Tag Archives: Elodie Gagnon-Martin

Journalists don’t check ID

Anonymous blogger “Emma”, who was recently approached (via email) by Radio-Canada and asked to identify herself for a story, waxes philosophical about the idea of anonymous blogging, especially in the wake of the “Elodie Gagnon-Martin” scandal where an ADQ blogger turned out to be … maybe … an ADQ staffer of another name.

As a journalist who writes about blogs (and for that matter other online stories), I see both sides. But what is perhaps being forgotten in all this is the simple matter that journalists don’t check ID. Unless they have some reason to believe that you’re lying to them, they’ll take your word for it that you are who you say you are. Unless you say your name is Hugh Jass (and even then…) or the name of someone they already know, whatever name you give them is the name they’ll use.

So with that in mind, what’s the point, really? There will always be situations where journalists get tricked and have to apologize, and unless they ask for a driver’s license before every interview there’s no way to ensure that won’t happen again.

Anonymous blogs should be simply identified as such in the news: Take ideas at face value, but trust at your own risk.