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White House asks reporters to stop citing anonymous sources

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  1. Newsgathering
White House press correspondents have been asked to stop the practice of citing anonymous government sources in their work, Press…

White House press correspondents have been asked to stop the practice of citing anonymous government sources in their work, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told CNN on Sunday, The Hill reported.

Gibbs finds no reason why reporters cannot find attributable sources in the administration and talked about a policy where officials will not comment on stories where there are anonymous sources used.

"I think we could all put what we want to say to the American people and to the news media all on the record," Gibbs told host Howard Kurtz.

Background sourcing, however, is often the result of officials refusing to allow attribution and those anonymous sources are often key to stories about scandals, mistakes, policy issues and big political stories that would otherwise remain unreported.

This story comes out after news of frustration within the press corp over the administration’s lack of transparency, most recently with the limited access the press got to the Nuclear Security Summit.

On Saturday, The New York Times‘ ombudsman published a column ripping the paper’s overuse of anonymous sources, saying it diminished the public’s trust when anonymous sources are used, often unnecessarily, and lessens the impact of stories that need to use anonymous sources to break big news.