Shafer on ‘Hall-Monitors’

What’s that phrase about knowing your audience? Slate’s Jack Shafer pulled no punches in an interview this week with PRWeek.

“PR officers are impediments to journalism. They are the people who man the barricades, who salt the earth before you can get to it to plant your story…. I don’t feel bad about saying this, as I don’t think PR people like me any more than I like them. They’re time-wasters, hall monitors. I just want to call up the person I want to talk to and not go through this incredibly long dance with a PR officer in order to get to my quarry. Their interests are so alien from mine. That said, it’s not that every person manning a PR office has blocked my efforts to do a story. But it’s only the rare one that’s willing to aid you in getting access to the story you want.”