In both Media Law class and in TCF 332 this semester, we have discussed the topic of anonymity and how important it is in our industry. I was reading an article that was featured on RTDNA called Why Anonymity Matters. It went right along with what we have discussed in Media Law. It has been mentioned that the media’s reliability has declined over the years…meaning that many times a source is compromised for the benefit of the media. We have discussed the lawsuits that can arise in these situations, such as Breach of Contract or Promissory Estoppel. Many times a reporter will serve jail time in order to protect a source and in order to keep their word, but many reporters will also compromise the identity of the source to avoid jail time or to publish a better story. The following quote is an excerpt from the article, Why Anonymity Matters.
And we have long moved past an era in which we put that much trust in journalists, even of an institution as respected as the Times.
We have many reporters and institutions to blame for this decline in trust. Cohen v. Cowles Media Company is a perfect example of bad judgement on the institution’s part. Because of cases like this that bring down our reputation as media, it is important that we act as responsible reporters and remain ethical in every aspect of the broadcast/journalism industry. cb