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Demand for Clarification







Guidelines : Demand for Clarification

Demanding Retractions or Clarifications

Guidelines and Alternate Phrases

  • Point out erroneously printed information or your disagreement with a position.
  • State the correct information and give your sources, or offer facts and reasons in support of your own position.
  • Request a retraction of erroneous information.
  • We demand a retraction on this evening’s news.
  • In your next issue, please print a correction of Mr. Hilburn’s current affiliation.
  • We expect an immediate correction of these loss and damage awards to be printed in tomorrow’s paper.
  • We demand that you correct this impression and state clearly that Ms. Tightson is being paid by the plaintiff for her legal opinions in this case.

Example 1: Requesting retraction letter to media

Company Name or Letterhead
Address
City, State Zip
Date

Addressee
Address
City, State Zip

Dear Editor:

The photo accompanying your story “Freedom Fighters” that appeared in the Sunday Chronicle supplement, Zest, was incorrectly identified as “Julius K. Lark, an employee of Hughes Tool Company.”

The photo did include one of our former employees–Jerome T. Pickens, not Julius K. Lark. Mr. Lark is a senior executive at our firm but has nothing to do with the freedom fighters portrayed in your story.

We ask that you retract this erroneous identification immediately.

Yours truly,

Example 2: Letter to media for correction

Company Name or Letterhead
Address
City, State Zip
Date

Addressee
Address
City, State Zip

Dear Editor:

We were quite distressed to read your erroneous reports of our profits here at Mercantile Bank. In your Monday edition you erroneously stated the amount of our third-quarter deposits and indicated the bank’s deposits were down from a year earlier.

Here are the correct facts: Our deposits dropped by about $122 million, or 3.3 percent, in the third quarter, but they were up 2.2 percent at the end of September from a year earlier. At the end of September, we had $4,980,345,678 in deposits.

Please make an immediate retraction in your next edition.

Yours truly,

Example 3: Letter to reporter for clarifications

Company Name or Letterhead
Address
City, State Zip
Date

Addressee
Address
City, State Zip

Dear Editor:

Your July 31 article “Seat-Belt Slack: Comfort Device in U.S. Cars Raises Safety Concerns,” concerns me, too. At General Motors Corp., we recognize that customers will be most effectively protected by our safety belts when they know the proper way to wear them–without excessive slack. Our owner manuals fully explain how to adjust the belts. When adjusted properly, the comfort feature of the belts is a decided benefit to drivers and passengers. From my own experience I know that women, especially, benefit from the comfort and convenience afforded by this feature.

But to suggest that safety belts do not provide occupant protection is misleading, and may lead readers to the dangerous and mistaken conclusion that they are better off not wearing safety belts.

Belts equipped with the tension-relief mechanism became a standard feature in cars in the mid-l970s as GM sought to respond to customer requests for less tension and pressure from shoulder belts, and to increase public acceptance and use of seat belts. These efforts, along with the passage of belt-use laws, have resulted in more people buckling up, and more lives being saved in auto accidents.

GM safety belts are designed for customer safety and comfort, and our crash-test procedures exceed the federal requirements established by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Betsy Ancker-Johnson

Vice President

GM Environmental Activities Staff

Reprinted with permission by courtesy of General Motors and The Wall Street Journal. ©1987 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All rights reserved.

Example 4: Letter to media

Company Name or Letterhead
Address
City, State Zip

Date

Addressee
Address
City, State Zip

Dear Mr. Mangier:

On the evening news, reporter Marcus Newell stated during a story that our company, Tellers, Inc., was planning to move into your area and, “open a plant along the Verde River that would constitute a possible health hazard … due to the large number of toxic chemicals they use during production.”

We would like to suggest Mr. Newell check the accuracy of his sources a bit more closely. It is indeed true that Tellers will soon be moving to your area. However, we are an independent bookseller, with plans to open a store on Market Square (10 miles north of the Verde River). Furthermore, Tellers, Inc. has nothing to do with the manufacturing of books. I believe Mr. Newell was referring to Tellier, Inc., a glue factory that has scouted potential production sites along the Verde River but has yet to make any firm commitment.

Tellers, Inc. is proud of its recycling efforts. We are an environmentally-sensitive company, pro-active in community affairs, and sponsor an “after school book program” for at-risk youth.

We do not feel we are being unreasonable in asking for not only a retraction, but also an apology for such erroneous information, especially as it could have a negative effect on our store opening.

Sincerely,

Example 5: Letter to reporter

Company Name or Letterhead
Address
City, State Zip

Date

Addressee
Address
City, State Zip

Dear Ms. Flintstone:

On your “Surviving the Drive,” morning radio program, disk jockey Ed Robbins read a news report stating, “John Cahill was to be charged with embezzling funds from Eastland Bank & Trust.” And as Ed always does, he came up with a joke concerning the story.

Mr. Cahill was not offended by the joke (he is actually a fan of Ed’s show), but he was rather shocked to discover he was being charged with embezzlement. Especially since he is heading the investigation team determining if a former employee of the bank has embezzled funds.

While this mistake has caused quite a bit of amusement amongst the members of the investigative team, it could cause some embarrassment to Mr. Cahill in the larger community. We would therefore like to request that Ed retract his statement and offer an apology on tomorrow’s morning show.

Thank you for your correction.

Sincerely,

     

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