Noticed two extremes in anonymous sourcing in daily newspapers today,
both annoying. The first comes from the Guardian:
A source close to Mr Smith said he understood that the museum,
which incorporates the South Kensington Museum, the National Museum
of Art and Design, the Theatre Museum, the National Museum of Childhood
and the Wellington Museum, had "unique difficulties" because
of the sheer spectrum of its exhibits and its duty to encourage
scholarship. But he said the institution, which was founded in the
aftermath of the Great Exhibition of 1851 and pioneered the drive
to bring art and design to working people, had to be able to repeat
the trick for modern visitors.
"The fact is that most people are unsure what the V&A is
supposed to be for, and what they are likely to see there, and that
puts them off."
Mr Smith does not want the "serendipity which is a major part
of the joy of visiting the V&A sacrificed". But he believes
that anyone who has ever tried to find their way through the museum’s
maze of galleries will know there is "ample room for improvement.
The labelling is also often less helpful than it might be,"
the source said.
That was by Fiachra Gibbons, the Grauniad’s Arts Correpsondent. She
makes no attempt at all to conceal who her "source" is,
to the point where inistence on anonymity becomes a joke.
At the other extreme of the spectrum, take a look at Keith Kelly
in the New York
Said one media observer, "There is no way to
view Powerful Media as anything less than a colossal failure. Brill
is essentially getting paid to take this thing over. He gets to spend
the venture capitalists’ $10 million."
This is New York, ferchrissakes! Everyone is a "media
observer". This is editorialising, plain and simple, in the guise
of reporting. If we knew anything at all about this source, it would
be interesting. But the "media observer" is so vague that
the whole thing becomes meaningless.