Sleeping with the enemy

What kind of news organisation asks a US Defence Department official to check an entire story for accuracy before publication?


After the fall-out of the magazine controversy related to alleged desecration of the Koran at Guantanamo Bay, virtually all commentators missed the central issue. Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) explains how relying on anonymous sources does not mean that a supposedly independent magazine should run copy past the Bush administration:

“Overwhelmingly, the officials who are quoted without being identified are not whistleblowers, but rather government officials looking to spin the news in favour of themselves and their bosses.”

Yet more evidence that the American mainstream media is unwilling to seriously break ranks with the government of the day. Sanctioned leaks rarely make great journalism. Questioning the reason behind “official” leaks or anonymous tips is the job of the mainstream media, not simply amplifying claim.

Text and images ©2024 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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