When Journalists Let Sources Approve Quotes

Friday, August 03, 2012


OTM recently reported on a practice in journalism known as "quote approval"-wherein reporters send quotes back to their sources after interviewing them to get the quotes approved. Bob follows up on the quote-approval story with some reaction from newspapers.

Michael Linnen - I Wanna Dance 4 U

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Bob Garfield

Comments [1]

While I wholeheartedly agree that the subject of a story or interview should not have the unilateral right to edit or approve the story, having her (him) review a quote or how the comments were paraphrased has some merit.

In the case of a complex or arcane topic, which the journalist likely doesn't understand, a review can catch inaccuracies or oversimplifications that may distort the subject.

Secondly, in speaking off the top of one's head, anyone may oversimplify or misstate, as in 'what you heard is not what I meant.' Reading what the journalist heard and understood allows the opportunity for improving clarity and accuracy.

Nevertheless, the journalist has the sole authority for deciding whether to make any changes.

Aug. 10 2012 10:55 AM

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