Powerful people have been trading access for friendly coverage since journalism began, but the recent example of GQ magazine killing an investigative story on Hillary Clinton’s campaign in order not to endanger their ability to do a cover story on Bill Clinton’s trip to Africa has brought the practice into the light. This happens in education, too, though is not widely publicized. Reporters who don’t provide favorable coverage aren’t invited to pre-briefings, or given materials ahead of time, or don’t have their interview or information requests handled quickly, or at all. But as this article from Slate suggests, “access” may be over-rated as a journalistic tool, compared to independent investigation (Bring back the write-around!).
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