The transcripts of the official inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the press. More…

I lived in America in the mid-1980s and it was quite commonplace there. I hadn't come across it before. While I was living in America, I also came across that book by David Broder which I quoted to you, which made me think about the imperfect nature of journalism, that journalism is bound by its very nature to be imperfect and that error is implicit in journalism.

I came back to the UK and when I became an editor I thought: why can't we just be honest about that and build it into what we do, that we do make errors but that it is the right thing to apologise, and to correct and to clarify? So I wanted to make it routine in the way that it is in America.

I was also conscious of the power -- when you become an editor, you are conscious of the very great deal of power that you have, and I thought it was good to have a form of independent challenge so that I, as the person who was responsible for the story -- I'm not necessarily the best person to go to in order to correct that story and it's been a tremendously liberating thing to have somebody else reach an impartial view of whether something is right or wrong and deserves correction or clarification and I think it's a really good model.

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