Ill first give you the different ways a source may be on or off the record and then answer your other questions. On the record, off the record, on background, and not for. Off the record definition in the cambridge english. One of the ongoing news stories in maine in the past year concerns. Off the record means that the information told to the journalist can be used in the article as long as it is not credited to the source. May 20, 20 off the record is criticised by some because it allows attacks to be made without accountability. This is especially useful in investigative journalism. Also, reporters and sources sometimes disagree as to exactly what off the record means. Sage books the ultimate social sciences digital library. Truman, a 1980 book edited by historian robert hugh ferrell. Granted, people dont often know what they mean when they employ the phrase. Chatterbox, who has been a washington journalist for nearly 20 years, doesnt have a. Raiders, rod martin and the record that might stand the. If they do say that ill explain to them that they have to say they are off the record before they state something.
Oct 20, 2019 going off the record or on background represents an agreement between you as a source and a reporter that what you say will not be quoted in a news story. There are times when a journalist utilizes a source who wishes to maintain their confidentiality rights. Putting aside the issue of plagiarism, the truth is that, depending on the circumstances, many journalists do not record their interviews. Going off the record or on background represents an agreement between you as a source and a reporter that what you say will not be quoted in a news story.
Lets talk about offtherecord what it is, what it isnt, why its a bad convention thats antithetical to what we do as journalists, and why reporters should resist having off. The faculty of the michigan state university school of journalism holds to the highest professional standards of journalism truth, fairness and accuracy. Off the record is a valuable tool for both journalist and interviewees, because it allows side explanations or background on things that the interviewee is. Offtherecord is an expectation, but unlike in the us, its usually not stated outright. February 17, 2019 february 25, 2019 leave a comment. Information that leads to the uncovering of more interesting information is called a lead. Journalists should never take information off the record without the approval of a supervisor and an understanding of the news outlets policy.
In journalism, a source is a person, publication, or other record or document that gives timely information. It generally means a sources information cannot be used, but that is often misunderstood. Though some reporters will argue theres a shade of difference between these two terms, whatever distinction exists is sufficiently unclear to be meaningless. South korean journalists reporting tirade breach offthe. Chatterbox, who has been a washington journalist for nearly 20 years, doesnt have a clue what most of these terms. Lets talk about off the record what it is, what it isnt, why its a bad convention thats antithetical to what we do as journalists, and why reporters should resist having off. Off the record is the longest running womens foreign policy lecture forum in the united states. In traditional journalism circles, off the record means that a journalist cannot use the quote even anonymously. The offtherecord policy of one major market daily i deal with on a regular basis reads something like this. Off the record can mean that whatever the journalist is told can be reported so long as it is not attributed to the person who said it. The community is driven in its understanding that together we have the ability to sustain and improve the industry, and this progress starts with helping each other better serve our audiences and finetune our craft. Nyu journalism handbook for students nyu journalism. Elon musk and the meaning of off the record the atlantic.
People might reasonably ask to go off the record to protect their job. That isnt to say its the norm, but interviewing practices vary, primarily because journalism, unlike law or medicine, is an intuitive profession that requires no formal training for better or worse. Why does off the record work in journalistic ethics. Aug 02, 2018 during the 2016 presidential campaign, mr. This is the most common definition and is widely respected by reporters who know that it is a serious breach of their code of ethics to divulge the identity of their source or to betray the trust of that source. Aps guidelines for off the record, background and deep background not everyone understands off the record or on background to mean the same things. Cruz held an off the record session with several reporters who were traveling with him, in the lounge area of a new hampshire hotel lobby. Mar 16, 2008 off the record is a valuable tool for both journalist and interviewees, because it allows side explanations or background on things that the interviewee is not in a position to be quoted on. Michigan state university school of journalism code of ethics. Information about a surprise event or breaking news, whether on or off the record, is known as a tip off. The journalist can ensure this happens by conducting the interview off the record.
Unless you enter into an agreement ahead of time, you should always expect that anything you tell a reporter could end up in. Nov 21, 2011 the offtherecord policy of one major market daily i deal with on a regular basis reads something like this. You can also go back to your offtherecord source later in your reporting process and attempt to negotiate things back on the record. Feb 07, 2001 journalism schools are all about teaching students how to ferret out the truth. In south korea, its often the only way of getting information. If the reporter doesnt agree, youre still on the record. May 29, 2014 always try to get a source on the record.
