The public was allowed at last night’s Columbia Graduate School of Journalism event featuring Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter, and yet his lecture was designated “an off-the-record conversation.” Other journalism school-sponsored public events have been described as off the record, too. Joe Pompeo writes:
Can public events ever be considered “off the record”? The term—which signifies that a reporter cannot, under any circumstances, use a source’s remarks for publication—only really makes sense in the context of one-to-one agreements between scribes and sources. And the effort to put public events “off the record” is all the more puzzling when it comes at the behest of the world’s best known graduate journalism program—which is, after all, charged with instructing students in the basic tenets of reporting, editing and publishing.