On Wednesday morning, ESPN’s Adam Schefter became the latest NFL personality to be named in emails emanating from the NFL’s investigation into the Washington Football Team.
The New York Times published a story showing details of an email from Schefter to former Washington executive Bruce Allen. In the email, Schefter asked if any of the included information should be “changed” or “tweaked” for a story.
“Please let me know if you see anything that should be added, changed, tweaked. Thanks, Mr. Editor, for that and the trust. Plan to file this to espn about 6 am,” the email reportedly read.
The new report caused a firestorm on Twitter, with many reporters calling it journalistic malpractice. One of those who called Schefter out was former ESPN reporter Jemele Hill.
“I’ve been a journalist for over 20 years now,” Hill said on Twitter. “I’ve never let a source proofread, preview or edit any story. Majority of journalists I know have never done this either. That is a huge journalistic NO-NO.”
I’ve been a journalist for over 20 years now. I’ve never let a source proofread, preview or edit any story. Majority of journalists I know have never done this either. That is a huge journalistic NO-NO. Young journalists, that is not how it’s done. Ever.
— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) October 13, 2021
During his weekly radio hit on 97.5 The Fanatic, Schefter explained why he ran details of the story past his source.
“I’ve learned for a long time in this business not to discuss sources, or the process, or how stories are done,” Schefter said. “But I would just say that it’s a common practice to run information past sources. And in this particular case, during a labor intensive lockout that was a complicated subject that was new to understand. I took the extra rare step to run information past one of the people that I was talking to. You know, it was an important story to fans; a host of others, and that’s the situation.”
This won’t be the last from this developing situation. Schefter clearly doesn’t think he did anything wrong, though.