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News In Brief

Journalists save news nuggets for books

Daryl Paranada Apr 16, 2010

An interesting piece in Politico discusses the debate over whether it’s wrong for journalists to leave out bits and pieces of news from their reports for books they plan to write in the future. It’s not a new practice, but it’s perhaps one that ought to garner more attention? Or not?

From Politico:

The purists argue that journalists are simply looking to cash in on their beats and, in the process of doing so, depriving the public of valuable information. Other authors more inclined to save scoops for later are reluctant to admit to doing it, but they’d still argue that a) oftentimes those scoops are only offered under the condition that they not be used until later; b) news takes some time to leak out; and c) there’s something to be said for the long view in journalism. And so on and so on…

The article mentions at least one author who withholds information on the Obama administration for an upcoming book. He or she even argues it makes sources more honest. What do you think? Is it wrong for journalists to save news nuggets for a book?

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