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Citations Needed

A brief rant about the failure of most mainstream purveyors of news to ever cite anything they are discussing, leading to the inability of readers to follow up and get more information without extra effort (sometimes excessive) on their part.

I read news from many sources, and the mainstream media stands out in a reluctance to cite sources.  I’m not talking about their anonymous source for a leak, but common public information like polls and laws and press releases.  Sometimes it doesn’t matter—you can dig it up anyway.  Other times, though, the amount of digging to uncover it (if you ever can) is beyond reasonable.

It’s so easy to cite on the internet, but one supposes the mainstream journalists are from a time when space was too precious to include such important details as bill names or bill numbers or poll sources.  Indeed, sometimes they report on a proposed bill before the legislator in question has even published it or registered it with their house.  But even then, the courtesy of a followup with the concrete details, when available, is not beyond reasonable.

Of the many reasons I dislike and distrust the mainstream media, this is minor, but it is indicative of the unprofessional manner they tend to follow.