about the guy.

    My publisher read the entire story and his only comment was, "that's a wild story."

    The point though is that you have to be very careful about what you use and what purpose its use serves.
  9. gretchd

    gretchd Member

    I could see using this method if the story was about fan reaction to something, or another general "what's the opinion of the man on the street" kind of thing, but I wouldn't repeat allegations of misconduct from some guy online.
  10. forever_town

    forever_town Well-Known Member

    He wasn't listed on the department of labor Web site that normally lists people of his profession. So in that case, it calls his credibility into question.
  11. Clever username

    Clever username Active Member

    My family has no comment.
  12. I was waiting for you to show up.
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