Communicating Imperfection: The Ethical Principles of News Corrections

Zohar Kampf*, Efrat Daskal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


By exploring 2 sets of ethical values, we suggest a theoretical framework for understanding media accountability products. The first set is exclusive to the field of journalism and consists of distinctive values (accuracy, balance, etc.). The second set is nonexclusive, crossing professional fields, and consists of principles for communicating organizational imperfection (responsibility, transparency, and relationality). On the basis of this theoretical construction we formulate an empirical model for assessing products of accountability. The model was applied to 1,458 corrections published in a representative newspaper from Israel, the United States, and the United Kingdom ranging in their levels of adherence to a formal accountability policy. We conclude by asking how the expectations from news organizations to adhere to principles of accountability may be realized.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)165-185
Number of pages21
JournalCommunication Theory
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2014


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