Thursday, October 20, 2005

My Issue with Sources

There is a story that's getting some good play today in the Boston news regarding a European vacation that several state representatives left on last night, even as the legislature was trying to dig through key pieces of legislation.

The story on the front page of the Boston Globe "City and Region" section (below the fold) and written by Frank Phillips and Michael Levsenson points out that the trip includes six legislators, including key members of the leadership, as well as a state lobbyist, House clerk and others.

Interesting story, but as I read further I started to realize why this became such a big deal. The headline is "Legislators' trip could delay work in House," suggesting that these six members are so key as to shut things down. While that fact is mentioned in the lead paragraph, the key support for this statement is on the jump page:

Still, the trip stirred grumbling within the House ranks, where some members, who did not want to be quoted by name, felt the trip had come at the worst time....
With this trip, "they've shut the House down," said one frustrated member. "It's stunning. Short of the budget, this is the busiest time of the year."
What are the political beefs this person (or persons) speaking has with the legislators in question? Is this a political friend or foe? What sorts of state-funded projects may have been cut from this person's home region because of moves by the House leadership?

Without the information of who this source is, I the reader, am not able to make this determination.

Is this a real story, or is this just political back biting? Frankly, without more information, I just can't be sure. I'm left to trust the Boston Globe that it's something worthy of its prominent placement.

In the new media world, I'd like more information by which to make this determination.

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