KSJ Tracker February 18, 2014

Washington Post spokesperson announces paper will stop reprinting health and science press releases.

The Washington Post announced Tuesday that it will stop reprinting university and other press releases in its Health & Science section following the disclosure of the practice by the Knight Science Journalism Tracker last Friday.

I received the following email today from Kristine C. Coratti, the Post's spokesperson:

Hi Paul,

Thank you for your patience!

Your post raised good questions and we are discontinuing the feature.

Thank you again,

In the post last week, I asked, "What is the Washington Post doing reprinting press releases? The Post's website groups the Health & Science Section under national news. Is the Post so strapped that it can't report its own national news, but instead must give over its pages to universities trying to promote themselves? Would the Post, with its history as an aggressive government watchdog, turn over its pages to press releases from the government?"

Apparently, the Post will no longer turn over any of its pages to others, except when such pages are clearly labeled as advertising.

It's a tribute to the Post that it responded so quickly.

-Paul Raeburn



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