How do you tell your coworker to STOP REWRITING YOUR STORIES and putting your name back on them, when you don't want to sound like a whiny child, and you don't want to start a confrontation?
I swear to God, I sent this story I'm working on to my coworker to check over, and he COMPLETELY rewrote the whole thing, INCLUDING the quotes. Now, I only semi-recognize 2 paragraphs, and most of the quotes were never actually said by the interviewees. I'm so frustrated I'm actually close to tears.
Any advice/calming words would be appreciated.
I just about puked all over my desk. That's how sick this whole thing makes me. I can't believe that someone who calls themselves an editor would butcher copy like that - let alone ENDORSE changing quotes.
Here are my thoughts:
You may not want to start a confrontation, but if you do not recognize the piece, your name should not be on it. Imagine if it was even a mildly-controversial story. And his rewrites made your writing inaccurate. You would be held accountable. It's your name on the copy.
You need to talk to this person. He is so out of line. I've read your writing, I know that it's good. You have flexible style. You are a good journalist. It's not that you are a bad writer or a bad reporter. You have a bad editor on your hands.
I remember back in j-school, one of my fellow students was working for the Charlatan (the school's weekly news publication). She wrote a semi-technical article that required some calculations on her part. When she passed it into her editor, the editor made changes without properly researching.
The article was published in the second-last issue of the year.
The following week (the LAST issue of the year), the "readers comments" section blasted the reporter for poor research, calling her "yet another incompetent Charlatan writer" and so on.
Because of the changes her editor made without double-checking.
And because it was the last issue of the year, she basically never got a retraction, never got an apology, and ended up feeling (rightfully) REALLY jilted.
Now the woman has obviously moved on from the incident. She never went back to writing for them, and has been a television reporter in Edmonton for a year... but I advise keeping this in mind next time he "over-edits."
But that's just IMHO.