Friday, 30 October 2009


Daily Mirror columnist Guillem Balague identifies one of the greyest of grey areas in journalism in the sports pages of today's paper.

Guillem is an acute observer of Spanish football and he is also no mug when it comes to the fancy footwork of the media.

His theme today concerns the comments attributed to the Wigan Athletic boss, Roberto Martinez, who was quoted in Spain as criticising Sir Alex Ferguson. Martinez denies making the comments.

Guillem points out that "journalists work within an unwritten set of rules when it comes to what is said 'on the record.'"

He goes to explain that to some journalists "off the record" means it's OK for the information to be used, providing the name of the person who gave the info is kept quiet.

To others, "off the record" means the info is for background only.

He is quite right. My advice to anyone dealing with a reporter is to forget "off the record." If Martinez didn't want his opinions reported, he should have said so.

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