© 2023
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

No Internal Edits From Cohen Hearing; No Clips Of Offensive Language Without OKs

In the statement he's expected to deliver this morning, Michael Cohen twice uses the word "shithole." It is possible that word, and others that are offensive, will also come up during the question-and-answer portion of his testimony.

Clips containing such words may not be used in our reports without the approval of senior editors (Gerry Holmes is running the newsroom today; Jim Kane will be in later). Do not assume it's ok to use the tape if you bleep the words. Gerry or Jim must ok that as well. Obviously, if they give the OK we need to let listeners know that the day's testimony included some offensive language.

Also: Do not internally edit Cohen's remarks and responses and do not internally edit the questions or comments from the committee members. Leave in coughs, pauses, stumbles, etc.

Digital: Our standard practice is to "asterisk" such words. Example: s*******. We have made an exception when it's about words the president is said to have used, however. Consult with Desiree Hicks, Gerry or Jim on how to proceed.

I am available to convene such conversations.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.