Thursday, August 21, 2008

Media Academic Article on Leaks

Journalism, Vol. 9, No. 5, 555-581 (2008)
The anatomy of leaks Tracing the path of unauthorized disclosure in the Israeli press

Zvi Reich

An innovative methodology of face-to-face reconstruction interviews with the reporters who had authored a sample of news items allowed wide and systematic research access to one of the most sensitive and virtually unapproachable spheres of journalism — leaks. The main findings were that (1) leaks were highly prevalent — each fifth item involved the sensitive practice; (2) the dominant leakers were senior sources; (3) the favorite channel for leaks was the telephone; (4) leaked stories were initiated equally by reporters and sources; and (5) leaks were cross-verified with additional sources much more frequently than non-leaked items. The study, which took place in Israel, focused on national daily press reporters and their contacts with news sources.

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