Faceless sources won’t do

After finding new information from several anonymous sources, L.A. Times columnist Chuck Phillips recently wrote about the controversial cold case murder of Tupac Shakur. In his article, he explained that anonymous FBI sources said two associates of Sean “Diddy” Combs plotted against Shakur for rejecting a business offer.

It’s fine to research a high-profile incident and provide updates to the concerned public; however, it must be done with the utmost journalistic integrity. When writing an article, journalists need to provide adequate sources – and they need to be appropriately attributed.

We understand the necessity of providing updates, even from anonymous FBI sources. The problem is that Phillips wants to solve a mystery that many people want to know about, with ‘information from the void.’

One might be inclined to believe this information is false, perhaps to win a Pulitzer Prize – much like the infamous Janet Cook, who in 1981 made up a story to win an award for the Washington Post.

Diddy said it best, “The story is beyond ridiculous.”

The Famuan believes in source confidentiality, but it should be used as a last resort.

When making accusations, we need to be mindful that people’s lives may be at stake.

Mark Taylor II for the Editorial Board.