WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Reporters Who Allow Quote Approval

Sep 25, 2012

The panelists discuss the practice of quote approval in exchange for access to sources.  Some journalists allow sources to read and approve quotes before a story is published.

David Carr of the New York Times wrote about the practice in a piece with the headline "The Puppetry of Quotation Approval." He wrote, "What pops out of that process isn't exactly news and isn't exactly a news release, but contains elements of both."

Shop Talk panelist Mike Murray said he has been misquoted by students so he understands the motive behind quotation approval. But he feels politicians are being manipulative when they seek it.

Panelist Lisa Kernek feels the audience is being deceived when approved quotes appear in a story. She said reporters should either not agree to the practice or make sure it's noted in the story that approved quotes are included.

Interviews done by e-mail are similar to quote approval because they give the source time to think about and edit the answer. Stories done with e-mail interviews should also make mention of that fact.