The Proper Way to Confront a Journalist Who Has Wronged You

Nothing starts your morning off worse than finding out your business is in the middle of a huge scandal. Though a close contender would be to realize that the entire thing is a fabrication! Seems while you slumbered a journalist at the local paper dug up what he thought was juicy news about your company. However, you know for a fact it’s just a load of malarkey.

You’re naturally angry, but what can you really do? You can’t just let this outrage stand, and you need to set the record straight. Part of that will be confronting the journalist that created the fiction in the first place.

Don’t Ass U Me

We all heard (probably around the 3rd or 4th grade) that we shouldn’t assume, as it “makes an ass out of you and me.” There’s also an old saying about not assuming malevolence when it can be attributed to laziness.

In this example, the crack journalist that broke this huge story might honestly just have all their facts twisted. This could easily be out of laziness and not out of spite. When something potentially career-changing pops up in their radar, most people will jump. This could include accidentally fabricating a story about your company.

This doesn’t ease your wounds, though. You’re still left with the American people mad at you for something you never did. However, when confronted with the facts, the reporter will hopefully write up a retraction.


The best case scenario is one where the offending party backs down and tells everyone they’re sorry. However, that’s obviously not always going to be the case. Perhaps this journalist really believes in the story. Alternatively, they could just be fearful they’ll lose their job and good standing if they admit they were lazy or flat out wrong.

Instead of immediately jumping to a lawsuit to get them to admit their goof, try to schedule a meeting with everyone involved. Say the news article was about your company’s new product harming children. Bring in the company heads and the designer of the product to a meeting with the journalist and the Editor in Chief of the newspaper.

Usually when you get everyone talking, something will eventually come to light. It may not even be the full truth – said journalist could really stick to their guns even when staring down the barrel of another. However, it could be something you can at least work with and get everybody back on track. Then just make sure you watch out for that reporter in the future.

If all else fails, then consider a libel case. If you don’t do anything at all, people will automatically assume what they first heard is the truth. By taking some sort of legal action, you at least remind folks there is more than just one side of a story.

Have you ever been wronged by a journalist? What did you do?

This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (, the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Download your free copy of the Beginner’s Guide to Writing Powerful Press Releases here:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *