The origin of the information that appears in a means of communication is known with a specific term, journalistic source. In the profession of communicator, it is essential that the source of data is true and reliable. Otherwise, the phenomenon of disinformation occurs.
There is a general principle that should inspire the exercise of the journalistic profession: do not accept the veracity of a piece of news until its content is proven by a reliable source. Thus, it would be inappropriate to consider a simple “tweet” as valid news if there is no proof of it (who wrote it, with what intention and, above all, if the content corresponds to the truth of the facts).
Types of fonts
A source can be a person , a document or an information agency. Either provides specific data on a subject. The journalist must assess whether the information can become news of general interest.
In news writing it is necessary to quote accurately and avoid imprecision (it would be inappropriate to speak from well-informed sources without saying exactly which ones).
The anonymous personal sources used by a journalist are determined by the professional and personal relationship established between the journalist and his confidant.
A press office is also a source of information.
On the other hand, every means of communication deals with a series of documents that can be transformed into news, such as monographs, publications, statistical data, yearbooks or databases.
In exchange for a fee, information agencies provide news to the media, which in turn spreads it.
A atitude profissional do jornalista em relação às suas fontes e a questão do “off de record”
Como muitas outras profissões, o jornalismo deve ser realizado de acordo com um código deontológico. Neste sentido, na maioria dos meios de comunicação são estabelecidas certas pautas que devem ser respeitadas. Algumas delas são as seguintes: retificar a informação demonstrada como falsa, não usar métodos indignos para conseguir notícias ou adotar uma atitude respeitosa em relação ao direito de intimidade das pessoas.
Quem informa a um jornalista pode ter recio na hora de facilitar certos dados. Neste contexto aparece a figura do “off of record”.
Let’s imagine that a person has overwhelming evidence about a politician’s corrupt behavior . Faced with this situation, he contacts a journalist to tell him details of the matter, but says he does not want to appear in the news as an informative source.
Finally, the journalist and his source reach a pact: information is facilitated, but the source’s identity remains hidden.