To answer that question, you have to go back to 1996 and what’s known as the “26 words that created the internet.”
It’s true that “making up names” for anonymous sources might be a good narrative device to help the reader see a source as a three-dimensional human, but a journalist is in the business of telling the truth.
The use of anonymous sources in journalism has always been a thorny but widespread practice. News consumers don’t like them because they are deprived of knowing who is making that statement, claim or charge. Journalists don’t like them either but view them as a necessity, particularly in matters of national security when sources are loath to go on the record.
There are two distinct situations that could lead to this scenario.
I love your skepticism! I also like that you’re thinking critically about what we’re teaching you and asking us to explain things that don’t sound right.
You do! The job doesn’t pay much but will keep you on your toes.
Amazon’s founder and CEO Jeff Bezos is one of many billionaires beguiled by the news industry. He joins Rupert Murdoch, who controls Fox News and the Wall Street Journal, Michael Bloomberg, who founded his eponymous news agency, Laurene Powell Jobs, who bought a majority stake in the magazine, The Atlantic, and Sheldon Adelson who controls the Las Vegas Review-Journal– to name just a few.
The sad reality is that newsrooms–like most other businesses in the country–do not mirror the racial or economic makeup of the country as a whole. And this disparity likely impacts the coverage the community receives.
As our collective attention span wanes, people are consuming information faster than ever and flocking to content that only requires short bursts of undivided attention. Microblogs fit the bill: Short, bite-sized content posted on social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and Reddit, to name just a few.
It takes exactly 109 days to become news literate, which is great because that is the exact length of Media 211.