The end of spin as we know it?

The Labour Party has just published a full transcript of Tony Blair’s interview with The Times. This is a potentially interesting development as if it becomes standard practice then it will certainly add a new dynamic to political reporting. I think, but am not certain, that this is the first time the Labour Party has done this. Researching this post I’ve also just found out that The Times has also published the transcript.

Steve Rubel mused on this subject recently when he asked if traditional media interviews are undergoing a transformation.

The implications of using blogs and social media to publish complete transcripts of interviews do change the dynamics. Journalists and editors will have to think about how they edit material and that they might have to explain why they chose to use the quotes that they did.

I’m in the middle of preparing a presentation so I don’t have time to think this through fully, but I certainly think it is worth some discussion – comments are open!

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5 Replies to “The end of spin as we know it?

  1. It's a slow revolution, Stuart. I was involved in something very similar as far back as 1995, publishing transcripts of speeches and press conferences as part of my first ever job, with the Foreign Office. The Americans have an even longer history of doing so… and their approach is even more 'warts and all', as you'll see from a glance at any transcript from the White House press briefings. Has it changed things? Er…

  2. What comes around goes around. We used to publish articles like this back in the early 1980s on several business magazines I worked on back then.
    My main issue with them is they are so tedious. They might be good for political and journalistic transparency but they are not much fun to read.
    I would much rather read something by Andrew Rawnsley or Matthew Parris which delivers the facts with comment, insight and wit.

  3. Great for transparency

    Lousy for reading

    Good for searching

    Make journalists prepare a bit better

    Make interviewees think harder before opening mouths

  4. Agreed, full transcripts are utterly boring and I don't think the general public could care less about the full picture of any story – note how many people read The Sun. In principle it is fantastic, a completely transparent medium with as little bias as possible, but even though it is my job to be interested in the media, there are not enough hours in the day to read full transcripts, and to be honest, I'm just like a lot of other people and sometimes want to just get the main points of stories.

  5. What has changed:

    Reach, of course.

    But the big change is Internet Agency (CIPR/PRCA Internet Commission 2001). The actual interview can now be changed, discussed, add to and be added to other properties. It passed from the hands of the participants into the social commons.
    There is no control.

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