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Unnamed Sources 

It's a funny coincidence that our entire cover story this week is based on an unnamed source, considering that the use of unidentified sources is a contentious topic in journalism circles these days.

This is because another prominent journalist, USA Today's Jack Kelley, recently resigned under fire. One of his alleged sins was using unidentified sources whose existence could not be verified.

The fact is, unidentified sources are used way, way too much in modern-day journalism. But sometimes, they're a necessary evil.

Take this week's cover story, for example. There's no way this fascinating story would ever see the light of day if Jim Nintzel had not agreed to keep the principle source--"The Baron"--unidentified. And there's no way that many government-gone-wrong stories would ever get exposed without the use of unidentified sources; whistleblowers don't want to be named for obvious reasons.

We here at The Weekly try to refrain from using such sources whenever possible. But sometimes, the story is so important or compelling (as is the case this week), we use them anyway.

I think you'll agree this was a wise decision after reading "Sucker Bets." Check it out, starting on Page 19.

jboegle@tucsonweekly.com

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