The Facts: Maharlika TV (https://maharlika.tv/…/leni-may-hukbo-ng-photoshop…/) came out with an article about a team of photo manipulators who decided to bolt out from the camp of Leni Robredo because they can no longer stomach what they are doing.
The article was based solely on a source just named J.R., whom they described as a photo editor who started his work with the Leni Robredo camp in November 21 and left because he cannot “stomach” what he was made to do.
J.R. was quoted extensively in the article. Among his “confessions” was the use of pink balloons in drone shots to simulate people and that he and his team were paid P70,000 to P100,000.
Other than J.R., there was no other background of the source.
Using an anonymous source is walking on a fine line between credibility and fabrication.
Under AP’s rules, material from anonymous sources may be used only if:
1. The material is information and not opinion or speculation, and is vital to the report.
2. The information is not available except under the conditions of anonymity imposed by the source.
3. The source is reliable, and in a position to have direct knowledge of the information.
J.R. said that he knew the police is on his trail but that is the only perceived danger that warranted his anonymity.
Maharlika TV only used a stock photo of the back of a man with a lit computer screen on the background.
But the alleged confession of pink balloons has been used as an allegation against the “Kakampink group” since then.
AP also added: “The AP routinely seeks and requires more than one source when sourcing is anonymous. Stories should be held while attempts are made to reach additional sources for confirmation or elaboration. In rare cases, one source will be sufficient – when material comes from an authoritative figure who provides information so detailed that there is no question of its accuracy.”
There are huge question marks on the story, with no other background on the source and collaborating evidence to support his claims.
“The story also must provide attribution that establishes the source’s credibility; simply quoting “a source” is not allowed. We should be as descriptive as possible: “according to top White House aides” or “a senior official in the British Foreign Office.” The description of a source must never be altered without consulting the reporter,” AP added.
AP also said that the reporter’s byline should be placed. Maharlike TV only placed (ai/mtvn) at the end of the article.
Otherwise, for an explosive story as this, an accompanying footage should have been made or other on-the-record sources should have been used to corroborate on the confession. As it is, this is shabby journalism or worse, an invented tale pretending to be a bad article.