One of the reasons to build relationships with people you cover is so that they understand your mission, which means they shouldn’t expect favors when they find your job in conflict with theirs. Fairness and honesty are central to any relationship, and nobody likes surprises, which is why I tell sources, “I’ll never stab you in the back. I’ll always stab you in the chest.” In other words, you’ll know when I’m writing about you or your boss, you’ll know exactly how negative the story will be, and you’ll get a chance to argue your case—but you’ll still get the sharp end of the knife. A reporter’s job isn’t to make friends. It’s to build relationships that inform and provoke readers, and to hold powerful people accountable. Your sources are more likely to respect you if they’re a little afraid of you.
from The Atlantic; Ron Fournier
I won’t talk to reporters, they are serpents in the grass;
waiting just to quote you (which comes back to bite your ass)
They look for truth when sages have proclaimed for eons past
that truth is what you make it, not in concrete ever cast.
If they work for the public, as they like to boast always,
I’d like to know just who it is that hires them and pays.
I guess they can be pleasant and perhaps enjoy a joke;
but why in other’s bizness must they always have to poke?