As a former science writer for several UK national newspapers, I commend Simon Lewis for his balanced and valuable analysis of how to deal with misreporting (Nature 468, 7; 2010).

Lewis avoids the common error of assuming that the bylined journalist was responsible for the headline or the final text. As I know all too well, stories can be extensively rewritten without being referred back to the named author. Complaining about this practice is regarded as naive and career-limiting.

His experiences show how one can use the rivalries that exist between newspapers to obtain some redress for misreporting. Newspapers delight in reporting egregious examples of misreporting by rivals.

Thus, in approaching the UK newspaper The Guardian, Lewis targeted his complaint about the original Sunday Times report perfectly. I am glad that Lewis was able to gain some redress. I am also grateful to him for reminding me how good it is to be out of the newspaper business.