When a quote is not quite the quote

In “Quote, Unquote,” The Washington Post’s Ombudsman, Deborah Howell, discusses the misuse of quotes among journalists. Journalists frequently will “clean up” quotes to avoid “embarrass[ing] someone whose command of grammar is weak,’ says Emilio Garcia-Ruiz, assistant managing editor for sports at The Washington Post. Many sports journalists take this approach; however, Howell’s view is plain:

Quotes should not be changed. If coaches or athletes are routinely “cleaned up,” that should stop. Simply put, quotes should be and sound authentic. And The Post needs to set this particular record straight. Wise’s Portis quote should be restored to its original form. The rough draft of history is still history.


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