As a former press secretary, I’m all for trying to control the press, but quote approval goes too far.
Ron Fournier, the editor-in-chief of the National Journal group, reportedly sent an e-mail to reporters who work for him declaring quote approval off limits. “Our policy and common sense dictate that we don’t allow public officials to edit NJ coverage,” he wrote.
The problem with quote approval is it’s too easy. It turns the relationship between a source and a reporter entirely over to the source. And the practice has spread too far and wide. Too many staffers will speak only if their quotes are approved and too many reporters are happy to oblige.