Unpublishing the News: An Analysis of U.S. and South Korean Journalists’ Discourse About an Emerging Practice

Hye Soo Nah, Stephanie Craft


One axiom of the digital age is that online is forever. Such imperishability of information has led an increasing number of news subjects and sources to request that stories containing outdated or negative personal information be “unpublished.” These requests confront news practices and ethical guidelines related to privacy, accuracy, harm, and autonomy, which complicates newsroom responses. U.S. and South Korean journalists’ discourses about unpublishing demonstrate that those in a more individualistic culture (U.S.) highlight obligations related to accuracy and autonomy, while those in a more collectivistic culture (South Korea) highlight obligations related to individual privacy and avoidance of harm.


journalistic routines, ethics, privacy, corrections, autonomy, comparative research

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