By Andy Schotz | March 23rd, 2009
Accountability is an important part of ethical journalism. SPJ’s Code of Ethics has a section on the topic, and encourages journalists to “Admit mistakes and correct them promptly.”
Reasonable people can debate “promptly.”
Hours? A day? Two? A week?
I’ve read about The New York Times dragging its feet and running a correction months later.
But that’s drag-racing speed compared to what Washington Post ombudsman Andrew Alexander revealed in Sunday’s column (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/03/20/AR2009032002272.html)
Alexander wrote that a few requests for corrections have gone unanswered since 2004. The paper’s backlog of correction requests, he wrote, is in the hundreds, stuck as if in a black hole.
Alexander does a great service by showing that one of The Post’s procedure for accountability is failing.