USA Today and Sources

March 21, 2005

Instapundit links to a Howard Kurtz piece that contains the following segment:

The veteran Gannett editor has also imposed strict rules on the use of
anonymous sources, which some reporters say go too far and limit their
ability to compete on stories. No information attributed to a "senior administration official" has
appeared in USA Today since December, largely because of Paulson’s
crackdown. Even such formulations as "Democrats opposed to Bush’s
Social Security plan" are barred unless some names are included, and
the use of unnamed sources has dropped about 75 percent.

I’m usually not particularly interested in what USA Today writes, but the overuse of unamed sources is one of the most common abuses of the rules of journalistic ethics (as I see them), and it’s nice to see someone taking a stand against it.


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