Department of “Who Knew?”

In a recent column in the Naples Daily News, editor Phil Lewis discussed a little-known journalistic stance of the New York Times. It seems that the influential newspaper made a newsroom decision recently on the topic of “quote approval.”

WHO KNEW that the Times had been honoring demands for after-the-fact quote approval as a common practice?

WHO KNEW that a Times editor for newspaper standards recently told reporters, “Sources and their press aides have gone too far in requesting quote approval,” noting in a staff memo, “The practice risks giving readers a mistaken impression that we are ceding too much control over a story to our sources.” The memo went on: “Starting immediately reporters must never agree to allow those interviewed for stories to review portions of the story before it is published.”

I KNOW that Journalism 101 teaches “no quote approval” and certainly my first editor demanded that. Where has the NY Times been, and what’s been going on in their pages?

Lewis explained NDN has long had a policy never to share a story or portions of a story before it is published.

Kudos to NDN for maintaining integrity on their pages.

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