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Who Are You?: Adventures in Anonymous Sourcing

anonymous.JPGYou may remember the kerfuffle that took place last month (also know as ancient history in this election cycle) when Vanity Fair published Todd Purdum‘s long and not-so-flattering article on Bill Clinton. In the uproar that followed much of the Clinton camp’s criticism centered around the fact that almost all of Purdum’s sources were anonymous.

Well over at Slate Jack Shafer is taking this whole anonymous sourcing habit to task and created a spreadsheet! Alas, the results aren’t too encouraging, all the biggies including the LAT, NYT, WaPo and the WSJ, which has “has no written, public standards for the use of anonymous sources,” get low marks on numerous stories for excessive “anonymice.” Have examples of your own? Send them in, Shafer’s taking non-anonymous contributions.

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Freelance Magazine WritingInstructor and journalist Jeryl Brunner has written for numerous publications including O, the Oprah Magazine, Travel + Leisure, VanityFair.com and more! Starting November 3, she'll teach you how to query specific publications, find resources for reporting, and create captivating stories that editors will want and readers will enjoy. Register now!