A Letter to the Editor recently took ZBM to task for using anonymous sources to say the Government was not telling the truth. It said there should be an end to the use of anonymous sources.

In an ideal world, the author is correct, the use of anonymous sources should end. However, here in Bermuda and elsewhere, there is no ideal world.

Newspapers should have a clear-cut policy on the use of anonymous sources.

For instance the information being given should be verified via other sources, the source of the information should be a trusted person who has a platform from which to speak and the journalist will hopefully have used their information before – when it proved to be correct.

Usually, the Editor or Deputy Editor will also be told who the source is, so there is another level of scrutiny before publication.

And, there should be every opportunity for the other person to comment.

Coming back to an ideal world ….. if there was a working framework for PATI, if there was much greater transparency around the institutions on this Island and if there was enhanced whistleblower legislation there may not be the need for anonymity.

Often anonymity is also granted because of the fear of recriminations.

Often anonymity is a requirement when some investigative journalism is being pursued. Think Deep Throat and Watergate.

I am sure there are some readers who will question my stance bearing in mind I am not in favour of anonymous comments or even Letters to the Editor.

It is much more likely in when someone contacts a newspaper about an issue for use in a story it is very controversial, it could put their jobs on the line, there is an element of public duty, a sense to put the record straight, expose….

All very different from a letter or a comment on a story, which are often vicious personal attacks of no public interest whatsoever.

The letter writer needs to understand about journalism more thoroughly. He/she needs to understand that the level of transparency in Bermuda is a joke and he/she needs to put themselves in the shoes of those living with recriminations because they have felt a public duty to say it as it is.

One thought on “The need for anonymous sources

Add yours

  1. They letter writer is being hypocritical. it was all well and fine for Anon sources when the OBA was in opposition. Mr Dunkley and Nalton Brangman were prolific qouters of anon sources. Most of which proved to be total hogwash.

    yet the letter writer had no issue with their baseless use at that point.

    Now that anon sources are exposing the OBA it is an issue?

    They (OBA) need to get used to either

    A telling the full story (why did they stifle contracts being brought to public knowledge via the HOA)
    B telling the whole truth (jet gate)
    C getting exposed from within (from now on)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑


Opinions from the Rock

Bermudians for Free Thought and Humanism

For Bermudians who subscribe to living outside of dogma and religious tradition


To Bermuda and Beyond

Media Village

A view on what's happening in the great world of journalism


Lighting the way to a new politics

Pink Ribbons and Boobies

In a world or endless possibilities, where dreams can be reached and lives can be altered…The unexpected can hit you at anytime…welcome to my world. Welcome to my Journey…

Bermuda Independent

Mainly Bermuda politics and economics

The Soap-Box

Experiences, observations, and opinions of a young progressive entrepreneur. Articles will mostly surround my passions of politics, business, education, and sustainability.


It'll bring out the billy in you !



Bermuda Blue

Commentary about Bermuda as I see it. All views my own


Wandering Photographer - A Tad Aimless For The Nonce.

Derelict Mom

For Eva with Love and Dereliction

The Anonymous Journalist

A view of the world from 5ft 3

BeachLime Bermuda

A WordPress.com blog


People of Bermuda


from one Island to another....


Information and opinion on business and construction issues in Bermuda.


the secretion of art by Rhian Ferrer

Onion Law Blog

Commentary about Bermuda as I see it. All views my own

%d bloggers like this: