Democracy Now: U.S. Media Granting Politicians Final Say on Attribution, Quotations

A New York Times reporter has revealed the Obama and Romney campaigns are exerting major influence on the media by demanding editing power over quotes used in stories. In a front-page article, Jeremy Peters said journalists are largely acquiescing to demands by politicians and their advisers by allowing them to approve quotes before publication. Peters noted a White House practice of holding so-called “deep-background briefings” where reporters can paraphrase senior Obama administration officials but cannot identify them or quote what they say. He described how quotes collected from campaign officials and sent to them for approval before publication are often “redacted, stripped of colorful metaphors, colloquial language and anything even mildly provocative.” Peters said it is “difficult to find a news outlet” that has not permitted officials to approve quotes, noting the Washington Post, New York Times, Bloomberg, Reuters and others have all allowed it. Many journalists refused to speak to Peters on the record about the practice.

~ by wheresthemic on July 18, 2012.

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