Tuesday, February 21, 2006
Oft-used in Washington, background briefings -- interviews or actual news briefings in which the official speaking is not to be identified by name or title -- are a slippery slope for organizations wanting to disseminate information to the media. Today's Washington Post offers a good overview of backgrounders and how they are used inside the Beltway. "We allow off-the-record conversations and backgrounders way too often here," says Andy Alexander, Washington bureau chief for Cox Newspapers, who points out that such anonymity rarely is asked for in state and local government agencies. If you are tempted to go on background, ask yourself why -- or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for advisement.