The rise of “no comment” from newsmakers
Harvey Radin writes for the Times of San Diego about the increasing use of “no comment.”
Radin writes, “And just recently, a Wells Fargo Bank spokesperson declined to comment in stories in the New York Times and San Francisco Chronicle reporting that top executives had taken ‘home lavish sums last year’ while the bank’s fake accounts scandal was unfolding. The bank had opened as many as 2 million accounts without customers’ consent.
“So how come we’re hearing less and less more and more? Is it fear? Paranoia? Well, a good number of spokespersons likely have risk aversion in their DNA. That’s not surprising because, you know, when brand image, reputation and public opinion of a business or an organization rest on a spokesperson’s words, there’s bound to be some fear and paranoia.
“Reporters, meanwhile, need factual information for their stories. So, like boxers in the ring, spokespersons and reporters tend to bob and weave around each other. Sometimes there’s a meeting of minds and information in stories is solid and informative. But sadly this isn’t always the case, especially when spokespersons, trying to shape communication and opinion, give reporters worked over, filtered information.”
Read more here.