Wednesday, March 12, 2008

This is off the record... Hillary is a Monster

I commented over on the blog post about the Hillary is a monster story, And in This Corner… | News and Politics Daily with Lindsay Campbell:

One part of this story that I think is interesting is the original quote from the newspaper:
""She is a monster, too — that is off the record — she is stooping to anything," The Scotsman quoted her as saying."

It's a question of what is on the record and what is off the record in an interview.

A reporter I asked about this thought that the reporter broke the rules of journalism by printing the 'off the record" comment. She told me that she would never have printed that.

On the other hand, an attendee at SXSW told me that unless both parties have mutually agreed that was was being said would be off the record, the reporter was able to print it.

He went on to explain that unless you have upfront agreement to go off the record, you can't just throw in "this is off the record" in the middle of an interview and expect a reporter to keep a big story secret.

I think that's what happened here.
What do you think?


  1. Every time I have EVER wanted anything off the record or an interviewee wanted it off-it was discussed BEFORE the comment. However, I can't think of a single time I printed something that got an "now, that was off the record" after the comment. It's how you build trust with sources, etc. You might be DYING to print it, but you don't. Allowed due to technicality? Sure...advisable for a reporter who wants to talk to that person again-never.

  2. Anyone who regularly deals with reporters should understand that their job is to report, especially anything newsworthy said by public officials or public figures. Saying something is "off the record" after the fact doesn't cut it.