The NFL email scandal continued on Wednesday morning – not with former Raiders coach Jon Gruden, but with ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
According to a Los Angeles Times report on Tuesday, Schefter emailed an unpublished copy of an article he was writing for ESPN regarding the NFL lockout in 2011 to the general manager of the football team. from Washington, Bruce Allen. In correspondence, Schefter referred to Allen as “Mr. Editor” and invited the editorial staff to contribute to the story – an unethical practice in journalism.
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“Please let me know if you see anything that should be added, changed, tweaked,” Schefter wrote to Allen. “Thank you, Mr. Editor, for that and the trust. Plan to drop this off at espn around 6 a.m. (sic). ”
Schefter has now officially responded to critics – what he said is correct – for this decision. He admitted that what he had done was wrong, but also claimed that it had no impact on the content of his story.
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“Fair questions are being asked about my approach to reporting on an NFL foreclosure story 10 years ago. Just to clarify, it is standard practice to verify the facts of a story with sources before publishing it in order to clarify. to be as specific as possible. In this case, I took the rare step of sending the full story in advance due to the complex nature of collective bargaining. It was a step too far and, with hindsight, I shouldn’t have done. The criticisms made are fair. That said, I want this to be perfectly clear: under no circumstances have I ceded, or will I cede editorial control or the final say over a story to anyone, ever. ”
Schefter’s comment at the end of his statement about not ceding editorial control is worth noting; he appeared to do just that in his email to Allen, when he said to “let me know if you see anything that should be added, changed, tweaked”. Schefter said in his statement that the decision was made to keep the story “as accurate as possible.”
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His choice of wording is questionable, given that he committed a known violation of an ethical principle of journalism. Either way, this is probably not the latest news in emails gathered during an investigation into the work culture of the Washington football team.
The investigation included the examination of some 650,000 emails, so it’s safe to assume that there will be more leaks of these communications in the future.