Anonymous source tracker
Continuously updated examples of the media's use of anonymous sources
... PLC (>> Glencore Xstrata PLC) has appointed the former BP PLC (>> BP plc) chief executive Tony Hayward as its interim chairman after shareholders voted against the election of Sir John Bond as chairman, a person familiar with the matter said Thursday.
Financial Times — Chinese cyber crime: More crooks than patriots
“This kind of thing, in China, when it involves national leaders, you better don't touch it,” says a person close to the hacking group. He adds that as one of China's largest investors, exporters and employers, Foxconn had “immense clout” with the ...
Livemint — India, China seek to stabilize ties during Li Keqiang visit
But a pact on border defence management the Chinese have proposed is unlikely, said a person close to the developments, also declining to be named. India is keen to see the settlement of the border problem and the correction of a trade imbalance that ...
India Today — Chinese Ladakh incursion: Li to explain why, what happened?
"Probably they wanted to test the waters, see how India reacts; could be an error of judgement," the source said, adding that New Delhi - the defence and diplomacy - handled the matter "in a very mature way in accordance with the April 2005 agreement" ...
Middle East Online — Internet enters ëcomaí ahead of Iran presidential election
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 ...
Telegraph.co.uk — Imran Khan blames London-based rival for Zahra Shahid Hussain killing
“Why does Britain let him stay when with he has so much power to make or break my city,” said one Karachi resident, who asked not to be named. “If he wants to run Karachi he should come and live here.” Nawaz Sharif was returned to power in last ...
Independent Online — Fear as knives out in national task team
But a youth league member who asked not to be named, and denied having sent the SMSes despite allegations that he was the source of them, said the ANC was being infiltrated by “people who are questionable”. At the heart of the fight is the legacy of ...
AllAfrica.com — JEM Head Denies Sudan-Chad Border Clash Was 'Murder'
An anonymous source speaking to AFP said the jet fighters were targeting JEM forces, adding that the Chadian Air Force "bombed both sides of the border". This informant also had no information about casualties. Bilal claimed Sudanese and Chadian ...
Indian Express — 'Indian Cinema's success lies in cinematic approach'
The Indian Cinema's success lies not in acceptance among a larger global audience but in its unique cinematic approach, a senior government official said today. Highlighting the initiatives taken to make India an attractive filming destination ...
globalnews.ca — Canadian man facing 10-year sentence on terror charges
A judicial official who insisted on anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to journalists said Tuesday that the new charges stem from Yoon's connections to two other Canadians involved in a terror attack on an Algerian gas plant. Read More: ...
Los Angeles Times — Anthrax drug brings $334 million to Pentagon advisor's biotech firm
Because raxi loses its potency after three years in storage, the government's supply will expire as of 2015, according to federal documents and people familiar with the matter. Administration officials must decide whether to replenish the expiring ...
77Square.com — Kathleen Parker: Not such strange bedfellows
Who in the White House or the Congress will be willing to speak off the record if they fear being exposed to or by the Justice Department? This isn't only outrageous, it's dangerous. The government can legitimately investigate journalists in the ...
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|