A Question for PoP’s Ombudsman

IMGoph comments: “i’m honestly a little intrigued about your “sources”. are people in the councilmember’s office giving you information that the rest of the citzenry is not privy to? if so, does that make you feel a little uneasy knowing that the democratically elected members of our government could be withholding information from some of their constituents and giving it to others?

if you get “inside” info, doesn’t that mean that developers bidding on projects might be getting inside info as well? care to comment?”

Dear IMGoph,

I readily admit I am no Woodward nor Bernstein. I am actually a Silverman. But that’s neither here nor there. My “sources” come from everywhere. Ed. note: I’m not quite sure why everyone puts sources in quotes I promise my sources are not figments of my imagination. A source is simply one who gives information. Why do they give this information? I’m sure it is for a variety of reasons. Some are whistle blowers. Some hope to advance their own agenda. Some are simply friends. Sources are actually quite common in this country. Believe me, I find it as hard to believe as you do but PoP has actually become a bit popular in our nation’s capital and if folks want to give me information I’m not going to deny them that. It doesn’t make me uneasy in the slightest. I don’t think getting “inside information” can be extrapolated to mean that “developers bidding on projects might be getting inside info as well”. For the record I also don’t think my sources have any correlation to the advancement of big oil nor the demise of the US auto industry.



So what do you guys think about sources? Are the use of sources sketchy or legit? Previous ombudsman responses can be read here, here and here.

25 Comment

  • Dude, I love the blog, but it’s a neighborhood blog. It’s not like I’m using this info for stock tips or something. You use all the “sources” you want.

  • Prince Of Petworth

    Buy Anacot Steel!

    Damn there are those quotation marks again…

  • Um, when they tell PoP, they *are* informing the citizenry. Public officials have enough sense to know community outreach can’t be limited to TV and newspapers.

  • singlikesassy: you’re right. guess i was just saying it was funny that these “sources” weren’t going to more trad. med. places with some of this news. but, then again, when dcnorth is the only paper that really covers your neighborhood, i guess the blogs have become the neighborhood papers of record.

  • Use all the sources you want. You’re doing your readers a public service. I like IMGoph, but I think he’s going a little overboard here…

    Thanks for your great work, PoP!

  • Well, traditional media sources generally try to seek independent confirmation before printing/broadcasting information. A lot of sources don’t want to give their names, or they give information that isn’t easily confirmed, or they give information that just isn’t true. The “traditional media” is always going to be slower disseminating some information, because they want to get things right.

    I believe that PoP cares about accuracy, but he’s not a reporter, that’s not his role. He’s a sounding board and an alternate outlet and I’m very glad that it exists. But the Washington Post saying “Ellwood Thompson is coming to DC USA” is a different thing, to me, from “sourced” blog post here saying the same thing.

  • What Christina said.

  • Prince Of Petworth

    Fair enough. But in defense of my sources, to date, they have had a 95% accuracy rate.

  • absolutely, prince. not meaning to raise any hackles here, just wanted to ask a question and see what you thought about it, that’s all. keep the news coming, it’s great that all of the neighborhood blogs in the city have made access to so much news easy.

  • Good lord, it’s not like I’m using the information to write my dissertation or something. Use whatever “sources” you’d like. I am sure they are just as accurate (if not more so) than what most major media outlets use in their stories.

  • Just don’t trust any “source” blindly whenever PoP or anyone else is using “sources” and you’ll be fine. 😉

    Example: PoP’s “sources” say Ellwoods coming to DC USA is a done deal. Yet that the owner of it says its not.. confusing.. 😀 “Your ‘source’?” you are asking? Alaaro on CHNew.com forum on 11 July:

    “Email I got today from Ryan. No lease yet:


    Thanks for the checking in… We haven’t as of yet signed the lease, but continue to make progress. The positive is that we are still very much engaged in the process and we are working towards finishing. I wish I had more to report, but we continue to be prudent in our information so that we can present the facts as they come about.

