Should journalists have the right to be wrong?

Journalists deserve reprimands, time-outs and maybe even a few hours in the pillory for honest work gone wrong. But it’s a mistake for readers to overstigmatize all errors and sideline the responsible reporters, as Craig Silverman wrote in his 2007 book Regret the Error. Make accommodations for honest errors as long as news organizations correct the record, make the proper apologies and account for the breaches, as CNN appears to have done in the Scaramucci story.

If we don’t make accommodations for errors, we’ll be left with a press too timid to get the story. “It is nearly impossible today to imagine a newspaper being able to overcome the errors made in the course of the Post’s Watergate reporting and still be able to push the story to its ultimate conclusion,” Silverman wrote.