Cult of Anonymity

Nov 1st, 2010 | By | Category: Jang, The News

The use of anonymous sources is a controversial practice, though at times it is a necessity to protect the identities of individuals who are revealing important information at great risk. But it is also true that this practice is often abused and used as a way to hide the identities of political operatives. But this post is not about the use of anonymous sources only, it is about the wider cult of anonymity that is taking shape in certain sections of the media.

I was surprised today to flip through the copy of The News and find page after page filled with articles attributed to “Our Correspondent”. Why is this “Our Correspondent”? I wondered? He certainly has a funny name but he is also quite busy as he seems to have written the entire newspaper today!

Here is Page 2 of Monday’s edition of The News:

The News 2010-11-01 Page 2

If you notice, there are 8 articles by “Our Correspondent” and there is one article by “News Desk”. There are zero articles attributed to an actual person. On the next page 3 there are 7 articles by “Our Correspondent” and only one article attributed to an actual person Tariq Butt. Even an article about Rawalpindi-Islamabad Union of Journalists is not attributed to any journalist!

While certainly there are occasions when identities must be protected, filling a newspaper with anonymous articles quoting anonymous people is not journalism. Please, we must end this cult of anonymity that is taking over the media.

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  1. ur article is fantastic. i am student of Bs. journalism & mass communication in KUST.

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