AP Admits to Using Unauthorized Sources

Despite all the claims of standing by their stories, the AP now admits to the use of unauthorized sources.  The infamous Qais al-Bashir posted another sectarian violence story via AP this morning. Al-Bashir offered up the typical Sunni-Shiite blood-letting but this time he was honest about his sources:

On Sunday morning, clashes erupted between Sunni and Shiite militants in Baghdad's mixed western Amil district, a policeman said. One Shiite militiaman was killed and six people — five Sunnis and one Shiite — were wounded, the officer said on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to talk to the media.

Al-Bashir could not resist throwing in some of the media's patented techniques of anonymous sources afraid for their safety:

The policemen spoke on condition of anonymity out of concern for their own safety.

Witnesses said Shiite militiamen entered Hurriyah after Sunnis warned the few Shiites living there to leave or be killed. Heavy machine gun fire was heard and three columns of black smoke rose into the sky, the witnesses said on condition of anonymity, also out of concern for their own safety.

The use of "anonymous" sources is nothing more than a journalistic ploy to prevent others from verifying the information presented. While the "not authorized to talk to the media" phrase is a step in the right direction, the AP has yet to offer up proof of their best source, Jamil Hussein.

Iraq Associated Press Journalistic Issues

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