Semantics  | American Journalism Review
From AJR,   September 1998


By Alicia C. Shepard
Alicia C. Shepard is a former AJR senior writer and NPR ombudsman.     

MUCH IS MADE of one word in the Cincinnati Enquirer's apology: renounce , as in:

"We have withdrawn the articles from continued display on the Enquirer's Internet Web Site ( and renounce the series of articles."

Does renounce mean retract, as journalists know it?
Webster's New World Dictionary says renounce means ``to give up (a claim, right, belief, etc.) usually by a formal statement." Retract means"to withdraw or disavow ( a statement, promise, offer, charge, etc.); recant or revoke."

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