Request a Retraction or Correction from the Media • Example Letters, Guides and Samples


Make sure that your reader knows which article, interview, or report you are referring to as you firmly make your request. Be sure to repeat the incorrect information and be specific about what the correct information is.

How to write this request letter:

  1. Inform the reader that he or she made an error in his or her report.
  2. State what was presented to the public and then give the correction.
  3. Request a retraction or correction.
  4. If appropriate, thank the reader for his or her cooperation.

Example Letter #1


I have been a satisfied subscriber to your publication for the past eight years and have always considered your reporting to be reliable. I am sure you want that reputation to continue, so I bring to your attention several errors in your article regarding Doe's philanthropic contributions. I am enclosing the article with mistakes circled in red ink. Corrections are written in the margins. Please print a correction.

As you know, the Doe Foundation has supported community development and beautification efforts for years. In order to retain the confidence of cooperating agencies, it is imperative that published information is correct. Thank you for your cooperation.

Example Letter #2


I was horrified to read on the front page of the Springfield Star that I am planning to divorce my husband of 28 years. There is no truth whatever to this statement. Serious errors of this nature cause great distress to all those concerned. I hereby request that you print an immediate retraction and apology. I expect the retraction to receive the same prominence as the original article did.

Example Letter #3


An unfortunate error appeared in your article on the Springfield Middle School's Arts program. It is the lead character in the musical and not Mrs. Doe, our drama teacher, who spends most of her time flirting with the young men in the cast. This error, as you may imagine, has led to much embarrassment for Mrs. Doe. Please print an apology and retraction as soon as possible.

Example Letter #4


Your recent article on great cooks identified the British chef John Doe as the inventor of the croissant. As a matter of fact, the croissant was originally created by the cooks of Budapest, in celebration of their repelling a Turkish invasion.

Would you be so kind as to publish a correction? Thank you for your cooperation.

Write Your Letter Step-by-Step

1 Inform the reader that he or she made an error in his or her report.

Sample Sentences for Step 1
  • I appreciated your article on the recent Doe Corporation expansion, but the information you gave was not entirely correct.
  • Last Tuesday your reporter, John Doe, interviewed me about my strategies for next term's election. In his report, he misquoted me.
  • Your article on the new housing developments in Springfield was quite accurate and comprehensive. However, the photo accompanying the article was incorrectly labeled.
  • Your report on our financial institution's profits for this quarter was inaccurate.
  • I found a serious error in your report on current world politics.
  • Your account of our interview on June 30 was erroneous.
  • Your article printed on February 2 on my father's contributions to the community was inaccurate and libelous.
Sample Phrases for Step 1
  • an unfortunate error
  • appreciated your article
  • erroneously stated that
  • has come to my attention
  • have received several calls about
  • information you gave
  • just read your article
  • not entirely correct
  • point out two mistakes
  • quoted me inaccurately
  • read your article
  • reflects on the integrity of
  • report was inaccurate
  • several errors in
  • three glaring errors
  • three serious errors
  • to say the least
  • was misquoted by
  • was seriously misleading
  • was interviewed by
  • was incorrectly labeled
  • your article on

2 State what was presented to the public and then give the correction.

Sample Sentences for Step 2
  • Our newest location is in Centerville and not Springfield.
  • When Mr. Doe asked me about my position on increased public school funding, I told him that I was not ready to respond. Apparently he felt obligated to answer the question for me.
  • The photo is of the site of our development and not the site of the new school that will be constructed next year.
  • We were up, not down, 3.2 million dollars in deposits from last year.
  • The world conference will not begin for another three to four weeks.
  • Your reporter hinted that my father had been involved in illegal activities, including embezzlement and fraud. These insinuations are completely untrue.
Sample Phrases for Step 2
  • a matter of public record
  • according to your article
  • declined to answer
  • exact words were
  • exactly the opposite is true
  • far from having been
  • got these mixed up
  • have enclosed the correct
  • is completely untrue
  • not what I said at all
  • photograph is of
  • places us in an awkward
  • the truth of the matter
  • the illustration suggests
  • the photo shows
  • this indicates that
  • this implies that
  • what I actually said was
  • while this was extremely flattering
  • your article implies
  • your article states

3 Request a retraction or correction.

Sample Sentences for Step 3
  • Will you make the correction in your next issue?
  • If you will retract the derogatory article and issue an apology, I will not pursue legal action.
  • I request that you make the correction immediately.
  • Kindly make a retraction of this erroneous statement in your next edition.
  • We demand an immediate correction.
  • I trust you understand how important it is that you make the correction immediately.
  • I will appreciate your swift correction.
  • We hope you will act immediately and issue a full retraction.
Sample Phrases for Step 3
  • act immediately to
  • along with an apology
  • an immediate correction
  • as soon as possible
  • be so kind as to
  • expect you to
  • if you act swiftly
  • in your next issue
  • in your next edition
  • is a serious matter, and
  • issue a correction
  • issue a full retraction
  • kindly publish a
  • make a retraction
  • make the correction
  • must insist that
  • request that you
  • retract this immediately
  • trust that you will
  • would appreciate your
  • your swift correction

4 If appropriate, thank the reader for his or her cooperation.

Sample Sentences for Step 4
  • Thank you for your cooperation.
  • I appreciate your compliance with this request.
  • Thank you for your prompt response.
  • Thank you for rectifying the situation.
  • Thank you for your attention to this matter.
  • We trust you will take responsibility for this error and we will appreciate your positive response.
  • Your full cooperation in this matter will help eliminate misunderstandings.
Sample Phrases for Step 4
  • a simple misunderstanding
  • appreciate your cooperation
  • everything you can do to
  • do your best to
  • for your prompt response
  • for correcting this error
  • look forward to
  • seeing this cleared up
  • take responsibility for
  • thank you for
  • trust that you will
  • very much appreciate
  • will be much appreciated
  • your positive response
  • your attention to this matter
  • your compliance with
  • your cooperation in this matter
  • your assistance in this