When it comes to making mistakes, organizations with bad reputations often get a pass from journalists, according to an Academy of Management Journal article.

And those mistakes are not minor slipups, but major oil spills.

“The more you’re known for doing bad things, the less interesting it becomes when you do another bad thing. And that’s why it doesn’t get covered,” said David Chandler of the University of Colorado Denver. Chandler coauthored “When Is it Good to be Bad? Contrasting Effects of Multiple Reputations for Bad Behavior on Media Coverage of Serious Organizational Errors” with Francisco Polidoro Jr. of the University of Texas at Austin, and Wei Yang of George Mason University.

Read more at AOM Insights