Anonymous sources may not be kept anonymous at the Springfield News-Leader or other Gannett newspapers, according to an internal memo posted Friday by Phil Currie, Gannett senior vice president/news on the company website.
The memo, which was featured in an article in newspaper industry publication "Editor & Publisher," outlined the company's policy regarding anonymous sources since this has been a major source of concern following the jailing of New York Times reporter Judith Miller.
Currie said reporters should make clear to their sources the level of confidentiality they will receive, then he outlined three such levels.
The first- The newspaper will not name the source in he article
The second- The newspaper will not name the source unless a court compels the newspaper to do so.
The third- The newspaper will not name the source under any circumstances. In his memo, Currie said some circumstances do not lend themselves to that third level.
Somehow that policy would not reassure me if I were a whistleblower wanting to take vital information to a Gannett newspaper. After all, would I want to trust the judgment of newspaper officials whose primary concern is the bottom line?