Criticism prompts WaPo 180

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A query into the Washington Post's science newsgathering by Knight Science Journalism at MIT got the Beltway paper to stop re-purposing studies, and press releases about studies, as science articles.

The turnaround started with this Feb. 14 post that compiled a list of WaPo stories and tied them to press releases and studies. More importantly, the blog post notes that these were essentially reprints—no new material was added—and, in some instances, the publication source, such as Biology Letters, was not cited, making the work appear as though it was the result of a WaPo endeavor.

Four days later—which includes a weekend and federal holiday—Knight Science Journalism reports the WaPo responded to the accounting and criticism. The decision: to stop printing press releases. “The Post will no longer turn over any of its pages to others, except when such pages are clearly labeled as advertising,” Knight's Paul Raeburn wrote in his recap.

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