Is Honesty The Best Policy?

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"Seeing as many errors as they do, the public would like to see many more corrections and clarifications. Not one member of the public in our roundtables said he or she thought seeing many more corrections would diminish the credibility of the newspaper. Most said it would make them less skeptical and the paper more believable" (13).


So despite an editor's hesitation, the public are O.K. with the idea of correcting a mistake, however frequently. This is an issue I can see both sides on. As a member of the public I would like to see a mistake corrected. I think this promotes honesty and establishes a trust between the reader and the newspaper. If they are willing to correct a mistake, we (the readers) are willing to forgive the error.


But as an editor, who wants to admit mistake after mistake? The text mentioned the public doesn't expect perfection from such a fast-paced industry, but what about are the competitor's expectations? If there is a newspaper that can print news with fewer mistakes than that paper may gain customers. If you can get away with a mistake here and there, why draw attention to it?


Jessie Krehlik said:

You drive a valid point here, Michelle. It's the ultimate catch-22. Owning up to mistakes is one of the hardest things to do, but it really does make for a better publication. I think it all depends on the size of the error(s), though. But either way, the public should learn to accept the fact that, despite what they think, the media really doesn't know everything. All they know is what they're told, and unfortunately, some stuff is over-looked occasionally.

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