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Can't believe the Washington Post would be OK with this

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by GuessWho, Jul 25, 2012.

  1. GuessWho

    GuessWho Active Member

    But after reading the eighth graph, wow.

    http://www.texasobserver.org/cover-story/washington-post-reporter-allows-college-officials-to-alter-story-on-controversial-test
     
  2. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    I read that graf as saying that there was nothing wrong with the story, but -- reading between the lines -- the editor didn't want to touch the issue of showing it to sources beforehand.

    His head's probably on the block as much as the writer.
     
  3. bpoindexter

    bpoindexter Member

    There were just 12 comments on the story when I read it just now, but interestingly, there were a few who actually thought it was OK to allow the story subject(s) to read the story. Just another sign of how our industry continues to take a collective shit.

    Whenever I've wanted/needed to confirm a quote and/or fact over the years, I've called back the source for verification. I found out what I needed to know, but I never allowed the subject(s) to read the story. Never.
     
  4. bpoindexter

    bpoindexter Member

    Sorry if this is already on the site somewhere, but I thought this would fit with this subject. I lifted this from www.journalismjobs.com:

    http://www.cnn.com/2012/07/19/opinion/rather-quote-approval-reporting/index.html
     
  5. Interesting to see established gurus like David Carr coming out on Twitter in support of "draft vetting" (or whatever) as fact-checking tool, if not the exact techniques/scenario detailed by the Texas Observer.
     
  6. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    Not surprised some reporters would do this. There are some reporters who will do almost anything to be liked by sources, as if they're going to be best buddies if the story comes out just right.
     
  7. In complex stories, certainly I can understand running details by a source to make sure I didn't screw something up.

    But to let a source essentially mark up your draft with edits?? Sorry, I can't support that.

    Also, I know this was intended as a private conversation, but his talk about "satisfied customers" really rubbed me the wrong way. The readers are the customers, not the sources.
     
  8. rmanfredi

    rmanfredi Active Member

    I got to the point where the person from Poynter said that sending entire drafts with sources is OK and equated it to working with the ad side to create advertorial content as things that are now no longer off-limits in the Wild West of modern newspapers.

    My hands should stop bleeding soon from where I dug my nails into them.
     
  9. Armchair_QB

    Armchair_QB Well-Known Member

    Hey, if it's ok for politicians from both parties to do it, why shouldn't it be ok for everybody else?
     
  10. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    It's kind of funny. Like everyone else, the idea of letting a source look at a story before it runs horrifies me. And I've had plenty ask. I have always just kind of talked around it.

    Then, one time, I was in a job interview for a non-journalism job, and out of nowhere, the interviewer asked, about a piece I had bragged up in my application, "Did you let your sources read it ahead of time?"

    "No way! Never!" I answered confidently.

    And the interviewer, calm as can be, said, "Why not?"

    And I totally choked and rambled something. But it was odd. It's such accepted knowledge in this business, but when I was put on the spot, I had a hard time explaining it to a layman. I don't think he really cared what the reason was, he just wanted me to have thought about it and had an answer, whatever it might be. But, embarrassingly, I really didn't.

    Did not get a second interview there.
     
  11. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    I'm gonna start running all my posts past Drip before I publish them.
     
  12. bpoindexter

    bpoindexter Member

    The "customers" thing bent me out of shape, too.
     
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