Writing Right: The Blog

Beware That "Unnamed Source"

February 25, 2017

Tags: Opinion

Are you to blame? Are you the devil? I've seen a lot of accusations thrown around lately about "unnamed sources." Hopefully, not from you. But a growing number of legitimate news outlets, particularly those bent on destroying the Trump White House, manufacture stories, including innuendos and accusations, attributed solely to an unnamed source. Most of these are fabrications. The only "unnamed source" these fake news folks have is their own fecund minds. In the real journalistic world, a source will occasionally insist upon remaining anonymous in exchange for spilling the beans on someone or something. In half a century of reporting, I have attributed material to an unnamed sources three or four times. That's in more than tens of thousands of newspaper and magazine articles. (more…)

Shutting Down "Fake News"

February 23, 2017

Tags: Opinion

"Fake News." Ever hear of it? It's been in the headlines a lot lately, thanks to our President. Love him or hate him, Trump has been calling out the deteriorating pretenders to the Fourth Estate for years now. I've been doing it for a couple of decades.

I saw the inevitability of fake news half a century ago when the British press devolved into a ragtag bunch of self-serving renegades taking Yellow Journalism to its zenith. It seemed back then that the American press would eventually follow, and it did. But not until the last presidential election has America's "Freedom of the Press" morphed into "Free-for-All of the Press." (more…)