Articles about "Quote approval"


Jill Abramson

Jill Abramson would like a magazine job

mediawiremorningGood morning. We’re almost there. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. Area man to appear on television: Chuck Todd will interview President Obama for his first episode of “Meet the Press” on Sunday. (Politico)
  2. HuffPost won’t talk about Jimmy Soni: HuffPost parent AOL was investigating allegations of sexual harrassment by its former managing editor, J.K. Trotter reports. (Gawker) | “Rumors have been swirling inside the company for the past couple of months about Soni’s alleged inappropriate behavior with female Huffington Post fellows.” (Capital)
  3. ONA bends to pressure on its Ferguson panel: “We did not intend to overlook great work at the local level,” Trevor Knoblich writes. “We began today looking for a local person to add to our session.” (ONA) | Earlier: “Why are no local outlets represented in ONA’s Ferguson keynote?” (Poynter) | Related: Kristen Hare is still curating her Twitter list of people reporting from Ferguson.
  4. L.A. Times reporter shared drafts of stories with CIA: Ken Dilanian tells Ken Silverstein he “shouldn’t have” sent stories to CIA spokespeople before he ran them, and he “wouldn’t do it now.” He’s now an AP reporter. AP spokesperson Paul Colford told Silverstein AP is “satisfied that any pre-publication exchanges that Ken had with the CIA before joining AP were in pursuit of accuracy in his reporting on intelligence matters,” and that “we do not coordinate with government agencies on the phrasing of material.” (The Intercept) | Remember quote approval? Jeremy W. Peters reported in 2012 about the practice. (NYT) Many news orgs distanced themselves from it. (Poynter) | Former Washington Post reporter Daniel de Vise got in hot water later that month when Texas Observer revealed he had shared drafts with sources. (Texas Observer) | Then Post Executive Editor Marcus Brauchli clamped down on the practice. (Poynter) | In August of that year, NYT reporter Mark Mazzetti sent an advance copy of a Maureen Dowd column to a CIA spokesperson. (Politico)
  5. Stock of Politico article on Glenn Greenwald drops: An intensely weird Politico Magazine piece that claims “Greenwald Inc. has already peaked,” offering evidence like this: “‘I think there’s a bit of Snowden fatigue out there right now,’ said former NSA director Michael Hayden.” (Politico) | The story “is terrible, in precisely seven ways.” (WP) | “So Glenn Greenwald, having been up—on the strength of Edward Snowden’s decision to trust him with a collection of leaked classified documentation of the NSA’s immense and all but unchecked mass surveillance program—is due to be down. Because the NSA has stopped spying on everyone, hasn’t it?” (Gawker) | Dylan Byers: “I’m of the opinion, and was of the opinion, that [Greenwald] peaked more than a year ago.” (Politico)
  6. Time Inc. chief hints at a plan: CEO Joe Ripp “said he is taking cues from National Geographic’s transformation from a sleepy not-for-profit print publication into a ‘multimedia powerhouse’ in cable television and online.” (Re/code) | Related: At the same conference, Jill Abramson said, “I would like to be working at the highest quality kind of magazine.” (Re/code) | “As she took the stage, seated across from her interviewer, Re/code cofounder Kara Swisher, some in the audience could see she was wearing a piece of statement jewelry: a necklace shaped to spell the word ‘pushy.’” (Capital)
  7. Why Mike came back to Bloomberg: “The goal of increasing the company’s visibility is not about satisfying the former mayor’s ego, Mr. Doctoroff and others say, but rather increasing the demand for terminals,” Jonathan Mahler writes. “The logic is that the more visible Bloomberg becomes, the more likely newsmakers will be to give its reporters news that moves markets.” (NYT) | “Mr. Bloomberg is returning to a more competitive marketplace than the one he left in 2002 and to increasingly strained relations with the financial institutions that make up the company’s core customer base.” (WSJ)
  8. Adieu, Twitpic: “Unfortunately we do not have the resources to fend off a large company like Twitter to maintain our mark which we believe whole heartedly is rightfully ours.” (Twitpic Blog)
  9. Front page of the day, selected by Kristen Hare: The New York Daily News remembers Joan Rivers. (Courtesy Newseum)

