Quoting the inarticulate

Almost every reporter has, at one time or another, come across this problem: they must quote someone who simply cannot speak well. 

The problem is that you want to quote the person, but the quote simply sounds bad. It either doesn’t make sense or doesn’t flow well. Your options are either don’t use the quote, paraphrase or ask the source to clarify (and hope they do in a more concise manner).

Poynter has a column on this exact topic, “How to handle quotes from inarticulate people.” It’s pretty good at explaining how to deal with the people who use “um” every other word.

Leave a comment

Filed under From the blogosphere

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s