The Persuasive Power of the Press Release

By: Alexis Sobel Fitts | Columbia Journalism Review

Last week, the Washington Post eliminated a column published digitally in its science section following an article in the Knight Science Journalism Tracker in which editor Paul Raeburn called out the paper for posting university press releases describing health studies.

By printing work that hadn’t been carefully reported, Raeburn argued that the Post is diluting its brand and misleading readers. “These stories showed up in one of the nation’s leading newspapers—and in the science section, no less, where we can assume they were carefully reported,” he wrote.

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