Writing those six words in stories are the bane of journalistic existence. We as reporters do not want resort to putting that phrase in. The statement gives readers a throwaway sentence or it tells them the subject either has something to hide, doesn’t particularly care or even worse, was too busy chomping on a number six from McDonald’s to return the call.
It makes for good reading in a sense that perhaps there’s something more to come and a person didn’t want to tip their hand or maybe, just maybe…they hate media. A stretch right?
All we want is to get both sides of the story (sadly the truth lies somewhere in the middle, but is thinly veiled in canned statements sometimes) and give readers equal representation of the sources in the story, whether it be a baseball game, a court case or a feature on a local resident.
Returning the call and declining to comment goes a long way. It shows you acknowledge that people are interested in what you have to say, but at the time, just aren’t ready. We get that, believe it or not.
But when you’re ready, we’ll be there. In the meantime, check your messages.