Sunday, April 17, 2005

What's the Point of Rules if You Can Simply Say You Forgot Them?

Earlier this month, the NY Times ran an exclusive on Columbia University's internal report on anti-semitism. Columbia passed an early copy to the Times on the condition that it not follow-up with the school, a journalistic no-no. The Times' excuse:
"Under The Times' policy on unidentified sources, writers are not permitted to forgo follow-up reporting in exchange for information. In this case, editors and the writer did not recall the policy and agreed to delay additional reporting until the document had become public."
I'm told that this rule is a basic of journalism, so is the excuse believable?
(Hattip: Best of the Web Today)