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Interview Quote ApprovalFollow

#1 Sep 18 2012 at 8:09 AM Rating: Good
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Apparently, the more savy celebs will require quote approval before their interviews are publicized. Most recently and most notably, Obama did this interview with Micheal Lewis for Vanity Fair and required this caveat.

In his article the Puppetry of Quotation NYT's David Carr wrote:
Quote:
...But something else more modern and insidious is under way. In an effort to get it first, reporters sometimes cut corners, sending questions by e-mail and taking responses the same way. What is lost is the back-and-forth, the follow-up question, the possibility that something unrehearsed will make it into the article. Keep in mind that when public figures get in trouble for something they said, it is usually not because they misspoke, but because they accidentally told the truth. Article


Is the media selling out, sacrificing the bare-naked truth for access?

Did the media bring this on themselves by misquotes and out-of-context sound bites, or have the famous people just taken advantage of a power grab?

Is it ok for the interviewee, in the public arena, to have the ability to pick and choose which of their words we see/hear?

What happened to the good old days when any publicity was good publicity?

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#2 Sep 18 2012 at 8:11 AM Rating: Excellent
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I blame TMZ.
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#3 Sep 18 2012 at 8:14 AM Rating: Decent
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Is the media selling out, sacrificing the bare-naked truth for access?


Yes, also: The sky is blue.

What happened to the good old days when any publicity was good publicity?

There are no good old days. There was a microsecond in around 1972 when the media honestly reported on a guy everyone of them hated. That's the exception, not the rule.
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#4 Sep 18 2012 at 8:17 AM Rating: Good
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Smasharoo wrote:
[b]
There was a microsecond in around 1972 when the media honestly reported on a guy everyone of them hated.

I remember that! (Nixon right?)
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#5 Sep 18 2012 at 8:59 AM Rating: Excellent
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Elinda wrote:
Is the media selling out, sacrificing the bare-naked truth for access?


Given that all you need to get 'truth' out is a cell phone camera and access to youtube I can't see it making economic sense for a big media conglomerate to attempt to compete in that arena anymore. Just too much overhead to be competitive frankly.
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#6 Sep 18 2012 at 9:05 AM Rating: Excellent
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It's a natural consequence of the new news cycle and teh interwebs.

Quote:
Is it ok for the interviewee, in the public arena, to have the ability to pick and choose which of their words we see/hear?


I don't have any real problem with that, per say. People speak publicly to convey a message, so what's wrong with them curating that message if they have the wherewithal to arrange to do so beforehand?
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#7 Sep 18 2012 at 11:33 AM Rating: Good
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mmmm I work with media and I've seen some atrocious misquotes. We don't require any approval of quotes but sometimes it just comes out looking real facepalm.

Our solution is we just coach our people to answer every question just about the same way. Not because we have an aversion to truth but just that they will take a 5 minute interview, pull the most useless thing you said, and then run that in 10 second clips for the whole day if you do anything differently.

I think both halves of the equation are to blame for a situation where people require quote approval or where strict message boxing is in effect.


Edited, Sep 20th 2012 7:29pm by Olorinus
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#8 Sep 18 2012 at 5:28 PM Rating: Excellent
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Elinda wrote:
Smasharoo wrote:
[b]
There was a microsecond in around 1972 when the media honestly reported on a guy everyone of them hated.

I remember that! (Nixon right?)



Agnew.

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#9 Sep 20 2012 at 8:29 PM Rating: Good
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September 20, 2012, 3:53
In New Policy, The Times Forbids After-the-Fact ‘Quote Approval’
By MARGARET SULLIVAN

4:32 p.m. | Updated Full memo included at the end of this post.
Related Article
The Times Needs a Policy, Soon

The public editor pushes for The Times to adopt a “quote approval” policy.

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.”

Times editors have been working on the policy for months, she noted — ever since a July story by Jeremy Peters revealed the practice as a widespread one that included many reporters.

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.”

Ms. Abramson said that she never wants to put obstacles to news-gathering in front of reporters but that “anodyne or generic quotes that are scrubbed or changed don’t add anything” to stories.

If the practice were allowed to continue, she said, “you will only see more control and manipulation” by news sources in the future. In making this move, The Times joins news organizations like The National Journal and Reuters in opposing quote approval; Reuters stopped short of an outright ban.

Ms. Abramson, who has many years of Washington reporting and editing in her own background, including a stint as Washington bureau chief, said she understands that “we’ll lose interviews” because of the new policy.

Interviews without quote approval “will be seen as too risky” by news sources, she said. “The practice is so ingrained.”

