Date of Award

5-13-1999

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Communication

Abstract

With journalism credibility at its lowest ebb, more newspapers are taking time to correct mistakes and apologize for errors. In this thesis, I use Kenneth Burke's theories to analyze newspaper corrections through guilt-redemption, purification and image restoration strategies. This study looks at two types of redemptive rhetoric and image-restoration strategies: front-page apologies and daily corrections from four newspapers. The front-page apologies are from The News Examiner and the Cincinnati Enquirer. The daily corrections are from The New York Times and the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. This thesis contends that newspapers should use mortification in corrections and apologies because it is the proper rejoinder in maintaining credibility with readers, even when victimage is the preferred strategy of guilt redemption.

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