A Magazine Editor Rewrote My Article, Inserted Mistakes, And Put My Name On It!

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I was very interested in the question by “Paid But Angry,” who had submitted an article that was then rewritten and published under his/her name with errors. A similar situation happened at my workplace about 15 years ago, when the company decided to start a newsletter. A co-worker and I wrote an article about our boss in a witty, gently teasing tone. We ran it past her before submitting and she said it was great and had made her laugh.

When the newsletter was distributed, we were horrified to discover that the editor had added a badly-written, long paragraph at the end of the article extolling the virtues of our boss in a syrupy, cloying tone and had also somehow managed to insert 22 (yes, twenty-two!) typographical errors into our formerly pristine work.

Needless to say, my co-author and I were furious and embarrassed; over 300 employees would read this dreck and think we had written it. I wrote an email to the editor requesting a retraction/correction. The next day, I was called on the carpet by my boss’s boss, who said I had “hurt his (the editor’s) feelings” and that if I didn’t let it go, I would be written up!

All these years later, I still get angry just thinking about it! So I can definitely feel the pain of “Paid But Angry” and understand exactly how s/he feels. I wish I had been brave enough back then to pursue getting the retraction and I hope s/he has a more satisfying outcome.

– L.

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