Jay Rosen encourages reporters to be more transparent, against "using opacity as a tool of power," for accountability in government, and against demagoguery. Ambinder asks how these guidelines are supposed to function in real life:
Tonight, I'm learning a lot about the back end of how the Rolling Stone article about Gen. McChrystal came to be written. I could share everything I know immediately, thus satisfying the transparency and anti-opacity principles, but in order to figure out who ought to be held accountable and why, I'm going to have to use that information to gather other information and then make an informed decision.
There's no doubt that I will NOT able to identify, by name, all of the sources I've spoken to. I will always do my best to relate to the reader the biases of the sources, but if my goal is to explain to people what's really happening, and I think that IS my goal, then I'm going to have to ... well... sacrifice at least one of the principles (opacity) for another (accountability).
Earlier thoughts here.