A Message To Readers

By: David Martin

“A story in Saturday’s Real Deal section suggested that a fun thing to do for Halloween is to write “poison” on a plastic jar or bottle and fill it with candy for the kids to eat. A picture that accompanied the story showed a skull and crossbones image similar to the symbol used to indicate something is poisonous. The Citizen understands the need to train children not to touch and never to eat or drink from bottles or jars with that symbol on it, and it was a lapse in judgment for us to have suggested otherwise.” — The Ottawa Citizen, October 30, 2011


The Ottawa Citizen shouldn’t be too hard on itself, as apparently some lesser-known publications have recently made similar slip-ups:

A Message to Readers — The Podunk Weekly Gazette, December 26, 2010

A story in last week’s Gazette recommended that readers use real icicles on their indoor Christmas trees. We now realize that although real icicles can make beautiful tree ornaments, they should probably be restricted to use on outdoor trees. The risk of an electrical fire far outweighs the icicles’ decorative value in an indoor setting. The Gazette regrets the error.

A Note to Our Subscribers — The Hooterville Post, January 3, 2011

We extend belated wishes for a Happy New Year to our subscribers and, at the same time, wish to apologize for last Sunday’s article entitled “Clever ways to recycle the Post for the holidays.” Inverting a folded party hat and using it as a New Year’s punch bowl probably is not going to work for any length of time even when multiple sheets of newspaper are used. Likewise, covering household lights with festive lampshades made from newsprint may arguably cause a slight fire hazard. Whatever the coroner’s final ruling in the three local home fires this New Year’s Eve, we wish we had never published the article in question, as do our lawyers.

An Open Letter to Our Readers — The Weaselville Times, April 25, 2011

Saturday’s Living section article entitled “Homemade Easter goodies” suggested that parents could use cigarettes and miniature liquor bottles to make toy Easter bunnies for their children. On further reflection, however, we realize that such items may be sending an inappropriate message to young children, particularly when accompanied by matches or where the miniature liquor bottles are not yet empty. The Times appreciates the need to reduce the rate of childhood consumption of tobacco and alcohol and regrets the lapse in judgment.

An Apology to Our Readers — The Stuckleyville Star, July 5, 2011

An item in last Saturday’s paper may have caused some minor misunderstanding among our readership. Just because we provided instructions on how to create Roman candles using a rolled up newspaper, some powdered explosive and a fuse does not mean that we condone in any way the ignition of such devices indoors or outdoors. In retrospect, we wish we had not published the item in question and we congratulate the ER at the Stuckleyville Hospital for ably handling the unexpected patient overflow on Monday night.

Correction — The Yucca Flats Daily Gleaner, September 6, 2011

An article in Sunday’s Lifestyles section suggested building a family campfire to celebrate Labor Day. Unfortunately, the article neglected to specify that the campfire be built outdoors, preferably at a safe distance from any flammable or explosive materials. We regret the oversight and extend our sympathies to the Jones and Franklin families, as well as the former employees of the Shell refinery previously located on Industrial Avenue.


Leave a Reply

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