Around seven years ago, I wrote a feature article about an Air Force servicemember who played rugby. Her parents were immigrants from England, so I thought this was a unique angle. I interviewed her, took photos of her running with and holding a rugby ball and then, as per the procedure of the military publication I worked at, e-mailed her the story I’d written. She e-mailed me back telling me the article looked good, and I submitted the article to my editor.
A few days later, I was let go by that newspaper.
And, an issue or two later, the rugby story finally ran.
Under someone else’s byline.
When I contacted the head of media relations, he assured me it was an honest oversight and would be corrected. I liked him, but to this day I don’t buy his explanation; before being let go, I’d left the story and photos in the queue on our network drive, and it had my byline on it. Whether a parting shot from the very unprofessional editor I worked for or an honest oversight, it left me very angry–especially since the person erroneously credited in the byline wasn’t really a good writer.
And now, a miscredited byline appears to have happened to me again. This time, minus the unprofessional editor.
From 2007-2008, I wrote many articles and features for one freelance client. A recent perusal of some of those articles shows that while they were published in print under my byline and were originally web published under my own byline, now they often carry others’ bylines.
I hope to have this resolved soon. Yes, I was paid, but I would like to see credit where credit is due.
Richard Zowie’s been a professional writer for 10 years. Post comments here or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.