The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes
Monday, June 13, 2005
Your newspaper is in code: Official
Not really. But there's an interesting admission in a piece from the Congressional Quarterly under hed Critics Take on Overuse of Anonymous Quotes. Not from some pandjandram at the Post or Times, admittedly: but
Bill Kovach, chairman of the Committee of Concerned Journalists
One takes what one can get, though:
It’s time we asked ourselves whether each time we publish an anonymous source story that maybe we are forcing our public to read a code when they don’t know what the code is.
Sing it, brother!
It's not just the handling of anonymous sources that needs decrypting without the reader realising the fact. As I've often pointed out, the journalistic product as a whole is riven with coded elements. For instance, if an apparently frontable story is placed on A17, that doesn't merely signal an intention to 'bury' it, but may also denote an asterisk awarded by the editors as to its credibility .
The Kovach quote will do to be going on with, pending a similar admission from Keller or Downie...
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