We do pay sources, and it's done by check. Depends on what the information is, depends on the story. The range could be from a hundred dollars to thousands of dollars.
Probably. Yeah, probably I would say that there's, I think the experience of the television media and ourselves in terms of paying for stories, there's some stories you're gonna get, somebody's gonna talk to you 'cause you're gonna pay them. You're gonna get information that you wouldn't get otherwise.
Most political coverage that I read is unnamed administration officials. I think that's the way it's done politically. I think the importance is not how you label that source, but how accurate that information is... And if the choice is, obviously the ideal, situation is somebody on the record. That's the ideal. But if the information can only be gotten by protecting someones anonymity, then our compact is with the reader to get that reader the information. And we'll do that.
OFF THE RECORD
Very few people, if you're dealing in Washington, which we don't do a lot of stories, and you have people who are very sophisticated with the press, and can label things off, this is off the record, and this is for background, but most people you deal with are not that sophisticated and what they're usually telling you is "don't use my name." And obviously that's something you don't want to do.
We have people who are very knowledgeable and do that, we have people that we can check things out with. I have a number of sources who don't give me any information, but if I come up with something, I can verify it with them. And then there are people who just come in out of the blue. Either they'll call in or they'll write in with some fantastic piece of information that they're absolutely sure that we should put in the paper. If it's true and it's accurate, and we run it ,we do pay them.
GEE WHIZ STORIES
With good stories, sure. And a lot of those tend to be more human interest type stories. We get an awful lot of good stories that way. Because the reader knows, they hear something, "Boy, that should be in the Enquirer. That's a great Enquirer story." That's the kind of thing I always label as "gee whiz," you're at the newsstand, you look through it, and you gotta turn to the person behind you and say, "Did you see this?" Because it's that interesting, it's something you want to share.
There's some rudimentary things, are they who they say they are? Real simple thing, a driver's license. Do you look like the picture on your driver's license? Do you work where you say you work? Can you prove you know who you say you know? Do you have pictures of you together, do you have a letter, can you give me the phone number for that person? That's an important thing. Does your information coincide with information from sources that I know are accurate? Which is real important. And what are the differences? I would say those are the main things.
Check up on everything. Everything. I'll try to think of a good example for you. Celebrity X is at Betty Ford. You call me, you tell me that Celebrity X is in Betty Ford. How do you know? "Well, I really don't want to tell you." Who are you? "Well, I don't want you to know that." So, that piece of information now, hopefully the reporter handling that person will eventually win that person over to get the details, so we'll learn what that is. That's the best case scenario. Worst case scenario is they don't. So now I may or may not have this celebrity in Betty Ford. I will, in all probability, send reporters to Betty Ford and find out. They may talk to a lot of people there and see what happens. You may call directly to the PR for the hospital, who may or may not tell us. And we may interview people as they leave, we may already have sources which, in a lot of places we already have sources that we can check on. And find out if it's true. We also know people that know that particular person. "Where is he?" That's a real simple one to check, "Where is he?" Well, if he's on stage in Atlanta, Georgia, it isn't true. Most of that is pretty simple.
Sure. Yeah. People do get upset when you try to get information. Absolutely. We've been asked to leave places.
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