This practice puts journalists on notice that they better be accurate with quotes and not takes statements out of context. It enables clients who aren’t treated fairly by a reporter to use the recorded interview as a response, posting the entire interview for everyone to hear the rest of the story. It can also be used as evidence to complain to an editor if a reporter unfairly butchers the client.
From my experience, most reporters video interviews anyway and are typically OK with being videoed by an interviewee. It’s hard for them to refuse since they’re doing the same thing.
But unlike Chicago’s City Hall officials, who were called out this week for secretly recording phone interviews with Chicago Tribune reporters, you should first inform the reporter that you’re going to record the conversation, both from an ethical and sometimes legal standpoint.
A dozen states have laws that require that all parties in a phone conversation must consent to be recorded. The rest of the states require what is called “one party consent,” which means that if you’re part of the conversation, you can video it without informing anyone else.