(continued from the previous post)
As I mentioned to you in our conversation, I have a journalistic background myself. Iíve always understood the rule for direct quotations to be a verbatim record of what the speaker said, with no embellishing or paraphrasing allowed. Itís sad indeed to contemplate that those standards have eroded. I regret that my actual words didnít appear to be quotable enough, but I did offer to be available for a callback.
In this time of war, itís especially important for the media to be scrupulously accurate in what it reports. But thereís simply no excuse, under any circumstances, for putting quotation marks around words someone didnít say. Such a careless error is unworthy of a professional journalist. I suggest the reporters of the Indianapolis Star invest in tape recorders if they find themselves unable to convey accurate quotations.
...yadda yadda yadda.
I'm really pretty outraged about this--not that the (mis)quotations are of any great import, but rather at the sheer sloppiness and unprofessionalism of violating what was, back when I was in college, an inviolable tenet of journalism: if it isn't a direct, verbatim quote, you can't put quotation marks around it. Folks from various ends of the political spectrum debate over the media's alleged bias, but I've long held that the media's slap-dash, lackadasical approach is the real problem.