Last week, The New York Times revealed that "quote approval" has become standard practice when reporters deal with both the Obama and Romney campaigns as well as with the Obama administration. The way it works is that a reporter interviews an official, then submits the quotes she intends to use in her stories back to the campaign, which only appear if the campaign approves them. Not only that, the campaign often edits the quotes to make them more to their liking.
Lo and behold, news organizations are now announcing they will no longer submit quotes for approval. The National Journal says it won't. McClatchy says no more. The New York Times is thinking about it. To tell you the truth, I'm a bit surprised. But I guess shame is a powerful thing.
Politicoreports that the Associated Press has named its first ever Race/Ethnicity/Demographics editor, Sonya Ross. Ross had been editor for the Washington-based regional reporters, and now she'll coordinate nationwide coverage that "captures the changing facets of race and ethnicity in the United States and its effects on the experiences of people of various races."
While D.C'.s chattering class is preoccupied with the journalism scandal that isn't, and while Andrew Breitbartcontinues to deny responsibility for posting a heavily edited video that resulted in Shirley Sherrod losing her job, there is an actual freedom of the press story going unreported.
Yesterday, the Washington Post revealed a new set of social network guidelines for their reporters, basically limiting reporters' ability to express themselves lest the Post be perceived as "biased." One reporter had tweeted a few observations--and honestly, had his tweets not seemed left-leaning, I wonder if there would be such a panic -- and the Post's executive editor cracked down.
“Post journalists must refrain from writing, tweeting or posting anything – including photographs or video – that could be perceived as reflecting political racial, sexist, religious or other bias or favoritism that could be used to tarnish our journalistic credibility.”