After all that the previous Administration wrought on journalism with their “Anonymous Sources”, one would think that the use of said “sources” would be met with more than a healthy degree of skepticism. Apparently, this is not the case.
There is no question that some in, and/or around the TNDP are dismayed or angry about losing the race for the Chair. There’s no way around this. Displaced power has two choices; 1. Seek to discredit the newly installed power even if it ultimately hurts the organization that the displaced power once ruled, or 2. Work to ensure the success of said organization because the success of that organization is more important than the success of the displaced power. Unfortunately, from reading the comments on some of the state blogs, it has become clear that elements of the displaced power have chosen option 1.
So, in the wake of this shake-up, reporting on the internal strife may be something that journalists would be interested in. This may mean using “Anonymous Sources”. But if all you have is “Anonymous Sources”, how does anyone check the credibility of those sources? Further, how are we to know if this “Anonymous Source” is reflecting the views of a larger group of people, or pushing a personal agenda? Are we to just assume that the writer has done their homework?
There’s been plenty of evidence in the past several years to suggest that Journo’s haven’t been doing their homework. This is the crux of the argument against using these “Anonymous Sources” without any verifiable source to back their claim, particularly when the report is grounded more in tabloid-esque reporting than the “hard fact” reporting that got it’s ass handed to it thanks to former Administration officials’ use of their anonymity to push a larger agenda.
Is a journalist duty bound to report something if it’s unverifiable, or is it just the manifestation of laziness and sensationalism? What about the cowardice of the “Anonymous Source”? If one truly believes something should they not be willing to stand behind their words? To be honest, this kind of reporting actually hurts the credibility of the writer. Writers can use these sources for background, but when it comes right down to it, relying solely on “Anonymous Sources” is shaky ground. These sources, like cockroaches, seem to scatter when the lights are turned on.
The strife, be it internal or external, at the TNDP is a story that people in Tennessee may be interested in, but there needs to be a greater level of responsibility and accountability when reporting on issues such as this. The writer is in danger of becoming the tool of a small, unrepresentative group of people. Simply stating that no one was willing to go on record would have put this “Anonymous Source” in it’s place, right behind the refrigerator with the other cockroaches. Unfortunately, the aim was more to stir up controversy than to actually report on any conflict within the party, which puts this story on the checkout stand rack, right next to the stories about the coming alien invasion and Oprah’s new diet.