Guardian Reporter Declares War On Off-The-Record Declarations
Guardian national security reporter Spencer Ackerman is putting his foot down. He’s sick of getting correspondence from politicians and other public officials emailing him and pre-emptively declaring their missives off the record.
His new email signature lets people know up front that he won’t be playing by their rules.
Asked for comment on why he’s doing this and if he thinks it’ll work for him or against him, Ackerman told The Mirror that his purpose is to push back.
He has no idea if this will work to his advantage.
“There has been a steady proliferation of politicians, officials, etc presumptively declaring conversations over email to be off the record or on background before proceeding,” Ackerman wrote by email. “I wanted to create a mechanism as an experiment to push back against the practice and remind people that ground rules are supposed to be mutually agreed upon between source and reporter. We’ll see if it works.”