Anonymous source tracker

Continuously updated examples of the media's use of anonymous sources


Reuters —  Exclusive: Warburg nears $1 billion-plus deal for EFS - sources

New York-based private equity firm Warburg Pincus has prevailed over other buyout firms in an auction for EFS, and a deal announcement could come this week, the sources said, cautioning that negotiations were still being finalized. The sources asked ...
April 16, 2014



Hindustan Times —  Myntra founders set to make Rs. 427 cr from Flipkart deal

A highly placed source actively involved in the negotiations told HT on condition of anonymity: "Myntra is being valued at $350 million (about Rs. 2,135 crore). Flipkart will buy a little more than 50% of the company." The brand will be retained as an ...
April 16, 2014



Wall Street Journal —  Batista's Struggling Oleo e Gas Receives Investor Backing

According to a person familiar with the situation, the loan comes from a group of creditors led by Cayman Island-based Autonomy Master Fund Ltd., which earlier this month had objected to OGP's recovery plan, saying some creditors had been treated unfairly.
April 16, 2014



Fox News —  Person familiar with situation: WR Jerricho Cotchery agrees to contract terms ...

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – A person familiar with the situation says the Carolina Panthers have agreed to a contract with free agent wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Thursday because the deal
March 20, 2014



Fox News —  Person familiar with situation: Men's coach Jeff Bzdelik out after 4 years at ...

A person familiar with the situation says that Jeff Bzdelik is out as Wake Forest's men's basketball coach. The person spoke to The Associated Press Thursday on condition of anonymity because the school had not made an announcement. ADVERTISEMENT.
March 20, 2014



Daily Journal —  Person familiar with situation to AP: Former Titans RB Chris Johnson visits Jets

NEW YORK — Former Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson visited the New York Jets on Tuesday, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press. Johnson was released by the Titans on April 7, three days after the team informed him
April 16, 2014



Daily Journal —  Person familiar with situation: Joe Dumars out as Pistons' president, will ...

That didn't work, and now the Pistons will be hiring someone else to replace him. Detroit has decided not to renew Dumars' contract as president of basketball operations, a person familiar with the situation said Sunday. The person, who spoke on ...
April 14, 2014



Reuters —  Deals of the day- Mergers and acquisitions

Warburg Pincus LLC is in advanced talks to acquire Electronic Funds Source LLC (EFS) in a deal that could value the transportation services payments company at more than $1 billion, according to people familiar with the matter. ** Twitter Inc ... The ...
April 16, 2014



Boston Globe —  NFL notebook: RB Chris Johnson visiting Jets

Former Titans running back Chris Johnson visited the Jets on Tuesday, a person familiar with the situation told the Associated Press. Johnson was officially released by the Titans on April 7, three days after the team informed him. The former 2,000 ...
April 16, 2014



U.S. News & World Report —  AP source: Dumars out as Detroit's team president - U.S. News & World Report

Detroit has decided not to renew Dumars' contract as president of basketball operations, a person familiar with the situation said Sunday. The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the team has not made any announcement on Dumars' future
April 13, 2014



Charlotte Observer —  AP source: RB Chris Johnson visits Jets

NEW YORK Former Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson visited the New York Jets on Tuesday, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press. Johnson was released by the Titans on April 7, three days after the team informed him of
April 16, 2014



Washington Post —  Senate elections are months away, but campaign ads already fill the airwaves

One operative running a Democratic Senate race, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss strategy, said his candidate would spend money early to rebut attacks from Americans for Prosperity and keep the race close. Spending early won't win a
April 16, 2014



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453,160 examples for 12,019 English-language news outlets found since Feb. 10, 2010

Chart of sources per day

About the tracker

The goal of the anonymous source tracker is to make the media's use of anonymous sources more transparent. It's an experiment, and as such it's imperfect and subject to change.

While it finds many examples of the use of anonymous sources, it doesn't find all anonymous sources used by newspapers, magazines, TV stations, wire services or other news outlets online.

It gets its examples from the English version of Google News. Phrases commonly used to identify anonymous sources are fed to Google News, which produces an Atom feed for each phrase. Those feeds are then combined under a single label, "anonymous," in Google Reader. That feed is public. Every hour a PHP script grabs the Google Reader feed, extracts the summary text, highlights the anonymous source phrasing, and puts it in a database to display on the anonymous source tracker.

Some examples are rejected, even though the articles they point to used anonymous sources, because the anonymous source phrasing isn't in the summary.

Some examples are duplicates. If a URL is already in the database, those examples are rejected. But sometimes the same story can have different URLs, so the same story can appear more than once. The same wire story may also be run by multiple outlets.

The news outlets scanned are the same outlets scanned by Google News. I don't know what criteria Google News uses to decide whether to include a Web site.

Typically Google returns a search result for a phrase giving a summary for only one outlet, with an "and more" link pointing to other matches for stories on the same subject. The anonymous source tracker doesn't grab those "and more" results, so many examples are undoubtedly missed.

I don't know how Google does what it does or why, or why one outlet is given prominence for a given search while another isn't, so I don't know if all outlets are being treated equally by the anonymous source tracker.

The count for each news outlet doesn't include every anonymously sourced story produced by that outlet. The counts shouldn't be considered valid rankings.

To quote Donald Rumsfeld, "there are known unknowns."

"That is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns — the ones we don't know we don't know."

Reuters 25,229
Wall Street Journal 23,316
New York Times 17,664
Bloomberg 17,578
BusinessWeek 14,382
Washington Post 7,652
Economic Times 4,218
New York Daily News 3,840
Reuters UK 3,734
New York Post 3,596
San Francisco Chronicle 3,463
Los Angeles Times 3,409
Chicago Tribune 3,298
Wall Street Journal (blog) 3,118
Times of India 3,009
Financial Times 2,799
Fox News 2,753
Livemint 2,651
The Associated Press 2,594
Huffington Post 2,497
Boston Globe 2,417
ESPN 2,349
USA Today 2,194
ABC News 2,050
CNN 1,980
CNBC.com 1,823
New York Times (blog) 1,797
Patch.com 1,752
Washington Post (blog) 1,732
Hindustan Times 1,653
Daily Mail 1,602
GlobalPost 1,578
AFP 1,504
Business Standard 1,394
Reuters India 1,375
Telegraph.co.uk 1,369
The Australian 1,306
The Star-Ledger - NJ.com 1,303
AllAfrica.com 1,285
The Detroit News 1,283
Independent Online 1,276
The Guardian 1,246
Sydney Morning Herald 1,241
CBS News 1,167
Albany Times Union 1,159
NewsDay 1,139
MarketWatch 1,097
Minneapolis Star Tribune 1,092
Politico 1,092
Chicago Sun-Times 1,066

>> See all

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