Don’t allow sources to approve anything before publication

Jemele Hill interviewed Janay Rice for this essay that was published in ESPN's magazine and on its website.
Jemele Hill interviewed Janay Rice for this essay that was published in ESPN’s magazine and on its website.

No matter what anybody tells you, never allow a source to approve a story before it gets published. Your credibility as a journalist gets crushed if you allow a source to control a story, no matter how hard you might attempt to explain that nothing important was removed.

This is why I am bothered by ESPN’s interview with Janay Rice, wife to suspended NFL running back Ray Rice.

Last year, Sports Illustrated allowed LeBron James to review a story, but the magazine did not offer approval rights. Still, avoid this approach as well, because readers will question your integrity, believing a source probably did have some control over the final product. As outlined in the Society of Professional Journalism’s Code of Ethics, we must remain independent.

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