Bloomberg reporter recommends quote structure for source

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John Aravosis writes on the AmericaBlog that Bloomberg News reporter Dan Golden suggested a potential quote for a source, investment banker Mark DeFusco, when a story he was working on about for-profit educational companies was being edited.

Aravosis writes, “Let’s put aside for a moment the fact that Bloomberg is reportedly writing critical stories about its competition, and not divulging that fact to its readers (Bloomberg is starting up a for-profit education venture that few people know about, at the same time that Bloomberg is writing articles highly critical of their future competitors in the for-profit education sector).

“But as I said, let’s put that potentially huge, undivulged, conflict of interest aside. Now what if Bloomberg’s reporter, writing critical stories about the future competition, told its sources what specific critical quotes it wanted for the story — literally telling the source what to say?”

The e-mail that Golden wrote to DeFusco can be found here. In the e-mail, Golden wrote, “I’d love it if you could come up something on the record that might reflect some of this — perhaps along the lines of — Phoenix’s original model was magic because XXX — but the current model has some of the same flaws that have dogged other for-profit schools — X and Y.”

Golden, a Pulitzer Prize winner, was hired earlier this year by Bloomberg. He is an editor at large in the Boston bureau who previously worked for Conde Nast Portfolio and The Wall Street Journal.