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  10. Job moves, edited by Benjamin Mullin. Robert Lopez will be communications director for California State University, Los Angeles. Previously, he was an investigative reporter for the Los Angeles Times. (LA Observed) | Robin Sproul will be vice president of public affairs for ABC News. Previously, she was Washington bureau chief there. Jonathan Greenberger will be ABC’s Washington bureau chief. He is executive producer of “This Week.” (ABC News) | Rebecca Nelson will be a staff correspondent at the National Journal. Previously, she was an assistant editor at The Washingtonian. (Fishbowl DC) | Dennis Rodkin will run a nursery in California. Previously, he was a reporter at Crain’s Chicago Business. (Crain’s) | Michael Wright will be CEO of DreamWorks Studios. Previously, he was head of programming for TBS, TNT and Turner Classic Movies. (New York Times) | Job of the day: The Associated Press is looking for an administrative correspondent in Austin, Texas. Get your résumés in! (Journalism Jobs) | Send Ben your job moves: bmullin@poynter.org

Suggestions? Criticisms? Would like me to send you this roundup each morning? Please email me: abeaujon@poynter.org. Read more

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Quote approval isn’t necessary when White House insists on interview minders

The Washington Post | Politico | National Journal

The White House “may be the most diligent user of the chaperoned interview,” Paul Farhi writes in The Washington Post. Though many news organizations banned the practice of quote approval in 2012, the Obama administration makes diligent use of minders during interviews, which can accomplish a similar purpose.

“Let’s put it this way,” New York Times reporter Peter Baker told Farhi about the practice. “It’s not intended to increase candor.”

That’s assuming reporters can get near administration officials in the first place. The administration has kept the president unencumbered by reporters during two meetings with super PAC donors this week, and it limited coverage of an event in Washington Tuesday, Edward Isaac Dovere and Josh Gerstein report in Politico.

“I would only ask that you judge us by our record and the record of our predecessors,” they say White House principal deputy press secretary Eric Schultz told reporters Wednesday. “Without a doubt, I think we’ve done more to achieve the president’s commitment to transparency than any previous administration.”

(White House spokesperson Josh Earnest earlier this week criticized a Washington Post story for using anonymous sources, just before the White House scheduled an anonymous call with administration officials.)

Journalists should use the leverage their respective publications’ prominence grants them, Ron Fournier argues in National Journal: “Remember, a spokesman gets paid to get his or her point of view in your story. They need you.”

Fournier includes an example of a time he resisted an off-the-record meeting:

I did this a few times, most memorably during the 2004 presidential campaign when Democratic nominee John Kerry wanted to chat with reporters aboard his plane. He wanted it to be “off the record,” which means whatever he wanted to say could never be reported. Years ago, I agreed to similar terms aboard Air Force One with President Clinton, and watched in horror as competitors violated the terms. My editor wasn’t happy with me. With that memory, I politely told Kerry that I would be taking notes and filing.

Kerry had a choice. He could chat with us on my terms (a “win-win”) or walk away. He stormed back to his cabin, and I got back to writing an analysis of his flailing campaign.

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The New Yorker, USA Today deny J.K. Rowling quote approval

The New Yorker | The Independent | USA Today
Ian Parker’s profile of J.K. Rowling in The New Yorker says the author “sought quote approval, which was not given.” Parker writes that while preparing to interview Rowling, “I read ‘The Casual Vacancy,’ which is five hundred and twelve pages long, in the New York offices of Little, Brown, after signing a non-disclosure agreement whose first draft—later revised—had prohibited me from taking notes.” Read more

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The New York Times bans quote approval

The New York Times
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 change 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: Read more

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Another explanation for quote approval: Journalists mangle quotes

The New York Times
David Carr writes about an inconvenient fact that gets lost in all the bluster about news organizations submitting quotes to sources for approval: Reporters often whiff when they try to quote sources accurately.

…journalism is a blunt technology. Until we arrive at real-time transcription (it’s not that far away) even the best reporters will get at least the small things wrong — unless they have time to tape and transcribe, which is a rarity in this rapid-fire age. … Sometimes we type, we lose our place, we start again, and it is what is left out, or elided, that ends up twisting meaning.

