NPR : News

Filed Under:

'New York Times' Bans Practice Of Allowing Sources To Approve Quotes

Back in July, The New York Times writer Jeremy Peters lifted the curtain on a common, but surprising, practice in Washington: In exchange for an interview, high-powered politicos demand the right to approve any quotes before they're published.

It's a practice used by the White House as well as the Romney campaign.

"Most reporters, desperate to pick the brains of the president's top strategists, grudgingly agree. After the interviews, they review their notes, check their tape recorders and send in the juiciest sound bites for review," Peters wrote about how the process works with the Obama campaign. "The verdict from the campaign — an operation that prides itself on staying consistently on script — is often no, Barack Obama does not approve this message."

Well, today, The New York Times is saying no more.

Margaret Sullivan, the paper's public editor, reports:

"The New York Times is drawing 'a clear line' against the practice of news sources being allowed to approve quotations in stories after the fact.

"The practice, known as quote approval, 'puts so much control over the content of journalism in the wrong place,' the executive editor Jill Abramson told me in an interview. 'We need a tighter policy.'"

So, from now on, if a source asks a reporter for quote veto power, they are to say that the paper's policy forbids that.

If you're interested in more, the Times' media columnist David Carr spoke to Morning Edition about the practice.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Is It All Greek To You? Thank Medieval Monks, And The Bard, For The Phrase

Ben Zimmer, language columnist at The Wall Street Journal, explains the origin of the phrase "it's all Greek to me" — and shares a few variants from other languages.
NPR

Do Try This At Home: 3 Korean Banchan (Side Dishes) In One Pot

If you've ever eaten at a Korean restaurant, you're used to the endless side dishes that come out with the meal. They're called banchan, and they're remarkably simple to make for yourself.
WAMU 88.5

Cutting Local Taxes in The District

The D.C. Council has taken steps to accelerate tax cuts for all income earners. They're part of a broader overhaul of the city's tax levels, but some council members argued there wasn't enough time for a rigorous debate about the new schedule. We explore the debate over cutting taxes for D.C. residents and how it affects the city's ability to pay for critical local services.

NPR

Reddit CEO Says Miscommunication Led To Blackout Protest

A user revolt briefly shut down the social site last week after a key employee was dismissed. Interim CEO Ellen Pao says the company has "apologized for not communicating better" with site moderators.