Can you see what the journalist writes before it’s published? Probably not, but here’s the next best thing
It’s one of the most common questions to come up during our media training courses – “Can I see what the journalist writes before it’s published?” Almost always the answer is “no.” “I remember being at a press conference a few months ago when the main speaker finished his comments by adding ‘And obviously I’ll want to check anything before you publish it.’ Cue cynical laughter from assembled hacks,” says Simon Brooke, one of our journalist/media trainers. The question of “copy approval” as it’s known, is an increasingly thorny issue among journalists and public relations people and it’s arisen in some quite unlikely quarters recently. Clare Balding is regarded by many as a national treasure and you wouldn’t think that Saga magazine was out to turn over the people that it interviews. So how could this much-loved TV presenter and this easy-going publication end up at the centre of a row over copy approval?