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Michael Lewis let White House approve quotes for Vanity Fair profile

The New York Times
Michael Lewis allowed the White House to approve quotes for his profile in Vanity Fair of President Obama, Jeremy W. Peters reports. The article will go online at midnight Tuesday; Vanity Fair has a preview up right now with some admittedly killer quotes in it.

Lewis revealed the precondition of his access to the president at a public forum Monday, Peters writes.

What the White House asked to leave off the record, Mr. Lewis added, was usually of little relevance to his article anyway — like a discussion between Mr. Obama and his political strategists about their electoral strategy in Florida.

Mr. Lewis said there was one particularly moving exchange with the president that he wished he could have described in greater detail. But the White House nixed the idea, perhaps wary of having the commander in chief described as in tears.

Lewis played basketball with Obama and “was given a special lapel pin that designated him to the Secret Service as someone who was allowed to be in close proximity to the president,” Peters writes. Read more

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After ‘chains’ remark, Biden’s staff tries to edit press pool reports

Politico
Vice President Joe Biden’s “penchant for off-message moments regularly sends aides in the West Wing and at Chicago reelection headquarters into orbit,” Jonathan Martin writes in Politico, so his staff tries “to save Biden from himself.” On a recent trip to Virginia, “aides tried to edit media pool reports for any potential landmines that could be seized on by Republicans and even hovered at close range to eavesdrop on journalists’ conversations with attendees at Biden rallies.”

Their efforts to manage pool reports is a new tactic in message control:

Because the entire press corps cannot easily jam in, say, a diner or private home, it is standard practice to have a single designated reporter take notes and share the material with colleagues from other news organizations. These reports are designed entirely for the media, but are distributed by White House staffers. In the case of Obama, as with his predecessors, the reports are simply forwarded without comment by email to a news media distribution list.

But on two occasions during Biden’s Virginia trip, his staff sought to have certain elements in the reports highlighted while reporters drafted them and discussed the contents with the reporters after the summaries had been sent but before they had before sent to the broader media.

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Ari Fleischer: Quote approval started with good intent

CNN
Ari Fleischer, press secretary for part of President George W. Bush’s first term, writes that he “would have been laughed out of the briefing room” if he had tried to get reporters to let him approve or clean up a quotation, a practice revealed last month by The New York Times. “As a former press secretary, I’m all for trying to control the press, but quote approval goes too far.”

The practice started late in Bush’s second term, Fleischer writes, based on a conversation he had with The New York Times’ Peter Baker.

Like Prohibition, it began with good intent.

Reporters covering Bush’s second term, under pressure from editors not to use unnamed sources in their stories, started asking their sources if a background quote, attributed to a senior aide, could instead be turned into an on-the-record quote, with the aide’s name in print. I e-mailed last week with several former Bush staffers and many confirmed they engaged in that practice. …

The sentence was e-mailed to the aide, and when permission was granted to use it, quote approval among the most senior aides got started.

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National Journal, McClatchy ban quote approval

The New York Times | McClatchy | On the Media | San Francisco Chronicle

National Journal Editor-in-Chief Ron Fournier tells reporters they can’t submit quotes to sources for editing, a practice that more politicians are insisting on.

If a public official wants to use NJ as a platform for his/her point of view, the price of admission is a quote that is on-record, unedited and unadulterated.

McClatchy Washington Bureau Chief James Asher also bans the practice:

As advocates of the First Amendment, we cannot be intimidated into letting the government control our work. When The New York Times agreed with Bush Administration officials to delay publication of its story of illegal wiretaps of Americans until after the 2004 election, it did the nation a great disservice. Acceding to the Obama administration’s efforts to censor our work to have it more in line with their political spin is another disservice to America.

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Dan Rather: Quote approval is ‘a jaw-dropping turn in journalism’

CNN | Guardian
Dan Rather, it shouldn’t surprise anyone, is adamantly opposed to allowing campaigns to approve quotations, as some journalists do, according to a report earlier this week in The New York Times.

Rather asks: “Can you trust the reporters and news organizations who do this? Is it ever justified on the candidate’s side or on the reporter’s side? Where is this leading us?”

Background briefings have been part of Washington for years, he writes, but this is “new and different”:

This is the officials or candidates regularly insisting that reporters essentially become an operative arm of the administration or campaign they are covering.

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