Etiquette and Useful Tips

Etiquette and Useful Tips

After an issue is reported, this list provides guidance on what to do.

1. Contact details for media (or politician etc.) will be on their website and the editorial department may be shown on the “about” page. Generally, editors and journalists do NOT read online comments posted against an article. Smaller newspapers and bloggers might be more involved with online comments but not the larger media groups.  Be wary of trolls; it is probably better to report a troll to the site moderator rather than argue with them.

2. When writing (or calling) be polite and keep to the facts. What was wrong? Why was it wrong? How can it be corrected? Most media are obliged to factually report stories and not mislead their readers or viewers. Be specific as to the problem and try to provide some evidence as to why the story was wrong and how it should be corrected. Editors are not interested in your opinion but they have a duty to ensure that their reportage is accurate and does not mislead people. The “Polish camp” types of errors are editorial and the word “Polish” is inadvertently used to try and denote geography but this is factually inaccurate and misleading.

3. Read the MSZ/MFA examples and explanations. Although “defective code of memory” is an unhelpful expression that is best avoided.

4. Most responsible media organizations have in-house style guides. Many of these state that inaccurate phrases such as “Polish camps” should be avoided. It could also be mentioned that such an error could be considered an act of Holocaust Denial and Distortion.
“Attempts to blur the responsibility for the establishment of concentration and death camps devised and operated by Nazi Germany by putting blame on other nations or ethnic groups.”

5. If the mistake was made in a video, note the time and quote accurately.

6. Keep POLISH MEDIA ISSUES updated as to your actions. Share any useful contact addresses for the media. Please copy correspondence to PMI’s email address

7. Consider making a formal complaint against the newspaper/news organization. If this is unsuccessful, some countries have an “independent” press/broadcast regulator and the complaint could be escalated.

8. If a correction was made, please thank the editors. Try and create goodwill.

9. Do not be discouraged by the lack of reply from the Polish MSZ/MFA. Unfortunately, this is normal.

10. Most mistakes will be corrected but it is difficult to rectify “opinion” pieces even when these “articles” contain factual mistakes.

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