Most major publications agree to let politicians, campaigns approve quotes

The New York Times, The Washington Post, Bloomberg and Reuters have all agreed to let politicians and campaigns approve quotes prior to publication:

The push and pull over what is on the record is one of journalism’s perennial battles. But those negotiations typically took place case by case, free from the red pens of press minders. Now, with a millisecond Twitter news cycle and an unforgiving, gaffe-obsessed media culture, politicians and their advisers are routinely demanding that reporters allow them final editing power over any published quotations.

Quote approval is standard practice for the Obama campaign, used by many top strategists and almost all midlevel aides in Chicago and at the White House — almost anyone other than spokesmen who are paid to be quoted. (And sometimes it applies even to them.) It is also commonplace throughout Washington and on the campaign trail.

The Romney campaign insists that journalists interviewing any of Mitt Romney’s five sons agree to use only quotations that are approved by the press office. And Romney advisers almost always require that reporters ask them for the green light on anything from a conversation that they would like to include in an article. ...

Many journalists spoke about the editing only if granted anonymity, an irony that did not escape them. || Related: "If reporters agree to this madness, they really have no one to blame but themselves." (Kevin Drum/Mother Jones) | Bob Schieffer objects to Romney ad that features him (Patrick Reis/Politico)


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