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Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Profiles in Courage

On a somewhat lighter note: A recent trend in print journalism has been an apparent reluctance to overuse anonymous sources, at least without explanation. This hasn't so much resulted in less anonymous sourcing as it has in more--and more amusing--explanations for the use of anonymous sources in given instances. One of my favorite recent examples appears in yesterday's New York Times. The story concerned the arrest of some parents for allowing excessive drinking by teenagers at their home. And here's the quote:

Within New York’s wider private school community, parents anonymously expressed guarded delight that adults thought to be allowing under-age drinking had been arrested.

“Maybe parents will stop doing it,” said one mother who asked not to be named because her children’s Upper East Side school discourages talking to the news media. She was already fretting, she said, about after-prom parties in the Hamptons — supervised, and not — which she called “out of control.”

Note that the parent wasn't even talking about her school. Since her quote adds little if anything to the story, this seems like a case in which the editors should have killed it rather than grant anonymity. But it's a lovely illustration of who actually runs New York City: namely, private school principals.  

Posted by Paul Horwitz on May 9, 2012 at 10:32 AM in Paul Horwitz | Permalink


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I can see parents like that not wanting them names in the papers and since the specific name really doesn't add much, that is not really the sort of thing that we should be concerned about. And, why the focus on "principals" here? Isn't it a school policy? If anything, with endowments etc., wouldn't the policy influences be elsewhere?

Posted by: Joe | May 9, 2012 12:23:26 PM

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