Dedicated journalists and reporters take their job very seriously, and will adhere to certain guidelines:
According to Pew Research and other polls, these are some of the most trusted news sources in the U.S.:
According to Pew Research, most Americans also trust local their news sources:
Sometimes, people may have information that the public should know, but cannot share the information publicly. Reputable news sources have policies about using anonymous sources, such as requiring that journalists independently verify the information. (The video below provides one example.)
Op-Eds or Opinion pieces
Many reliable news outlets will publish opinion articles, however these opinions are not presented as fact and are clearly identified as the opinions of that individual.
News Stories on Unverified Reports
If a government agent, for example, releases a report that contains unverified information, news agencies write about the report and details surrounding it. While the information in the report may or may not be true, if the report has been released, it is likely newsworthy.
Reporting on Hacked Information
A respectable news agency would never hack into a person's private communications or otherwise violate someone's privacy. However, if hacked information is released, news agencies will report on that information, if it is relevant to public interest.