Correction from today’s NY Times:
A front-page article on Thursday described a report by a committee at Columbia University formed to investigate complaints that pro-Israel Jewish students were harassed by pro-Palestinian professors. The report found “no evidence of any statements made by the faculty that could reasonably be construed as anti-Semitic,” but it did say that one professor “exceeded commonly accepted bounds” of behavior when he became angry at a student who he believed was defending Israel’s conduct toward Palestinians.
The article did not disclose The Times’s source for the document, but Columbia officials have since confirmed publicly that they provided it, a day before its formal release, on the condition that the writer not seek reaction from other interested parties.
Under The Times’s policy on unidentified sources, writers are not permitted to forgo follow-up reporting in exchange for information. In this case, editors and the writer did not recall the policy and agreed to delay additional reporting until the document had become public…
Did not recall the policy? This is so embedded in the ethos of journalism, I’m not sure there even needs to be a policy. I learned not to make deals with the subjects I was covering while working the downtown-bar beat at my student newspaper.
By the way, the New York Sun obtained a copy of the report on the same day as the Times, but didn’t lower its journalistic standards to report the scoop.