The Star's response, with commentary to follow

Dateline: Tue 25 Jul 2006

This is the memo sent out by Dennis Ryerson, executive editor of The Star, to his staff today. This is his response to the account of Mpozi's death as reported on this blog and based on conversations with those who were present that night....

To the staff:

Erroneous and hurtful information about circumstances surrounding Mpozi Mshale Tolbert's death were posted on a blog this morning and have been widely distributed. I am personally offended that a 37-year journalist would write these kind of things without following the first law of journalism: "Check it out!"

Here is the response we are providing to people asking for comment:

All of us at The Star are deeply saddened by the passing of our friend and colleague, Mpozi. We feel it is imperative to correct false statements made on the internet. Any Star employee can call 911 from Star phones. In fact, employees and our security staff used Star phones to make calls that night.

It is reprehensible, frankly I find it outrageous, that somebody would use this very sad circumstance to lambaste The Star and its owners. But that noise is what passes for fact these days in too many blogs. This is why I insist, and will continue to insist, that we set ourselves apart from that noise by providing complete, credible, fair reporting, in every section every day, in print and on line.

Dennis

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