Posts Tagged ‘Michael Kinsley’

PRESSETIK: De flesta journalister anser det som en självklarhet att man alltid skall garantera en källa anonymitet om källan så önskar.

Michael Kinsley, krönikör i tidskriften The Atlantichåller inte med.

You cannot deny the sincerity or seriousness of journalists on this issue. Many (…) have gone to jail rather than break a promise of anonymity to a source. But you also cannot deny the arrogance of the absolutism here. The question is not whether journalists should be forced to break promises to anonymous sources. The question is whether they should have made these promises in the first place, and whether sometimes they should be happy to break them. (…) The CIA also has its secrets—legitimate secrets. Do the legitimate secrets of The New York Times always trump the legitimate secrets of the CIA? And why do reporters continue to owe protection to sources who turn out to be lying, or to be part of an official disinformation campaign rather than brave dissidents?

And does the press always get to decide whose secrets trump? What bothers me most about the cult of the source is the press’s insistence on its right to ignore due process of law and refuse to reveal sources even after the issue has been fully litigated. Fine: appeal it up to the Supreme Court if you want, but in a democracy with an (all but) uncorrupted judiciary, if you ultimately lose, you should obey the law as it is, not as you would like it to be. Especially if you are concurrently publishing editorials urging this course on the president of the United States (…)

And then there is the question of why any journalist who is also a citizen and a human being would even want to keep secret the identity of someone who is planning to destroy critical infrastructure.

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