Harvard crimson fights back against prior review, mainstream media should too

The “Harvard Crimson” is fighting back against the practice of “quote review” on their campus, a longstanding policy where the university’s teachers and administrators have required reporters to submit all of their quotations for prior review and editing before publication.

Harvard’s leadership has been manipulating the quotes and content created by the “Harvard Crimson” for years and this pushback is a major step in restoring journalistic integrity to the paper.

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Now if only the mainstream media would be as courageous and stand by their ethics as firmly.

“The New York Times” reported a similar problem that journalists in major media outlets run into. The White House’s press office has the power to veto statements and quotes before they are printed — quote review for the Obama campaign is standard practice.

The Romney campaign also insists that any journalist interviewing Mitt’s sons must agree to have all quotations first approved by his press office.

Quotations come back to journalists from the review process thoroughly edited, with anything even slightly provocative removed. Many journalists agree to these terms because it is the only way to get any interaction with high-profile individuals.

How can the media fulfill its role as government watchdog when every quote must receive a stamp of approval? As George Orwell once famously said, “Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed; everything else is public relations.”