The local daily recently began reprinting items from some city and regional blogs. Monday, the paper's wise guys and gals wrote:
[W]e have a challenge for the bloggers and all the people out there in Internet land who comment on blogs and news stories, including those who use our forums.
Put your name on it. ...
[T]oo much of the conversation going on in the "blogosphere" is anonymous, and we want to do our part to put an end to that.
The fact is that the best blogs in Springfield and Missouri have names attached to them. We've made a conscientious decision to pull mostly from those blogs when we republish their content on our pages.
But -- and it's a but as big as Jessica Biel's behind -- we think 'net consumers should make the ultimate decision on what's an "acceptable" blog. Anonymity shouldn't be a hard-and-fast barrier used to keep bloggers from reaching a broader audience; some local bloggers don't use their given names because they're writing about issues in their workplace, and public exposure could lead to retaliation.
And, as any journalist can tell you, anonymous sources often hold the key to bigger truths. Imagine if Al Neuharth would have been running the Washington Post between 1972-74. His absolute ban on anonymous sources would have kept Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein from breaking that little story known as Watergate.
So: Less anonymity in Greater Blogistan? Sure. A call to end anonymous blogging? Bad idea.