The scandal at News of the World links back to some very old abuses, writes The Globe and Mail's Neil Reynolds in a recent column. Namely, the risk of factual error when it comes to using anonymous sources.

In his article, Reynolds spans the history of anonymous sources, as well as the use of pen names. Yet, his conclusion is clear:

"Journalists are self-governed, and necessarily so. Journalistic abuses are not offences that can be prevented by professional associations or, heaven forbid, by governments. They can be legitimately prevented only by proprietors and publishers – whose job, as Jane Jacobs once observed, is the hardest in the world. It should get harder still. Hidden sources must go."