Time Inc. editor-in-chief Norman Pearlstine, who compelled Time reporter Matt Cooper to turn over his notes in the Valerie Plame probe, will write a book on the topic, “Off the Record: The Use and Misuse of Anonymous Sources.”
The Nan A. Talese/Doubleday imprint of Random House will publish the book in 2007; Pearlstine will donate his portion of the royalties to not-for-profit journalism organizations.
Pearlstine turned over White House reporter Cooper’s notes to a grand jury in connection with special counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald’s investigation into the Plame case, while New York Times reporter Judith Miller opted for jail rather than reveal her sources.
“The Valerie Plame case led to the most difficult decision I have had to make in my 37 years working as an editor and reporter,” Pearlstine said. “But it taught me a lot about how anonymous and confidential sources have been used and misused, leading to some of our best and worst journalism.”
The notes documented a phone conversation Cooper had with President Bush aide Karl Rove about Plame, who was an undercover CIA operative when her identity was disclosed by columnist Robert Novak.
Fitzgerald is investigating whether anyone in the Bush administration committed a crime by revealing Plame’s identity.
Pearlstine, who oversees the editorial content of 155 Time Inc. magazines, is scheduled to step down before the end of the year and will be replaced by former Fortune editor and Time Inc. editorial director John Huey.