What does ‘off the record’ mean? The latest journalism controversy

Posted on AllSides September 20th, 2021
From The Center
(Niclas/Flickr)
OPINION

“Off the record.”

It’s a well-known journalism phrase. So well known, in fact, that even those outside the business are familiar with it.

But what does it actually mean?

The common belief among many is that when a source tells a reporter something “off the record” that means the reporter cannot or should not publicly share that information. But that’s not exactly how it works. Just because a source says something is “off the record” does not mean it truly is “off the record.”

Here’s how it should work. A...

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