Tag Archives: interviews

Interviewing Dishonest People

Interviewing dishonest people: Jason Schwartz says a pressing question in the Trump era is how journalists should handle powerful news makers who are known to be dishonest.

The issue is complicated “and there are distinctions to be found between interviewing sources with checkered histories off-camera, grilling them on-air on a newsworthy subject and bringing them on simply as a talking head,” he writes.

 

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What “Off The Record” Means

What “off the record” means: Matt Flegenheimer gives his interpretation of ways journalists get information from Washington officials and rules they sometimes follow.

“As a general principle, a reporter’s best course of action is to establish jargon-free parameters in plain English at the start: Can a source be quoted by name? Can we use the information if we leave out the name? Can we at least describe the source’s job?” he writes.

“But among those who have long dealt with the news media, like politicians and their charges, there is occasionally a sort of shorthand for these questions.”

 

 

Staying On The Record

Staying on the record: Steven Pearlberg reports that Dean Baquet, New York Times executive editor, took a personal ethical stance in refusing to join in an off-the-record meeting with President Trump.

“I don’t think officials should be able to tell me things that I can’t publish,” says Baquet, hewing to a philosophy that journalists should control the terms of an interview.

Not wanting to be courted or wooed, Baquet says “the leader of the news gathering operation shouldn’t have access that reporters don’t get.”

Avoiding Off-The-Record Interviews

 

Indira Lakshmanan calls off-the-record interviews a trap.

“We earn public trust by providing true and accurate information and being clear with our audience and our sources about the ground rules under which we gather news,” she writes. “If news is in the public interest and we can’t inform the public, we’re not doing our jobs.”