A Newspaper Stole My Last Idea and Assigned It to Someone Else! What Can I Do?

A Newspaper Stole My Last Idea and Assigned It to Someone Else! What Can I Do?

Dear Angela,

Recently I submitted a 1,400-word interview to a local newspaper after confirming that the editor would like to see it. I did not hear back from them for six weeks, and sent a polite e-mail last week asking if he still wanted to use the story. I received no reply.

Today, a story ran about the same person, written by someone else – and nicely done I might add. It seems that this editor might have let me know that he could not use my article. I’ve certainly had others turned down. I did have another market but since the story might not appear until next year, I felt it would be timely and appropriate to run it in a local paper.

Anyhow, I’d like your opinion – I’ve worked for other newspapers but not sure I’d like to submit more work to this one. Am I wrong to have expected some correspondence from this editor – and it was my idea!

Thanks for listening!

Warm regards,
Florence

Hi Florence,

It’s possible the editor liked your idea so much that he/she assigned the article to one of their reporters. And, to make it look like the idea wasn’t stolen, perhaps he/she then ignored all your correspondence, pretending they never saw it.

Unfortunately, what he did was entirely legal (though, in my opinion, not at all ethical).

I would definitely not pitch to that paper again. You obviously generate great ideas. Share your talents with more ethical and appreciative publications.

Angela

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