Cliche of the Week 61 – Informed Sources

September 5, 2011 at 10:19 am Leave a comment

News sources are expected to be informed, well placed, reliable, high level, close to the action or even insiders with special knowledge.

They become anonymous when they have information that should be public but cannot be named for a variety of reasons, including that being exposed would cause them personal damage.

Using a poorly informed source would be a sin. Branding sources as “informed” or even “well informed” is a form of gluttony to increase the girth or grandness of what is simply a “source”.

Informed sources” appears in the mainstream media about 800 times a month, mostly in South Asian and US newspapers. In Australia, the phrase slips into print about 10 times a month.

“Well-placed” sources surface about half as much and there are even fewer “well-informed sources“.

“Several well-informed sources within the conference” (St Louis Post-Dispatch, August 30)

“The rookie Bronx judge who has been allowing violent criminals to walk free without bail despises her job — and hopes she’ll force a transfer from the rough-and-tumble Criminal Court to the cushier civil division, a well-placed source told The Post.” (The New York Post, August 31)

Cliche of the Week appears in The Australian newspaper Mondays. The usage of cliches in the media is tracked across the world using Factiva and Dow Jones Insight.

 Chris Pash’s book, The Last Whale, a true story set in the 1970s, was published by Fremantle Press in 2008

Entry filed under: Cliche of The Week.

Cliche of the Week 60 – Strongman Cliche of the Week 62 – Feral

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