In the last few weeks The New York Times identified quote approval in Washington as endemic of the craft. Since then several organizations have stepped forward to acknowledge quote approval as a condition of participation in coverage. Even bestselling author Michael Lewis has had to concede he required quote approval in exchange for access to Barack Obama for eight months.
Now the media columnist David Carr has weighed in, rather unhappy at the extent of quote approval but realistic about its place in today's journalism --- and even in his own work. Carrisn't a purist. He recognizes that reporters often don't take accurate notes and need to ensure there is accuracy and authenticity in their work by essentially asking sources for a second run at expressing themselves.
But Carr also believes the time has come for pushback.
"Journalism in its purest form is a transaction." he writes. "But inch by inch, story by story, deal by deal, we are giving away our right to ask a simple question and expect a simple answer, one that can’t be taken back. It may seem obvious, but it is still worth stating: The first draft of history should not be rewritten by the people who make it."