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Chapter 9: Liaisons Dangereuses: Reporters and Sources

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Liaisons Dangereuses: Reporters and Sources
Liaisons dangereuses: Reporters and sources

What gives journalism its authenticity and its vitality is the tension between the subject's blind self-absorption and the journalist's scepticism. Journalists who swallow the subject's account whole and publish it are not journalists but publicists.

Janet Malcolm, The Journalist and the Murderer, 1990.

In February 2001 Prince William was invited to a party held by the Press Complaints Commission to celebrate its tenth anniversary. Newspaper editors would be present. The Times journalist, Matthew Parris, warned the heir to the British throne to stay away:

A newspaper is not an entity capable of sustaining a friendship. It is unprofessional in a career-journalist to foster trust except in hopes of future indiscretion. There is only one useful rule to be followed ...

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