Kinda like Parents: You tell them what they want to hear

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"We figured that if we refused to let unnamed people lie in the news columns, there would be a lot less lying in print."

So being young and naive, I just realized that a sneaky attempt to get your "3 sources" would be to make up an imaginary friend as that source, posting them as anonymous. That way, you don't get in trouble for using someone else's name or making up an unknown character's identity. This way, the source doesn't have an identity. Clever, is what I see it as, however, authorities seem to have found their way to bust manipulative people. That is one use of an anonymous source.

Another use of an anonymous source would be to get the truth. Let's be realisitc, when talking to the press, most people are going to tell the reporters the fluff and pretty much what they want to hear to not make them look bad since their name is attached.
It is kind of like when you fill out a form about a teacher or your RA. You're very honest because your name is not attached. How are they going to know you were the one that gave them all 5's on the scale or all 1's?

So when people submit information anonymously, it is usually their normal feelings. You may not know who the person is, which seems quite fishy and curiousity strikes, but at least you have the truth.

So if a journalist does have both opinions of an issue but they are anonymous, the readers may get more out of it, since it is more of the truth and they are not afraid to hold back their feelings. I think anonymous quoting is stronger in truth, but it also make you wonder if it is the truth at all or if you've got that sneaky reporter that makes up sources to make a deadline.

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This page contains a single entry by published on November 13, 2007 3:05 PM.

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