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Being used

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by hankschu, Jan 3, 2009.

  1. hankschu

    hankschu Member

    I always start thinking about this in the offseason, when trades and free agency comprise the bulk of our reporting.

    Teams and agents always try to use use reporters to gain leverage. My philosophy has always been, I don't care if I'm being used, as long as a) the information the sources want me to print is 100 percent true and b) the story I write is balanced. But I've always wondered if my rationale is wrong-headed.

  2. CM Punk

    CM Punk Guest

    Well, we use them to better our careers. Seems like a fair trade. Oh, wait, we make a hair of a fraction of the money that they do, so fuck 'em.
  3. Elliotte Friedman

    Elliotte Friedman Moderator Staff Member


    I have thought about this a lot, particularly when I get out-of-the-blue calls or unsolicitied information. My rule is: verify as much as I can before going anywhere with it.

    There have been a couple of times where the source has said, "Why didn't you use everything?" and I tell them it's because I couldn't verify. If they get upset with that, I just say, "Would you like it if I used something about you without proving it?"

    Fact is, we are used from time to time. But, those same sources have to understand we aren't beholden to them and that we will them on it if we find out their info is untrue. I like your rules, though. My feelings are similar.
  4. bob

    bob Member

    I've spent my entire career writing for a suburban paper in a major market. It's impossible for me and my suburban colleagues to compete with the majors because they're the ones who are "being used." I wish I could be used.
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