Patterico's Pontifications


Philips’s Use of Anonymous Sourcing on Tupac Story Was Criticized Before the Story Saw Print — But the Warning Was Ignored

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 5:05 pm

One of the most interesting aspects of the Chuck Philips forged documents scandal at the L.A. Times is that the paper was warned in advance — but ignored the warning.

In a letter sent after the story was published online but before it was printed in the newspaper, Combs’s attorney pointed out how Philips’s reporting violated the paper’s Code of Ethics regarding the use of anonymous sources:



Yet the paper’s editors arrogantly shrugged off this valid criticism and proceeded to print a story that has now given them a huge black eye.

After Tim Rutten violated the paper’s standards regarding anonymous sourcing in a column on the Scott Beauchamp affair, Readers’ Representative Jamie Gold said that perhaps her blog would host a discussion about the use of anonymous sourcing.

Think it’s time to have that conversation yet?

1 Comment

  1. The rule should be “if you can’t publicly identify a source, don’t print it.”

    Treat anonymous sources like rumors, useful for pointing you in a direction, but unpublishable.

    Comment by LarryD (feb78b) — 3/28/2008 @ 7:54 am

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