    Thanks and hope all is well in your world..


    Ryan Youngman
    Ellwood Thompson’s Local Market
    Adam Aaronson
    11th and Park
    Secretary, NCHCA”

    “Sorry” for too many “s and ‘s.

  • Its a freaking blog, not the New York Times! PoP – put anything you want in here it’s your deal. You are very good to preface things and rumor or scuttlebutt. When you get things from sources you indicate as such and don’t state them as fact. It’s our job to actually think – sometime I wonder if folks are loosing that ability – If you read it on the internet, it must be true! I see nothing wrong with what you are doing. Keep up the good work!

  • Buy CanAllPet

  • Steve,

    Thanks for the chuckle. I saw that episode of “I Love Lucy” a few weeks ago. 🙂

  • Oops. Sorry. I should be thanking Anon, 10:53am.

  • Check your sources PoP, I’m pretty sure the line is “Blue Horseshoe loves Anacot Steel.”

  • The only time I worry about “sources” is when the sources are saying things like “there was a gang shooting outside Target!” That’s when the site becomes a gigantic game of telephone, with lots of misinformation spreading quite easily.

    But there has also been a pretty good self-correcting mechanism at work here, too.

  • Christina – Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe when PoP posted that he indicated he was not sure of the accuracy of the statement. Again think for your self….its a blog not a fact checked newspaper or news site!

  • Steve, you’re not wrong — but I never suggested anything other than what you’re saying, so I’m not sure I understand your point. My “thinking for myself” skills are still intact, thanks.

    It is undeniable that posting things like “shoppers robbed at gunpoint outside Target” and “large group of Bloods terrorize Adams Morgan” stirred up people with inaccurate information. It’s easy to find those posts (thanks SO much for the archives, PoP, they’re awesome, seriously!) and see what people were saying at the time.

    Despite my true belief that PoP believes in the accuracy of his sources and their 95 percent accuracy rate, the 5 percent of time that they are wrong, there’s the possibility they’re wrong in a pretty damaging way.

    But the main point I was trying to make is that the site has a strong self-correction mechanism that gives such rumors limited shelf life. And that’s a good thing.

  • Prince Of Petworth

    Ed. note: The Bloods post was accurate. The investigation is ongoing. There were associates of the Bloods gang it just wasn’t clear whether they were from DC or elsewhere.

  • Are we talking about the same post? This is what I”m thinking of, from May 5:

    “Apparently last weekend in Adams Morgan a group of 30 or so members of the Bloods gang were spotted in Adams Morgan. My source tells me they were all wearing some form of their trademark red clothing including hats, bandannas, shirts etc. Additionally, the flashing of numerous gang signs were witnessed. Apparently one member of the contingent was arrested for accosting a woman. So again, I haven’t confirmed this on the record with MPD but I have no reason to doubt the truthfulness of my source.”

    That turned out to be accurate? The MPD update you put after that post seems to suggest something different — at least, I get a different mental picture from this description and the idea of a couple of possible but unconfirmed gang members going to some clubs in A-M. But I could have missed a completely different “Bloods” post, or an update or something.

  • Prince Of Petworth

    No that’s it. I guess you’re right! I meant to say it was accurate that there were a couple of Bloods in AM. Much different than my original post. Christina, this is the self correction mechanism you are talking about in action! Sorry for the confusion.

  • By the way, PoP, I don’t want to come across like I am knocking your sources, your work, or all the tremendous time and effort that you put into this lovely part of the web where I can come and play. I think it is awesome. But if you’re going to defend your sources as having an accuracy level comparable to any other news outlet, then the site is going to be judged in the same way as any other news outlet is when misinformation is disseminated.

    I don’t think that’s what you’re really going for…and why should you? The Post does what it does, and you do what you do, and there’s room for all of us in this world.

  • Anacot Steel. I buy.

  • can you be your own ombudsman? is that how it usually works?

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