It seems any reporter can put their name on a story and spin it however they want. They usually keep twisting the story until they get an attention- grabbing headline. How do I, the reader, know the story is true? I'd like to trust the professionalism of the journalist that publishes the story. I know they have some kind of code of ethics that keep them from publishing fraudalant stories. Most of the stories are covered on the local beat, by a writer covering a team year round. Unfortunately sometimes there is not enough "meat" in regards to their team to allow a beat writer to write stories that fill up a newspaper all year round.
In my opinion, thats where the unnamed sources comes from. Its the inability of the writers to get a real story. The writers create the question that they want the specific answer for a story and they fish a clubhouse until somebody gives them an answer they want. Example: A writer wants his headline to state: Mets locker room doesn't want Jose Reyes around. So the writer starts asking every player in the clubhouse, "Do you want Jose Reyes around?" Every player says no. They ask the coaches. Every coach says no. They ask the training staff, the equipment personnel, the bat boy. Once again everyone says no. The writer finally asks an assistant to the equipment staff who is always in the Mets locker room and he says, "I do not want Jose Reyes around." The writer then publishes his story that says, "Mets locker room doesn't want Jose Reyes around. An unnamed person with the Mets says the Mets don't want him around." Now this guy has a story and doesn't have to identify who gave him the information? Thats not right. Would the story have the same impact if the writer identified his source, the assistant to the equipment staff? No. Because the reader thinks the source could be the general manager, owner, coach or even a player.
Writers will say that they have to keep the confidentiality with the players so they can have their trust. Balloney! If they wanted the trust, they would not print the story in the first place. By making the player "unnamed" the writer can use any name they want and spin the story to be bigger than it really is.
My message to writers, particularly on the beat, if you don't have a story, don't publish it. If you have something, be a man and identify your sources. If a player says something questionable to you. Print it! Name the player! Name the executive! If an executive says Prince Fielder is not getting $180 million in free agency, he should be cited. In college, we had to cite where we got every source in every paper we had to write. Why don't the journalists have to cite the exact player or executive they get the information for their column from? I don't get it. Its time.... Writers need to man up and stop with their anonymous sources. If somebody said something, IDENTIFY THEM!!!