‘LAT’: BALCO Reporters Criticized for Source’s Apparent Ulterior Motives

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By: E&P Staff

The Los Angeles Times today ran an article critical of the decision of reporters Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams to grant anonymity to a lawyer who leaked grand jury testimony in the BALCO steroids trial.

The article quotes journalism experts who said the case “underlined the need for caution in handling secret informants,” and related it to the Lewis Libby CIA leak trial now taking place in Washington.

“This question is going to come up more and more: Was this source worthy of giving this degree of confidentiality?” the article quotes University of Minnesota journalism school professor Jane Kirtley, as saying. … “if you are going to argue for protection for journalists, isn’t there some obligation to ask questions about whether it’s justified?”

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