Senior advisers to both the Obama and Romney campaigns have taken part in a practice where the quotes they give to reporters are only allowed "on the record" if approved and line edited by the advisers themselves, the New York Times reported Monday.
Online reaction to the practice was mixed, with reporters and editors both defending and criticizing trading quote approval for campaign access. The New York Times report comes as a new Gallup poll says Americans' level of trust of the broadcast news media is at record lows.
In addition to New York Times reporters participating in the quote approval process, Bloomberg, The Washington Post, Vanity Fair and Reuters also have negotiated with sources about the use of quotes, the paper revealed. The Huffington Post has done so as well, and normally evaluates each case on its individual merits and seeks to get its sources on the record, according to Adam Rose, Standards Editor, Huffington Post.
Sam Stein, political reporter at the Huffington Post, commented on the practice in an e-mail:
Reporters at The Huffington Post know to push for the most transparent level of attribution in all occasions. We recognize that conversations do not always happen 'on the record' but we are committed to trying to get our readers the most honest portrait of where the news they are reading comes from. We are also open and committed to working with other outlets to lessen the practice described in the New York Times article.
What do you think? Are campaigns holding reporters hostage? Are reporters risking their journalistic integrity by participating in this process? We want to hear from you. Comment below.
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