There's a time and a place for anonymous sources
By Michael Wright, Editor
May 6, 2013, 09:45
While the Letters to the Editor feature on the opinion page is not the place for anonymity, there is a time and a place for anonymous sources in the news world.
Newsrooms throughout the print media and broadcast media worlds have always relied on anonymous sources for tidbits of news, great story tips, etc.
Reporters have gone to jail protecting the identity of their anonymous sources. But the reporters know the names of these sources.
The NewsHPress welcomes contact from individuals who wish to remain anonymous, but have information to share. However, sending the information in an unsigned letter with no return address, or dropping a note off after hours with no contact information is not the way to do it.
We understand that individuals may, due to the circumstances of the allegations they are making, may fear retaliation. Therefore, if you have information you feel needs to be shared, here’s what we ask you to do:
• Gather any documentation you may have to support the allegations you are making
• Give me a call to set up an appointment so we may visit
• Be prepared to share your name and valid contact information (this information will be kept confidential)
In the past, we have received many unsigned letters and other forms of correspondence regarding news tips. While we want to be able to look into allegations made, we want to make sure what we are being told is factual and worth investigating. Knowing who you are and being able to visit with you face to face is critical.
The rules of journalism do allow us to utilize anonymous sources. While they are used rarely, we do understand there are times it has to happen that way (i.e. whistleblowers, fear for life, etc.)