Volume 4, No. 3
September 1, 2008
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When to Ask for a Correction
So, you weren't happy with how an article turned out in a newspaper. Was it because there was a significant error in fact? Or was it because you didn't like the reporter's interpretation of your information?
Factual Errors Versus What You Didn't Like
Important factual errors that can cause harm should be corrected. For example, the incorrect time of an event, the misspelling of a CEO's name, or an additional digit added to a number. Minor errors, such as saying 200 people attended an event when there were 225, are not worth making a fuss over.
If you simply didn't like the story -- because of the headline, the quotes selected, the data you wish the reporter had included, etc. -- you have no choice but to accept the outcome. You will not win an argument with a reporter over subjective qualities of a story. Criticizing his or her work will not help you build a positive relationship.
How to Request a Correction
Most newspapers have specific locations where they print corrections. Professional news people appreciate accuracy and will want to fix major errors. Contact the reporter. Politely explain the error and why it needs to be corrected. Then let him or her take care of it.