Anonymous source tracker
Continuously updated examples of the media's use of anonymous sources
He requested anonymity. When contacted, a TCS spokesperson said the company approaches customers both outside and from within the group. “In any opportunity with the Tata group, our teams would have the same approach in the case of a Tata group ...
Gulf Today — Low turnout of OFW voters noted
Comelec sources who requested anonymity said the campaign launched through the foreign office aimed to encourage OFWs to participate in the election and make them feel they are part of the voting process. To encourage more OFW voters, the Comelec ...
Gulf Times — Nigeria cuts roads to Islamist stronghold
A senior rescue official who requested anonymity said that he had could not say what impact the offensive has had on civilians because his staff in Borno and Yobe have been unreachable. “I have sent e-mails and texts but have not heard anything yet ...
Washington Times — Myanmar's promises go unfulfilled as leader meets with Obama
“The president's approach is not to wait for Burma to perfect itself but to dig into the hard work of helping Burma cement the gains it has made and accelerate further reform,” said a senior U.S. administration official who spoke on background. The ...
South China Morning Post — Hong Kong mediation centre aims to end Lehman minibonds investor pain
A broker, who did not want to be identified, however, said the centre might not have handled many cases but had made an impact. "Many banks and brokers now pay more attention to complaints by customers. They tend to handle the cases more seriously," ...
Arab News — Tehran stifling media ahead of June 14 vote
Like others interviewed for this article, he did not want to be identified for fear of retribution. The problem is not limited to slower speeds, but also affects what people can actually access in a country whose rulers take great care in seeking to ...
Los Angeles Times — Jonathan Quick won't be fined or suspended for Game 3 tirade
A league executive who did not want to be identified because he was not authorized to speak publicly also said no fine or suspension will be imposed against Quick. The Kings were upset over two penalties that were called against them late in the third ...
Newsday — Marissa Mayer to unveil updates to Flickr Westchester
Inc. Chief Executive Officer Marissa Mayer will unveil updates to the company's Flickr photo-sharing site at a press event in New York scheduled for May 20, according to a person familiar with the matter. Invitations for the briefing were sent to media ...
Washington Post — In Iran, opponents use age to attack Rafsanjani campaign
“Conservatives had been very comfortable with their prospects before Rafsanjani entered the race,” said one local analyst who, like others interviewed for this article, declined to give his name because of the sensitivity of the election. “They face a ...
Sun.Star — High pay in tourism, entertainment industries lures OFWs back home
FILIPINO entertainers and others who work in the tourism industry abroad have been encouraged to return home because of competitive salaries and benefits being offered in the country, a government official said Sunday. “They are attracting our OFWs ...
The Hindu — 16 killed in Syrian military push near Lebanon border
The Syrian military on Sunday launched an offensive to retake a strategic rebel-held town near the Lebanese border, a government official said, as activists reported that regime airstrikes and shelling of the town have killed at least 16 people ...
The Nation — BOT rejects claim that banks have fuelled rise in the baht
However, a source at the central bank rebutted this accusation. On the condition of anonymity, the source said foreign funds were hedged against exchange rate risks. This limited a possible forex gain and also limited the exchange rate movement at home.
About the tracker
The goal of the anonymous source tracker is to make the media's use of anonymous sources more transparent. It's an experiment, and as such it's imperfect and subject to change.
While it finds many examples of the use of anonymous sources, it doesn't find all anonymous sources used by newspapers, magazines, TV stations, wire services or other news outlets online.
It gets its examples from the English version of Google News. Phrases commonly used to identify anonymous sources are fed to Google News, which produces an Atom feed for each phrase. Those feeds are then combined under a single label, "anonymous," in Google Reader. That feed is public. Every hour a PHP script grabs the Google Reader feed, extracts the summary text, highlights the anonymous source phrasing, and puts it in a database to display on the anonymous source tracker.
Some examples are rejected, even though the articles they point to used anonymous sources, because the anonymous source phrasing isn't in the summary.
Some examples are duplicates. If a URL is already in the database, those examples are rejected. But sometimes the same story can have different URLs, so the same story can appear more than once. The same wire story may also be run by multiple outlets.
The news outlets scanned are the same outlets scanned by Google News. I don't know what criteria Google News uses to decide whether to include a Web site.
Typically Google returns a search result for a phrase giving a summary for only one outlet, with an "and more" link pointing to other matches for stories on the same subject. The anonymous source tracker doesn't grab those "and more" results, so many examples are undoubtedly missed.
I don't know how Google does what it does or why, or why one outlet is given prominence for a given search while another isn't, so I don't know if all outlets are being treated equally by the anonymous source tracker.
The count for each news outlet doesn't include every anonymously sourced story produced by that outlet. The counts shouldn't be considered valid rankings.
To quote Donald Rumsfeld, "there are known unknowns."
"That is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns — the ones we don't know we don't know."
|Wall Street Journal||10,909|
|New York Times||4,598|
|San Francisco Chronicle||2,799|
|The Associated Press||2,594|
|Los Angeles Times||2,171|
|New York Daily News||2,135|
|Times of India||2,079|
|New York Post||1,865|
|New York Times (blog)||1,212|
|Wall Street Journal (blog)||1,141|
|The Star-Ledger - NJ.com||1,050|
|San Jose Mercury News||823|
|Washington Post (blog)||777|
|Sydney Morning Herald||736|
|The News International||654|
|Globe and Mail||599|