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Would you give up your source if...

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Jim Tom Pinch, May 13, 2008.

  1. Jim Tom Pinch

    Jim Tom Pinch Active Member

    The Boston Herald and reporter John Tomase "broke" the story that Matt Walsh had video of the Rams walk through before the Super Bowl.

    Of course it has now come out that Walsh didn't have that and the Herald and Tomase are coming under fire for it. I doubt that Patriots will sue the Herald, but the rumor is out there.

    It's standard practice to protect a confidential source, but does that change if your source was wrong?

    Does it change if in hindsight you think your source was knowingly wrong and tried to plant bad info?
  2. RedSmithClone

    RedSmithClone Active Member

    Was the source wrong?

    Is someone now deciding to hide something?

    I know those self-righteous Patriots fanatics will be out to get John and the Herald, but why just because nothing came of the Walsh-NFL meeting should we simply assume the things in the original story never happened?
  3. SCEditor

    SCEditor Active Member

    If a source lies to you on purpose, then I'd out the source in a heartbeat. In my book and I've told sources this before, being an anonymous source is contingent on the information being truthful. If it's not, I'm throwing the liar under the bus.
  4. forever_town

    forever_town Active Member

  5. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    If evidence comes out which pretty conclusively PROVES your source was knowingly wrong and tried to plant bad info, then hell yes. Burn him.

    A lot of people go berzerk when I say this, "OMFG, you can never ever ever ever give up a source, if you do nobody will ever trust you again," etc etc etc.

    No, you tell sources, "if you're giving me the straight shit, I'll take it with me to the grave, but if you're feeding me a steaming plate of horse fudge, somebody's going to go down, and it ain't going to be me."
  6. Jim Tom Pinch

    Jim Tom Pinch Active Member

    I'm not assuming it didn't happen. I'm just using the example for its ethical debate value.
  7. huntsie

    huntsie Active Member

    If the guy lies to advance his own agenda, by all means, I'd give him up in a heartbeat. And I'd do a story spelling out why he did what he did too.
  8. But if Tomase give up Bill Polian - he'll never have access to the Colts again.
  9. Boobie Miles

    Boobie Miles Active Member

    My thoughts exactly. Tomase never named the source and Walsh's lawyer said Walsh wasn't the source. Why would it necessarily end with Walsh? I think the thing is overblown, but I just don't see why Walsh is considered the end all and be all in this.

    To further JTP's desire to get some discussion going on ethics and that, what exactly could the Patriots sue the Herald for? I know all the fanboys are going crazy saying the Pats should sue the pants off the Herald, but I'm genuinely wondering what basis they would have for suing?
  10. SCEditor

    SCEditor Active Member

    I just had to google what QFT meant. Learn something new every day.
  11. Rumpleforeskin

    Rumpleforeskin Active Member

    I had to think about it for a second -- Quoted for Truth?
  12. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    I think it's insane to publish a big story like that based on just one source, a source who wouldn't stand behind it to begin with. So whether the source lied or was just misinformed, the fault lies with the editor who approved running the story without getting the reporter to get a second source to confirm. The paper should take its lumps and not reveal the source.
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