Clarification

Clarification

[klar-uh-fahy]
In newspapering, a clarification is used to make a statement in a published story more clear. It refers to a statement in a story that, while factually correct, may be subject to a misunderstanding or unfair assumption.

For instance, a published story about teacher layoffs states that the superintendent filed notice of termination for the affected staff. Although that statement is factually correct as printed, it may lead to the assumption that the teachers were fired that night. A statement — in this case, the clarification — may be required stating that the teachers then have time to appeal their dismissal before the termination takes effect.

A clarification is not the same as a correction, which corrects factual errors in a published story. As with corrections, the policy for reporting statements which need to be made more clear varies with the newspaper, but usually involves the reader calling an editor and pointing out the offending comments.

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