Brauchli: Washington Post reporters will need editor’s approval to share drafts with sources

Washington Post Executive Editor Marcus Brauchli says the paper’s policy on sharing drafts with sources will get more restrictive after the Texas Observer reported that Post reporter Daniel de Vise sent drafts of a story to the University of Texas. Brauchli says in an email:

Our current policy doesn’t prohibit a reporter from sharing a story draft with a source, but we intend to tighten it to ensure that such instances are rare without dispensation from a top editor. The practice of sharing unedited, unpublished material with sources is something we discourage. From time to time, when a story is particularly sensitive, as some national-security pieces are, or complex, as some science and policy pieces are, it can be helpful to run some wording or sections of a story past a source. But we should do that only for the sake of accuracy.

Related: Washington Post reporter sent drafts to sources (Texas Observer) | Chat: What are the arguments for, against sending stories to sources before publication? (Poynter) | Post reporter criticized for . . . checking his facts (The Washington Post) | Post reporter may have violated paper’s policy by sharing unpublished story (Washington City Paper) | Editors talked to de Vise about incident Wednesday but support changes made to story (The Washington Post)

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  • Bruce Rolfsen

    This is hard to take. Every paper I’ve worked has had the same  rule, “Never share the complete story.” You can share parts of a story to make sure you undestand the facts and context, but never share the entire the story