Quote Approval: The End of Journalism?

by Admin on January 23, 2013

What does journalism mean today? Broadly defined, it could be described as the way the general public gets information on current affairs. But a more important question, especially today, is what is the role of journalism? The question has driven authors to create tomes on the topic. For simplicity’s sake, we can say journalism’s role is to educate the public and raise awareness on affairs that would otherwise be unseen, unheard and/or kept private.

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All of that is changing. In response to a New York Times article on politicians requiring quote approval before stories can be published, Ellen Ratner decried the state of journalism today

“The entire process turns my stomach,” Ratner said.

Journalists are allowed to travel with politicians,  but anything they write must be approved – likely after being edited. The meet-and-greets, post-dinner “mix-and-mingles,” and morning “gaggles” that allowed politicians to speak candidly with reporters are no more.

The trend, now more of a standardized practice, puts shivers down the spines of those like Ratner, who are concerned that democracy will die along with honest, unedited journalism. While the government continues to gain more control over the dissemination and content of information now more than ever, the American public might be tagging along blindly.

 

Flickr photo courtesy of geoftheref

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