Don Fry, of the Poynter Institute for Media Studies in Florida, distributed this list of questions that reporters should ask themselves when making decisions about use of anonymous sources. They brought hot debate from journalists attending a conference of Investigative Reporters and Editors.
To reporters, bylines are the most important graphic element in the entire newspaper. What a shame, then, that readers rarely give bylines a glance as their eyes leap from the end of the headline to the start of the story.
AVOID portraying a conflict as consisting of only two parties contesting one goal. The logical outcome is for one to win and the other to lose. INSTEAD, a Peace Journalist would DISAGGREGATE the two parties into many smaller groups, pursuing many goals, opening up more creative potential for a range of outcomes.
Most investigations usually begin with a tip from a source, or simply a hunch, that something is amiss. Perhaps you have noticed a series of events that suggest a pattern or trend that deserves a closer look.