Monday, September 25, 2006

An obsession with plugging leaks

David Carr's column this morning notes the increasing volume of discussion about how corporate and government secrets make their way into the public press. Part of the friction around those disclosure has been an attempt to punish not only the leakers but the journalists who share the information with their readers. An important passage:
The ability to cultivate confidential sources is one of the building blocks of journalism. Without it, the media world would run on press releases. No one knows how many stories are going unreported, how many whistles going unblown, as a result of the increase in subpoenas....
Many reporters are now forced to conduct themselves like CIA operatives, encoding files, shredding notes and switching cellphones.

So why does it matter if the press is inconvenienced, even curbed? Do you mean you're able to learn all you want from the official announcements of the White House, your boss, your local school board? I thought not.

Here's Carr's full column, though you'll probably need to register to read it.

No comments: