Let’s be clear on the subject of keeping sources confidential: Journalists don’t like doing it, and their editors absolutely hate it.
In fact, everyone connected with news reporting would prefer to always attribute information to the people who provide it. Stories are stronger when sources agree to attach their names to allegations.
But the reality is that sometimes sources face retaliation – anything from getting fired to getting killed – if their names become known. Sometimes protecting sources’ identities is the only way important information can come to light. And that’s why journalists have been willing to go to jail – to protect their sources and the principle of confidentiality.
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