Some organizations do not allow anonymous sources except in the most vital news stories. Often an editor will want to know who the source is. Dec 27, 2010 off the record can mean that whatever the journalist is told can be reported so long as it is not attributed to the person who said it. Especially with official sources i do not allow someone to retroactively go off the record.
Aps guidelines for off the record, background and deep. Why offtherecord is a trap reporters should avoid poynter. Offtherecord definition and meaning collins english. A company might be wary of connecting itself to a statement that could make it legally liable for an event, action or policy. Outside journalism, sources are sometimes known as news sources. In 1989, the new york times columnist william safire expounded on the differences between off the record, on background, and not for attribution, or what he termed the lexicon of quotability. There are legal, moral and ethical reasons for journalists to follow this rule and not break this agreem. Aug, 20 the use of off the record in popular culture is ambiguous and can be confusing. If something that you say is off the record, you do not intend it to be considered as. Chicago mayor goes off the record with journalism students. Before any interview in which any degree of anonymity is expected, there should be a discussion in which the ground rules are set explicitly.
Raiders linebacker great rod martin had three interceptions in super bowl xv against the philadelphia eagles, a record that will be difficult to surpass. In general, it is best to avoid off the record conversations. Apr 05, 2017 but off the record promises are thorny for business journalists as well. Feb 07, 2019 carol marin, director of the depaul center for journalism integrity and excellence, interviews rahm emanuel, city of chicago mayor, during the off the record portion of an hourlong discussion at depauls college of communication. Bbc, devendra banhart, edinburgh napier university, journalism, news corporation, rupert murdoch, subscription business model frustrations and opportunities.
A reporter is permitted to agree to keep certain information offtherecord. For this reason and for the compelling needs of the profession, the jschool expects its students to adhere to these same standards. If you cant, make sure you know your new organizations rules for handling offrecord sourcing. Mar 19, 2018 lets talk about offtherecord what it is, what it isnt, why its a bad convention thats antithetical to what we do as journalists, and why reporters should resist having off. Off the record meaning in the cambridge english dictionary. Be skeptical of people who dont want their names used. Despite this, and the journalists promise to quote him, the civil servant na pushed on with his tirade. They may merely be afraid or unauthorized to speak on a matter. Definition of off the record in the idioms dictionary. What are the rules for off the record conversations. Sep 06, 2018 the earliest known use of the phrase off the record in print, according to merriamwebster, appears in a november 15, 1918 story in the new york tribune by theodore m. Is off the record a relic of traditional journalism.
Sage video bringing teaching, learning and research to life. Some people say they are speaking off the record when they really mean they are speaking on background. Gore gives a journalism lecture thats off the record kind. Yet, a decade later, five journalists from the washington post still couldnt agree on common definitions for these terms. At the carter institute of journalism, off the record means the information should not be used in the story unless the reporter can confirm it through another source. Examples of sources include but are not limited to official records, publications or broadcasts, officials in government or business, organizations or corporations, witnesses of crime, accidents or other events, and.
Sage reference the complete guide for your research journey. Off the record is criticised by some because it allows attacks to be made without accountability. If someone says something off the record, they do not want it to be publicly reported. Off the record journalism, a communication that may not be publicly disclosed. There is no official journalistic body that enforces the concept, or even defines it. Home parliamentary business committees senate committees senate standing committees on legal and constitutional affairs completed inquiries and reports pre 1996 completed inquiries off the record shield laws for journalists confidential sources. Apr 04, 2016 an off the record conversation allows a journalist to gather background information or quotes without revealing the identity of the source. Off the record shield laws for journalists confidential sources. So usually i dont allow someone to say blah blah blah and then go oh that was off the record. Background, off the record and you reynolds center. Yet to most reporters, it is an essential part of freedom of speech it affords anonymity to.1145 610 1074 1367 755 356 1302 4 1116 553 337 900 1351 138 999 907 771 1275 238 693 1012 720 267 109 210 119 260 1229 1489 1291 1125 1465 6 552 1093 946 386 385 1234 899 419 882 32