Can getting it wrong be okay?

Terry Heaton speaks to the “accuracy” of stories reported online. His case in point was the early –and inaccurate– report that Heath Ledger died in the apartment of Mary Kate Olsen.

“What people are seeing now is an old-fashioned process — reporting — as it unfolds in real time. If the public wants its information as raw and immediate as possible, it’ll have to get used to a few missteps along the way, and maybe even approach breaking stories with a bit of skepticism, like a good reporter would.

So a part of the “process” of news is mistakes, and the ethical question is does it matter in a world of news-as-a-process? I’m not so sure it does, as long as mistakes are corrected — just as, I might add, they are corrected in the news gathering process in professional newsrooms.”

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