My former colleague Yoni Greenbaum has entered the journalism blogging arena, and he recently added his philosophy about the obligation of newspapers to make their corrections as easy to find online as they are in the print edition.
As a longtime fan of Regret the Error, I couldn’t agree more. Look, nobody wants to make a mistake, particularly when reporters, editors and photographers have spent months on an investigation. A silly bit of carelessness can sully the credibility of the entire story. But what would be even more damaging for the journalists involved, and particularly for their newspaper, would be to soft-pedal the needed correction.
If you get it wrong, say so. Say it soon and say it straightforward. Being forthright with readers about any errors–of omission or otherwise–will reap dividends in the long-run.
As newspapers build up more vigorous online presences, it only becomes more vital that they revisit their correction policies for their Web editions. Make it visible and be honest, and you will build even more loyalty for your product. A little mea culpa will go a long way.