Anonymous source tracker
Continuously updated examples of the media's use of anonymous sources
Detroit also agreed to a one-year deal with wide receiver Kevin Ogletree, according to another person familiar with negotiations, speaking to AP on condition of anonymity because the deal hadn't been announced. The Lions really wanted Bell back, and ...
Economic Times — Swedish firm Kinnevik to invest $90 million in Quikr
The investment was spread across two rounds, with existing investor Warburg Pincus providing the initial investment in September last year, according to a person with direct knowledge of the transaction. The latest deal, signed last week, values Quikr ...
CBS News — Feds: Hillary Clinton aide involved in 2008 campaign finance scheme
The records do not identify Moore by name but she is the "individual A" listed in statement of offense signed by Thompson, according to a person familiar with the investigation who was not authorized to speak publicly on the matter. Dewey Square said ...
Economic Times — RBI wants to keep off PSB boards, says interests clash
We are in discussions and it is too early to derive conjectures out of RBI's observations," said a senior government official who spoke to ET on condition of anonymity. But a senior RBI official told ET that there are serious differences between the ...
Post-Bulletin — Questions and answers about GM recall
And the Justice Department is investigating whether GM broke any laws with its slow response, according to a person briefed on the matter. Members of two congressional committees will likely ask why a proposed fix to the problem was never implemented
ABC News — AP Source: Justice Department Probing GM Recall
The Justice Department is investigating whether GM broke any laws with its slow response to a problem with ignition switches in compact cars from model years 2003 to 2007, according to a person briefed on the matter. The probe is being handled by the U ...
Wall Street Journal — Senate-CIA Dispute Erupts Into a Public Brawl -- 3rd Update
Senate staffers think the CIA overstepped its bounds by investigating the matter. Both aspects of the dispute are subjects of a Justice Department review, a person familiar with the matter said. In her address on the Senate floor Tuesday, Ms. Feinstein ...
Wall Street Journal — LightSquared Says Dish Was Interested in Acquisition as Early as 2012
Harbinger would own about 36% of LightSquared's equity if this proposal gets approved, a person familiar with the matter has said. LightSquared filed for protection from creditors in May 2012 after federal regulators refused to clear its plans to ...
The Globe and Mail — Disgraced firm SAC moves 'forward' with a new name
Federal authorities continue to investigate SAC, but a person briefed on the matter said that the inquiry was winding down and that a criminal prosecution of Cohen was unlikely. Cohen indicated late last year that as the firm converted to a family ...
KXNet.com — Obama expands protection for California coastline
A person briefed on the matter says the Justice Department is investigating whether General Motors broke any laws with its slow response to a deadly problem with ignition switches on certain small cars. A person briefed on the matter says the Justice
The Tribune — People familiar with negotiations to AP: Lions agree to deals with Joique Bell ...
The Detroit Lions achieved one of their top goals this offseason, retaining Joique Bell, and kept another player to give them much-needed depth. The Lions and Bell agreed to a $9.3 million, three-year contract, according to a person familiar with the
fox4kc.com — Intruder attacks woman with broken bottle while she sleeps inside her home
A neighbor of the victim, who asked to remain anonymous, says he was driving by when he heard the victim's frantic screams and saw her bleeding body on the ground half-way out of her front door. “Oh her legs and arms you know and hands and face were
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."