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

2 Stolen Van Goghs Recovered By Anti-Mafia Police In Italy

The two paintings — of a seascape and of a congregation at a churchwere stolen from the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam in 2002. "They are the real paintings!" a curator said in a statement.
NPR

A Growing Champagne Trend Is Uncorking More Ways To Celebrate

Champagne shouldn't be just for special occasions, says wine writer David White. He explains how to choose it, how to pair it with food and how small growers are changing the industry.
WAMU 88.5

The Politics Hour - September 30, 2016

D.C.'s statehood activists rally while the Council opens debate on a state constitution. An appeals court reviews Virginia's voter ID law. And Prince George's County contends with a spate of incidents involving sexual abuse of school kids.

NPR

Rosetta Crashes Into Comet, Bringing Historic Mission To End

The Rosetta spacecraft has been orbiting the 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko comet for two years. Now scientists have ended the mission, and the spacecraft has lost contact with Earth forever.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.