Thursday, September 20, 2012

The New York Times bans quote approval

Public Editor Margaret Sullivan got her wish: The New York Times has a clear policy on quote approval. The paper will no longer allow sources to edit quotes after an interview.
Quote approval “puts so much control over the content of journalism in the wrong place,” Times Executive Editor Jill Abramson told Sullivan. She quotes from a memo (see in full below) sent to staff:

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.
(That's from

Quote approval has been front and centre recently. The blogosphere went all atwitter because of  Michael Lewis' excellent story and interview with President Obama in Vanity Fair. Lewis said during a subsequent panel discussion that he submitted quotes to the White House but they only made minor changes. This set off a firestorm among the journalati. Actually, it is not unusual that world leaders want to see a transcript before publication.  We suspect they won't be in the New York Times from now on, just on TV where they can control their quotes. :)).

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