The mayor’s demand: What’s a new reporter to do?

February 12, 2009

As a new reporter, you’re assigned to cover city government. After just weeks on the beat, the editor calls you into the office. The mayor had called to complain. The mayor says you misquoted him in a story and have the facts wrong. He taped the interview and can prove you were wrong. You check your notes and realize you did have errors in the story. The paper runs a correction. A couple of days later, you call the mayor for an interview on an important upcoming vote. He says he won’t agree to talk to you anymore unless he can read your stories before publication. What do you do? What are the potential problems you’re facing? 

Please respond to these questions and provide your brief reaction to this scenario in the comments section of the blog by the beginning of class on Thursday, Feb. 19.  Be thoughtful in your answers. Can you find any industry standard or thinking on pre-publication review?