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Archive for July 19th, 2012

Giving ‘quote approval’ to politicans an act of editorial surrender

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Reporters learn their craft in several ways. One is imitation. Another is instruction by a teacher. Another is instruction by experience. The lessons taught by each may be widely dissimilar. But lately, imitation and instruction by experience, unleavened by common sense, have produced poor journalism. That ill serves readers.

Much harrumping by media critics has followed NYTer Jeremy Peters’ revelation of “quote approval” — demands that reporters allow politicians to edit and rewrite quotations chosen for news stories.

Dan Rather calls this “a jaw-dropping turn in journalism.” Says NYU prof Jay Rosen: “This is real power shift. Quote approval is now routine on the campaign trail. Reporters feel they have no choice.” Former News & Record editor John Robinson: “Campaigns get quote approval? Can we embarrass ourselves some more?” And CUNY prof Jeff Jarvis: “1 Journalists should never give quote approval. 2 If they do they’d damn well better reveal it.”

Why would otherwise competent journalists surrender control of their story-telling to the subjects of their stories?
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Written by Dr. Denny Wilkins

July 19, 2012 at 4:57 pm

Posted in Uncategorized