Professional and transparent: DW guidelines for dealing with errors | DW as an organization: leadership, oversight and structures | DW | 08.05.2024
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Professional and transparent: DW guidelines for dealing with errors

DW strives to provide accurate content that is free of error. However, despite numerous quality control measures, mistakes can be made. How we deal with these errors is critical.

This document provides insight on the guidelines put in place to ensure timely and transparent handling of any errors and inaccuracies in our content. Errors will be addressed individually, taking into consideration both the type of error and the medium used.

1. Errors on our web pages

(Applicable to text, photo captions, web videos, graphics and images)

Errors and inaccuracies on our web pages are to be corrected as swiftly as possible.

After a substantial correction has been made, the revised article will be republished. Notes will be set in italics and placed beneath the article. If more than one error is identified, they will be referenced together in one note.  Articles will not be deleted!

Typographical and grammatical errors do not require a note, nor republication of the article. Factual errors such as incorrect numbers, names, dates, locations etc. will be corrected and referenced with an appropriate note.

If DW is responsible for the error, the note will be supplemented by an apology. 

Example: “A previous version of this article stated … (cite errors). This has now been corrected.  The department apologizes for the error.”

Example: “A previous version of this article included an image showing (cite errors). The image has now been replaced. The department apologizes for the error.” 

The source of the error, if not DW (e.g. agency, expert), will also be clarified in the note. 

Example: “A previous version of this article stated that, according to XY…. (cite error). XY has now amended his/her/its account. The current text has been corrected accordingly.”

In the case of editorial revisions, the procedure will be determined by the nature and extent of the correction.

Revisions to the content of a text will be clearly indicated. Corrections of ambiguous and unclear formulations will be accompanied by a standard update notification. 

Example: “This is an updated version of a previous article.”

The following note (or similar) will be used in instances where the rectification of a content-related error would lead to a change in direction or a total contradiction of the article.   

Example: “A previous version of this article has been withdrawn as it did not meet our editorial standards.” 

In addition to the department head and the Editor-in-Chief, the Program Director and corporate communications department will also be informed when serious errors are corrected. 

Non-corrective changes such as additions or updates to previous content will also be accompanied by an appropriate note.

Example: “This is an expanded /updated/… version of a previous report.”

2. Errors in our TV Programming

Dealing with errors on television requires a different approach from that of our web pages.

Where possible, we will apologize immediately for any inadequate or erroneous content in our television programming. 

Errors in content are generally identified only after their broadcast. In such cases, errors will be corrected immediately when spotted or removed from the broadcast program.

Extremely serious errors (wrong information) will be mentioned in the follow-up broadcast, together with an apology. 

3. Errors on our Social Media Websites

User feedback on social media is typically immediate and public. Corrections must therefore be made swiftly and as transparent as possible. This is why special rules apply when dealing with errors on our social media sites.

The essential points are:

  • Erroneous tweets or posts are not to be deleted!
  • Response to criticism or identification of errors shall been done directly and comments moderated appropriately.
  • Corrections, clarifications and apologies will be published beneath the erroneous post as follows: (For Twitter: in the thread beneath the original Tweet; on Facebook, as a comment beneath the original post; on YouTube, as a comment beneath the videos or in the Infobox.)
  • Where possible, information on the source of the error (such as erroneous sources, transposed digits etc.,) will be provided in the correction note.