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E-Mailbag: Looking For Condi

We received this letter asking some questions about the editorial meeting Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice had earlier this week at CBS News. Michael P. from San Francisco writes:
I'm a media consumer who thinks there isn't nearly enough transparency and I'm always on the prowl for more ways to increase media transparency, especially when it involves Bush administration officials.

Earlier this week, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice sat down with the CBS Editorial Board and CBS News [CBSNews.com] wrote up a story about her meeting with your colleagues.

However, the story failed to link to or mention that a full transcript of the meeting is posted on the web. No, not on the CBS News site, but on the State Department site.

You'll find the transcript here, courtesy of the U.S. government.

My questions for the Public Eye are these: Why is CBS News so coy about informing its audience that the transcript exists? Why not create a page on your site with the full transcript? Barring that, how about linking to the State Department page where the transcript have been posted all week?


After talking with CBS reporter Charles Wolfson, who filed the story for CBSNews.com and Michael Sims, Director of News and Operations for CBSNews.com, here's the answer we have for you Michael.

As far as we can find out, CBS News did not tape the meeting, certainly not on camera. The meeting was recorded by the State Department, which then later transcribed and posted the transcript. The story, which was filed long before a transcript was available, now includes a link to the State Department page where you can read it.

As a general rule, Sims notes that the full text of President Bush's Thursday night address to the nation was posted, adding: "When available, we always default to publishing this kind of material."