You Don't Have to Be Perfect...
...You Just Have to Admit Fault.
"Many members of the public expressed considerable empathy for the workload and pressures that reporters face and the mental and emotional tolls that kind of life can exact. But they do not believe this should exempt the newspaper from cleaning up its messes promptly and fully Seeing as many errors as they do, the public would like to see many more corrections and clarifications" (Haiman 13).
The public wants to see that the newspaper is holding themselves accountable for their own mistakes. Think of a newspaper as one body, one very informed person. This is what it technically is. The people can visit this “person” in order to find out most of the things he/she would want to know about public life. The newspaper tells people the weather, what time movies are playing, what is going on in their communities, what is going on in their nation, the latest trends, etc. It’s one-stop shopping.
But what happens if this one person sometimes lies to you? Most human beings do not being lied to because it diminishes our ability to trust the person who lied. If you think of every mistake in the paper as a little (or big) lie, it puts the public’s demand for recognition of this lie in perspective. If you are knowingly lied to, it helps if the person tells the truth as soon as possible. This inability to keep the lie a secret humbles that person and shows us that he/she can admit fault.
This is all the public wants. They know that most people lie or at least unintentionally don’t get the facts straight. They just want to see the round-about apology for this error. The fact that some papers make a habit out of calling attention to their shortcomings shows this and makes those papers more trustworthy. In fact, people probably like to see that the paper makes mistakes because all people do. It is human nature to err so to get everything right 100% of the time would be creepy not to mention unnatural.