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.

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One Response to Sourcing

  1. liza says:

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