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You're reading: Back Story: When to use anonymous sources

Either way, it
is not easy for any newspaper to determine the motive of a source, but
it is important for the publication to put the source in context, and,
to the extent possible, that is the policy of the Kyiv Post.

Having worked both as a journalist and a government spokesperson, I have felt the darts of the malicious rumormonger parading as a motiveless source, and have also suffered the frustration of pursuing acts where only an anonymous leak could provide clues to a bell ringer of a story.

It is a given that every source that wishes his or her name withheld has a motive, whether ulterior or not.  Generally, the motive is fear of retribution, quite often from the government. 

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