She said there could be exceptions to the rule if there were critical information that would otherwise be denied to the reader, and if the exception were discussed with a senior editor in advance.

Believing that such a directive might be coming — and responding to a Monday column by David Carr and my blog calling for a clear policy — a number of reporters have been in touch with me this week to express their points of view.

One who provided thoughtful commentary was the White House correspondent Peter Baker. He wrote:

As much as I hate the practice, it grew out of a laudable desire on the part of newspapers to stop using so many blind quotes in White House stories. As I recall, it was during the late Clinton era and editors pushed us to go back to sources who spoke on background and get permission to use their names with specific quotes we were planning to use anyway but anonymously. Sources generally found that being on the record was not so worrisome (or career-threatening) once they knew what we actually wanted to use and they often agreed. As a result, stories that traditionally were filled with anonymous quotes began having more named sources. This was a benefit to our readers. Over time, sources began to take advantage of this and institutionalize it to the point that they came up with this name for it, quote approval. It’s grown way too common and has become an objectionable means of control by too many people who should frankly just talk on the record, especially paid spokesmen. But it’s also a practice with tangible benefits for our readers and we should consider the trade-offs before making any hard-and-fast rules.

The memo recognizes that distinction:

We understand that talking to sources on background – not for attribution – is often valuable to reporting, and unavoidable. Negotiation over the terms of using quotations, whenever feasible, should be done as part of the same interview — with an “on the record” coda, or with an agreement at the end of the conversation to put some parts on the record. In some cases, a reporter or editor may decide later, after a background interview has taken place, that we want to push for additional on-the-record quotes. In that situation, where the initiative is ours, this is acceptable. Again, quotes should not be submitted to press aides for approval or edited after the fact.

Ms. Abramson put it succinctly: When possible, “it should be part of the same transaction.” She also said she realizes and sympathizes with the concerns of reporters who don’t want to lose one of their ways of getting information to readers.

As the memo states:

We know our reporters face ever-growing obstacles in Washington, on Wall Street and elsewhere. We want to strengthen their hand in pushing back against the quote-approval process, which all of us dislike. Being able to cite a clear Times policy should aid their efforts and insulate them from some of the pressure they face.

In the end, Ms. Abramson said, it is a control issue. “The journalist shouldn’t be a supplicant,” she added.

The policy strikes me as both sensible and necessary.
Full Memo

Despite our reporters’ best efforts, we fear 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. In its most extreme forms, 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.

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.

We understand that talking to sources on background — not for attribution — is often valuable to reporting, and unavoidable. Negotiation over the terms of using quotations, whenever feasible, should be done as part of the same interview — with an “on the record” coda, or with an agreement at the end of the conversation to put some parts on the record. In some cases, a reporter or editor may decide later, after a background interview has taken place, that we want to push for additional on-the-record quotes. In that situation, where the initiative is ours, this is acceptable. Again, quotes should not be submitted to press aides for approval or edited after the fact.

We realize that at times this approach will make our push for on-the-record quotes even more of a challenge. But in the long run, we think resetting the bar, and making clear that we will not agree to put after-the-fact quote-approval in the hands of press aides, will help in that effort.

We know our reporters face ever-growing obstacles in Washington, on Wall Street and elsewhere. We want to strengthen their hand in pushing back against the quote-approval process, which all of us dislike. Being able to cite a clear Times policy should aid their efforts and insulate them from some of the pressure they face.

Any potential exceptions to this approach should be discussed with a department head or a masthead editor.


From: http://publiceditor.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/20/in-new-policy-the-times-forbids-after-the-fact-quote-approval/?smid=tw-nytimes



Edited, Sep 20th 2012 7:30pm by Olorinus
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lolgaxe wrote:
When it comes to sitting around not doing anything for long periods of time, only being active for short windows, and marginal changes and sidegrades I'd say FFXI players were the perfect choice for politicians.

clicky
#10 Sep 21 2012 at 8:03 AM Rating: Decent
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September 20, 2012, 3:53
In New Policy, The Times Forbids After-the-Fact ‘Quote Approval’


September 21, 2012, 00:01
Times Reporters Inform Inside Sources 'This doesn't apply to us, don't worry'
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Disclaimer:

To make a long story short, I don't take any responsibility for anything I post here. It's not news, it's not truth, it's not serious. It's parody. It's satire. It's bitter. It's angsty. Your mother's a whore. You like to jack off dogs. That's right, you heard me. You like to grab that dog by the bone and rub it like a ski pole. Your dad? Gay. Your priest? Straight. **** off and let me post. It's not true, it's all in good fun. Now go away.

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