Sunday, March 9, 2008

Off the Record

Here is a critique of a critique dealing with the quote that got Obama aide Samantha Power canned. Greenwald breathes fire because American journalists tend to give more room to interviewees when it comes to declaring 'off the record' then British journalists.

Boiled down, the question is who has the power to decide what is off the record? The British style clearly assigns the right to the journalist, an interviewee may offer a comment with the condition that it not be quoted, the interviewer can accept or reject the condition and the interviewee responds accordingly. The American style seems to assign the right of determination to the interviewee. The interview is conducted with interviewee indicating as they go what is off the record or on, and the journalist just follows their instructions.

That's a pretty big difference in relative power. Has it always been this way?

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