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Outrageous (or unbelievable) statement dilemma

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by BB Bobcat, Aug 23, 2007.

  1. BB Bobcat

    BB Bobcat Active Member

    Let's say you are talking to an athlete on your beat who is prone to saying things without really meaning them, either for shock value or just because he's a little goofy. He says something that you don't believe he really means, but taken on its own the quote is certainly newsworthy. You probably won't have a chance to get back to him for clarification until the next day.

    Do you run the quote right now? Talk to him again the next day? Just blow it off?
     
  2. EE94

    EE94 Guest

    Re: Outrageous statement dilemma


    You're a journalist if you go back and have him clarify. If he means it, you're good.

    You're a salesman if you go with it now, just because it will shock. If he doesn't mean it, then what's its worth to the public?
     
  3. Mayfly

    Mayfly Active Member

    Re: Outrageous statement dilemma

    Covering Mike Tyson again BB?
     
  4. BB Bobcat

    BB Bobcat Active Member

    Re: Outrageous statement dilemma

    Good advice. That was my first instinct, but sometimes I think I'm too conservative about these things and end up watching someone else make a big story out of something I had blown off because I thought it was ridiculous.
     
  5. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    Re: Outrageous statement dilemma


    So a journalists can only quote people if we confirm they really mean what they say? Did political reporters get this memo?

    I'd quote Goofy if he knew he was talking with a reporter. Why not?
     
  6. spnited

    spnited Active Member

    Re: Outrageous statement dilemma

    Are you talking about a high school athlete here or higher level?
     
  7. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    Re: Outrageous statement dilemma

    See Ted Koppel vs. Al Campanis on Nightline for your answer.
     
  8. MU_was_not_so_hard

    MU_was_not_so_hard Active Member

    Re: Outrageous statement dilemma

    Agree with spnited... different levels warrant different consideration. I had a couple kids at the college I covered who were quote gold mines. Said some absolutely absurd shit. Had it been a high schooler saying some of it -- or if I didn't know them so well -- I might have thought twice about running most of it.
     
  9. BB Bobcat

    BB Bobcat Active Member

    Re: Outrageous statement dilemma

    High profile professional athlete.
     
  10. dawgpounddiehard

    dawgpounddiehard Active Member

    Re: Outrageous statement dilemma

    Then he should know better. Go with it.
     
  11. spnited

    spnited Active Member

    Re: Outrageous statement dilemma


    Absolutely. Just like when Sheffield shoots of his mouth, nobody says "are you sure you wanna say that."

    Pro athlete has to be ready to take the heat. Definitely go with it.
     
  12. Joe Williams

    Joe Williams Active Member

    Re: Outrageous statement dilemma

    Koppel tried to throw Campanis a couple of lifelines, too, clarifying and following up. But old Al stuck with his "necessities" position.
     
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