Watchdog conference

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Working With Key Sources

Watchdog September 15, 1999

In most reporting assignments—perhaps most often in journalists’ roles as watchdogs—following leads usually results in finding a key source, someone who can help to build the story’s foundation. How reporters work with these sources who often want, at least in … Read more

False Sources and Misleading Information

Watchdog September 15, 1999

Journalists put the public’s trust in peril when they publish stories in which a source has either given false leads or misleading information. Yet some journalists at the conference worried that this is happening more frequently. Roy Gutman: “The worst … Read more

Panel Members

Watchdog September 15, 1999

Byron V. Acohido: Investigative reporter, The Seattle Times. Since 1998, a specialist in covering the aerospace industry and aviation safety. His five-part series detailing problems with the 737’s rudder system won 11 journalism awards, including the Pulitzer Prize for Beat … Read more

Naming Sources

Watchdog September 15, 1999

Increasingly reporters cite anonymous sources rather than provide readers, viewers and listeners with actual names. At this conference, journalists, whose work demonstrates how information was gathered from sources who agreed to be named in the story, told how they had … Read more

Verifying What Sources Say

Watchdog September 15, 1999

As helpful or reliable as sources might seem to be, no reporter should accept their version of events without finding documentation to back up what they say. None of the investigative reporters at the conference could have published their stories … Read more

Stages of Reporting: Finding and Using Sources

Watchdog September 15, 1999

Several reporters devoted much of their presentations to describing how they went about finding sources and gathering information from them. In all cases, these reporters did not use anonymous sources and worked hard to ensure that information would be attached … Read more

When Reporters are Shut Out By Sources

Watchdog September 15, 1999

What happens when reporters are shut out by sources whom they believe are necessary to report a story? Several journalists at the Watchdog conference argued that reporters often do their best work when the usual sources aren’t available. Read more

The Role of Reporters’ Judgment

Watchdog September 15, 1999

A question from the audience elicited discussion about whether there can ever be truly “independent sources.” The whole notion of independent sources, this questioner posed to the journalists, “is an oxymoron like jumbo shrimp or educational TV.” “Is there,” he … Read more