NY Times: ‘PR folks love to rub out’ great quotations from stories

David Carr, media columnist for The New York Times, takes on the controversial topic of quote approval in the political and business press. PR folks catch much of the blame.

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More accurately, blame the many reporters who are jumping from journalism to PR.

“Requests for quote approval rise in direct proportion to the involvement of P.R. people,” Felix Salmon, a business columnist at Reuters, told The New York Times. “As the flack-to-hack ratio continues to rise, the number of requests for quote-approval will continue to rise as well.”

The “quote-for-approval” phenomenon to which Simon refers is when a journalist agrees to let a source OK his or her quotations in exchange for an interview.

This summer, the Times reported on the practice, admitting that its writers have cut such deals. More recently, author and journalist Michael Lewis, who authored a new Vanity Fair profile on the president, said the White House granted him extraordinary access to Obama in exchange for quote approval.

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