Sometimes it is not possible to report the full story without granting anonymity to your source. Although in most newsrooms the criteria are pretty strict and the use of anonymous source needs to be signed off by an editor, our readers often have no idea about this process.
Publishing your guidelines and newsroom policies around source anonymity allows your audience to understand why this practice is sometimes necessary. This transparency can help you build trust in your newsgathering process, writes Joy Mayer, Trusting News director, in its weekly newsletter, Trust Tips.
The post quotes the Media Insight Project which found that "42 per cent of the public are either unsure what an anonymous source is or believe the journalists themselves do not know the source’s identity. Of these, 12 per cent believe journalists just take information from people whose identities they do not know and then publish it. Another 17 per cent think journalists get information from people whose identities are unknown to them, confirm what they are told, and then publish that."
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