Tom the Dancing Bug by Ruben Bolling for October 11, 2003
Tom the Dancing Bug by Ruben Bolling Journalism Ethics 101 We in the media present this handy guide on the protection of confidential sources. The Leak John: Hi, this is John Smith at the White House. I've got some info -- will you keep my identity confidential? Man: You bet! Anonymous leaks are an important way for information to get out to the public. Should the journalist report the source to the authorities? No! John: You know that outspoken critic of White House policy? Well, his WIFE is a CIA operative! Man: Got it. Turns out she's a covert agent, and revealing that is a serious crime. No! John: Also, I've got this idiot neighbor who dented my car. His BROTHER is a CIA mole who's infiltrated Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. Man: Okay. The source has again shown himself to be a CRIMINAL talking about his crime. No! John: Also...I'm a serial killer, and I plan to strike again tomorrow night! Man: Your secret's safe with me! If sources can't trust that we'll keep their identities confidential, they won't LEAK to us! No! We're news professionals! And, as you'll read or hear everywhere else in the news, keeping sources confidential is always the ethical high ground!
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