General Question

JonnyCeltics's avatar

Can journalists have their stories "stolen" by pitched editors?

Asked by JonnyCeltics (2698 points ) October 1st, 2012

I am pitching a story to a number of large publications about a boxer, whom has knowledge that I am pitching his story and he is all about it.

What if an editor likes the pitch, but decides to have someone else write it (perhaps he thinks I’m too green or would rather assign the story to a person with whom he/she has a working relationship with)?

Is it possible to ask my subject to keep this story exclusive to me…?

Still new to this game, but learning quickly.

Thanks, Flutherites. :)

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8 Answers

marinelife's avatar

Reputable publications would not do that.

bkcunningham's avatar

@JonnyCeltics, what size is the article and what type of publications are you engaged with to sell the story?

Bellatrix's avatar

Yes it can happen. If it’s a great story idea and they can access the sources, why would they pay you to go and do the work when they have a journo they have already paid sitting there? It might not be reputable but we are talking about a business. If they have no real connection or loyalty to you, a freelancer, they could steal an idea. Give enough information to explain the concept but not so much your story can be produced by an in house journalist. Don’t give details such as source names and the like.

I have had journalists from large mainstream publications cut and paste whole sections of my stories (printed in another publication) and published under their byline. Annoying to say the least.

bkcunningham's avatar

You’ve have journalists from major publications plagiarize your work, @Bellatrix? It is more than annoying. It is illegal.

Bellatrix's avatar

It’s happened. In hindsight, I should have contacted the editor of the publication – but I didn’t.

bkcunningham's avatar

I need a copyeditor. LOL ^

filmfann's avatar

They would wait until your story is written, then decide if one of their writers can do a better job.

Sunny2's avatar

Did you proof read the first line of your question here?

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