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Modifying Quotations “Paint chips taste better than scabs.” - Reed Thorndyke Journalism text Chapter 8.2 Pages 213-217.

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Presentation on theme: "Modifying Quotations “Paint chips taste better than scabs.” - Reed Thorndyke Journalism text Chapter 8.2 Pages 213-217."— Presentation transcript:

1 Modifying Quotations “Paint chips taste better than scabs.” - Reed Thorndyke Journalism text Chapter 8.2 Pages

2 Journalistic Issues With Quotations Journalists are of two camps Some say never change a quotation Others believe there are exceptions

3 The “Do Not Ever Change Quotations” Camp The Associated Press (AP) Manual on Style and Libel says: “Never alter quotations even to correct minor grammatical errors or word usage. Casual minor tongue slips may be removed by using ellipses, but even that must be done with extreme caution.”

4 Rules for Proper Use of Ellipses An ellipsis is a series of three points with spaces between them (...) inserted into a quotation to indicate the omission of material from the original quotation.

5 When placing an ellipsis in the middle of a quotation to indicate the omission of material, use three points with spaces before and after the ellipsis. Incorrect: The First Amendment provides that "Congress shall make no law respecting...the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." U.S. Const. amend. I. Correct: The First Amendment provides that "Congress shall make no law respecting... the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." U.S. Const. amend. I.

6 When placing an ellipsis at the end of a quotation to indicate the omission of material, use four points -- a three-point ellipsis and a period. The ellipsis should follow a blank space. Incorrect: The First Amendment provides that "Congress shall make no law... abridging the freedom of speech..." U.S. Const. amend. I. Correct: The First Amendment provides that "Congress shall make no law... abridging the freedom of speech...." U.S. Const. amend. I.

7 Do not place an ellipsis at the beginning of a quotation to indicate the omission of material. Incorrect: The First Amendment also prohibits laws "... respecting an establishment of religion...." U.S. Const. amend. I. Correct: The First Amendment also prohibits laws "respecting an establishment of religion...." U.S. Const. amend. I.

8 When combining a fully quoted sentence with a partially quoted sentence, or with a second, but nonconsecutive quoted sentence, place a period at the end of the fully quoted sentence, followed by a space, an ellipsis, another space, and the remainder of the quoted material. Do not place a space before a period at the end of a fully quoted sentence. Incorrect: In a unanimous decision, Justice Holmes wrote, "The question in every case is whether the words used are used in such circumstances and are of such a nature as to create a clear and present danger that they will bring about the substantive evils that Congress has a right to prevent....When a nation is at war many things that might be said in time of peace are such a hindrance to its effort that their utterance will not be endured so long as men fight and that no Court could regard them as protected by any constitutional right." Schenck v. United States, 249 U.S. 47, 52 (1919). Correct: In a unanimous decision, Justice Holmes wrote, "The question in every case is whether the words used are used in such circumstances and are of such a nature as to create a clear and present danger that they will bring about the substantive evils that Congress has a right to prevent.... When a nation is at war many things that might be said in time of peace are such a hindrance to its effort that their utterance will not be endured so long as men fight and that no Court could regard them as protected by any constitutional right." Schenck v. United States, 249 U.S. 47, 52 (1919).

9 The Los Angeles Times Statement of Principles states, “We do not manufacture, embroider, or distort quotes, either in print or in the video and audio clips posted on our website.” The “Absolutely Never Ever Change Quotes” Camp believes if you change a quote for any reason, especially to correct errors in grammar or usage, you are being condescending to the source and giving readers a false picture of the person speaking.

10 The “Change Quotations Sometimes” Camp USA Today policy states, “Do not tamper with quotations. The only exception to this rule: Errors or grammar that are inadvertent, reflect a lack of education or are common in everyday speech may ber corrected to avoid embarrassing an individual.” The Poynter Institute’s writing scholar, Roy Peter Clark, says, “…A little tidying up without adding words, without altering or heightening the meaning, is OK.”

11 ALL Journalists Agree… Offensive language can be changed or edited. Words or remarks that offend, insult or threaten a person or group of people. If there is a compelling reason to use the quote, the Associated Press calls for keeping the first letter of the offensive word and replacing the other letters with hyphens.

12 The Most Important Rule Accuracy is paramount. Context is important Fragments Manner of delivery Body language

13 Your Assignment Choose one quote that, if taken out of context, could be used to distort a candidate’s position or make him look bad. Write the quotation down on a piece of paper using proper punctuation. Choose one quote that accurately records what a candidate said in the proper context. Use proper punctuation.


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