TITLE

Anonymous Sources: Their Use in a Time of Prosecutorial Interest

AUTHOR(S)
Pincus, Walter
PUB. DATE
June 2005
SOURCE
Nieman Reports;Summer2005, Vol. 59 Issue 2, p27
SOURCE TYPE
Periodical
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
This article describes how the author and his newspaper reach decisions about publishing information from a confidential source. Protecting confidential sources, who provide me with material for many of the intelligence stories I write, is a key factor that enables me to write the stories I do about national security. Sometimes I am given or sent a document that is classified, or sources--either on their own or through answering questions--provide information that is classified. How do I decide when to publish such information provided by a confidential source? There are at least three issues involved, and they include determining whether the information is credible and verifiable, determining whether the material is newsworthy, and determining whether in the case of classified information it truly harms national security. When we do publish stories based on leaks, we risk getting subpoenaed. If that occurs, a reporter might have to confront questions about the nature of the reporter's privilege. It is called a reporter's privilege, but once I publish information from a confidential source who has risked firing or even jail to give me the information, I believe the privilege of keeping his or her name secret belongs both to the source and to me.
ACCESSION #
17525968

 

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