ERIC Number: ED229796
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Anonymous Attribution in "Time" and "Newsweek": Frequency and Form.
Wulfemeyer, K. Tim
One issue each of "Time" and "Newsweek" from each month of 1982 was selected at random and content analyzed to determine the use of anonymous attribution. Stories from the "National/Nation" and "International World" sections were analyzed for use of anonymous sources, that is a direct or paraphrased quote attributed to an unnamed person or unnamed persons. For each story, several items were noted: the presence or absence of anonymous sources, the number of different anonymous sources quoted, the total number of anonymous attributions, and the types of anonymous sources quoted. Of the 388 stories analyzed, 216 stories dealt with national events and issues, while 172 stories dealt with international events and issues. Results revealed the use of 1,274 unattributed quotations."Newsweek" tended to quote unnamed sources more often than did "Time." Overall, more than eight in ten stories contained anonymous attribution with unnamed sources quoted more often in international stories than in national stories. High status sources were quoted most often, followed by neutral sources, subordinates, experts, friends or foes, and associates. Some "official" was the most common specific source quoted, followed by aides, diplomats, and experts. "Newsweek" quoted officials and sources more often and advisers less often than did "Time." The findings suggest that the abuses of the anonymous source practice by Janet Cooke and others have not prompted the reporters, writers, and editors at "Time" and "Newsweek" to restrict their use of anonymous attribution. (HOD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Anonymous Attribution; Newsweek; Time Magazine
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (66th, Corvallis, OR, August 6-9, 1983).