Minnesotans For Sustainability©
Sustainable Society: A society that balances the environment, other life forms, and human interactions over an indefinite time period.
[MFS note: a .pdf file of the Minnesota News Council Complaint Form is available here.]
Complainant Name & Address Media Name & Address
Phone: (day) (evening)
Type of complainant:___ private individual ___ private organization
___ public figure ___ public organization ___ public official
___ political candidate ___ government agency
Did the story name or clearly allude to you or your organization?___ yes ___ no
Type of medium:___ TV newspaper ___daily ___other
___ wire service ___community
___magazine ___ college
MINNESOTA NEWS COUNCIL COMPLAINT FORM
Was the story published/broadcast in the past six months? ___yes ___ no
Dates of publication/broadcast (enclose copies):
Have you discussed your complaint with the news outlet named named? ___ yes ___ no
With whom, when?
What action or response could the news outlet take to resolve your complaint?
___ Correction ___ Clarification ___ Letter to the editor
___ Publish a commentary that I write ___ Do a follow-up story
___ Other (describe) ________________________________________________________________________
Complaining about (check all that apply):
___ news story ___ editorial ___ letters to the editor
___column ___ other (please specify)_______________________________
For news stories...
Was the story, in whole or in part, factually inaccurate? ___yes ___ no
Was the story:___ incomplete ___ inflammatory ___ sensationalized
___ misleading ___ biased
___ racist/sexist or otherwise stereotyping ___ otherwise unfair
Were there other journalistic lapses?(check all that apply)
___ Was there a conflict of interest for the reporter or the news organization in this story?
___ Did the reporter misrepresent him/herself or his/her motive?
___ Was your confidentiality betrayed or did the reporter or editor break a promise promise?
___ Did the news organization unfairly invade your privacy privacy?
___ Did the news organization fail to contact you when preparing a story about you?
––– Was there a misleading impression created by the layout, graphics, headlines or other
elements of the page or story?
___ Did it unfairly harm your reputation or that of your company?
___ Other, please explain:______________________________________________________________
If you are complaining about an editorial or other opinion piece, please check any of the following that apply:
___ The story was inaccurate and/or created a distorted impression and the paper refused to correct it when notified of the error
___ The paper knowingly failed to identify the affiliation of a writer of an opinion piece when such an affiliation would have revealed a conflict of interest
___ The writer did not disclose relevant con- conflicts of interest
___ The story unfairly invaded my privacy
___ The story unfairly exposed me to public ridicule or damage to my reputation
___ The paper unfairly refused to give me access to the Opinion page page, although I was specifically mentioned in a news or opinion story
___ The reporter broke a promise of confidentiality
___ The story was in some other way unfair
If you are complaining about a letter to the editor, please check any of the following that apply:
___ The paper knowingly failed to identify a letter writer's affiliation that would have revealed a conflict of interest or special knowledge
___ The paper published a letter that unfairly invaded my privacy
___ The paper published a letter that unfairly exposed me to public ridicule or damaged my reputation
___ The paper refused to provide space for any letters to correct an error in a previously published letter, editorial, opinion or news story
___ The paper edited a letter so that the meaning was changed or substantially weakened
___ The paper was in some other way unfair unfair:
The Minnesota News Council provides a free conflict-resolution service as an alternative to a court of law. Complainants choose to use this process because it is free and informal, and it provides a forum in which they can bring their complaints before a news organization. News organizations choose to participate in the process because it is allows them to respond to their readers and viewers in a less costly, non-legal forum that does not encroach upon their First Amendment rights.
Council staff will informally assist all complainants, but if you choose to use the News Council's mediation service or to participate in a public hearing on your complaint, you must sign and return this waiver form.
Please read this form carefully before you sign it. If you do not understand it, ask a Council staff member and/or consult your attorney.
I understand that if the Minnesota News Council facilitates a mediation or holds a public hearing on my complaint against (name of news outlet), I may present matters that otherwise could be the basis of a claim before a court of law or a government agency.
I also understand that the news organization will be asked to appear voluntarily and may present information and defenses that otherwise could be used in evidence in a court of law or an agency proceeding.
In consideration of the Minnesota News Council's agreement to consider my grievance, I hereby waive any and all claims or demands that I may now have or may hereafter have, of any kind or nature, before a government agency or before a court of law, including defamation actions arising out of or pertaining to the subject matter of my grievance against any person or corporation, including the news outlet and its employees and agents, or against any and all persons presenting information to the Minnesota News Council, or against the Minnesota News Council, its members and employees for statements made during the proceedings or for the content of its decisions or reports.
If the Minnesota News Council or one of its committees finds this complaint unsuitable for adjudication or mediation, this waiver will cease to be binding.
Signature of complainant(s) Date
Complainant is acting on behalf of the following organization:
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Minnesotans For Sustainability