Should I Let Sources “Check” My Article? NO!

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Hello Angela,

Here’s a Q for you.

I write non-fiction articles and every once in a while I have an interview subject who wants to review the material before it is published. I feel uncomfortable doing this because when I have allowed it, they want to change quotes that I know they have said. How do you suggest I handle this?

Heather

It is not customary for a journalist to allow interview sources to edit their articles before they go to print. I would simply tell them that your editors don’t allow sources to check articles because doing so puts the unbiased integrity of the article at risk. The editor gets the final say on the content included and, if this isn’t good enough, you should perhaps find better sources. But the editor note above should do the trick.

If they’re concerned about being misquoted, offer to interview them by email. That way, you have their answers right there, word for word. This usually does cut back on mis-quotes…and makes it harder for them to deny any statements they did indeed make.

Hugs,
Ang