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Your Sources

Your sources

Understand security issues for your sources

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Isaac has a new source for a story he is writing. He knows it's important to protect the identity of his source, both for his and his source's safety, but he is unsure of how to do so.
He needs some techniques on how to protect the identity of his sources. If he doesn't learn how, he's worried the identity of his new source will be revealed.

Why it's important to protect your sources

Protecting sources is a cornerstone of journalism. This is especially important when covering topics such as violent crime, national security, and armed conflict, in which sources could be put at legal or physical risk.
As a journalist, you need to know that this burden rests primarily with you. In some some countries, journalists working for established media houses also face risks.

sources - bring in that it’s part of ethics of journalism to protect your sources. and give an example. some of most prominent stories are possible because sources trusted journalists. it only takes one time for sources to be exposed for non of us to trust journalists anyomore. - society of protessional journalists. talk about a little history, bring in deep throat and watergate.

Things to consider when offering sources confidentiality

Never promise a source that you can keep their identity confidential until you weight possible consequences of doing so.
Media houses require often journalists to provide the editor with the name of sources, however this is not always the case.
In some nations, local journalists covering organized crime, national security, or armed conflict are especially vulnerable to imprisonment, torture, coercion, or attack related to the use of confidential information.

Techniques to protect you and your sources

It is important consider when and how to contact your sources: whether to call them on a landline or cell phone, whether to visit them in their office or home, and whether to use open or secure email or chat message.
Consider using simple code or pseudonyms to hide your source’s identity in written or electronic files. Physically secure written files and communicate security with your sources


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See also:

Committee for the Protection of Journalists Journalist Security Guide.