OLD Media Moves

Bloomberg News to lift ban on anonymous sources?

November 7, 2008

Jeff Bercovici of Conde Nast Portfolio reports Friday that Bloomberg News is considering lifting its ban on the use of anonymous sources in stories.

Bercovici writes, “As the rules now stand, any utterance that appears between quotation marks has to be attributed by name, and the appearance in print of any information attributed to anonymous sources has to be approved by a newsroom higher-up, usually editor in chief Matt Winkler.

“There has long been a feeling by Bloomberg journalists that this policy leaves them at a disadvantage in competition with rival organizations that allow more liberal sourcing, which is just about all of them. ‘It gets you beat sometimes, but you can usually work around it,’ says one newsroom insider.

“Asked via email about the sourcing rules, Pearlstine replied, ‘I am unaware of any planned changes to these policies,’ adding that further comment would have to come from Winkler or a company spokeswoman. Neither replied to a follow-up inquiry.

“But the newsroom insider said the end of the ban on blind quotes, if it happens, would be of a piece with other emendations now being made to the Bloomberg Way, Winkler’s notoriously elaborate and persnickety best-practices guide.”

Read more here.

Subscribe to TBN

Receive updates about new stories in the industry daily or weekly.

Subscribe to TBN

Receive updates about new stories in the industry.