Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Reporting within "walled gardens"

A reporter has entered the hallowed halls of College Confidential to seek out students willing to talk anonymously.

The reporter wants to talk to students about college application questions regarding school discipline and convictions. I don't know whether he's also seeking out people on Facebook groups.

Is this innovative cyber-reporting? Is this invasion of a walled garden where students feel as if they're safe posting anonymous (or pseudo-anonymous) comments? Is the reporter setting himself up for a fall seeking anonymous information at a place where sock puppets sometimes visit?

To the site's credit and the reporter's credit: The reporter apparently contacted a moderator, who posted this, in part:

"While we have verified that this is a legitimate LA Times request, we always suggest caution when divulging personal information."

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