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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Quote: Unquote

The NYT today became one of the first leading journalism outlets to enact a policy banning the newly controversial practice of giving interview subjects "quote approval" over what appears in print or on the air.  The Times had started considering this after running a major piece on the practice this past summer.  It gained more attention just this month when it emerged that Michael Lewis gave the White House quote approval for his famous Vanity Fair profile of the president.
A memorandum on Thursday says that “demands for after-the-fact quote approval by sources and their press aides have gone too far.”
“The practice risks giving readers a mistaken impression that we are ceding too much control over a story to our sources,” it says. “In its most extreme form, it invites meddling by press aides and others that goes far beyond the traditional negotiations between reporter and source over the terms of an interview.”
It includes this firm directive: “So starting now, we want to draw a clear line on this. Citing Times policy, reporters should say no if a source demands, as a condition of an interview, that quotes be submitted afterward to the source or a press aide to review, approve or edit.”

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