I’m a junior correspondent working for a local newspaper. I started as an intern until I got permanent four months ago. My job profile includes going to the location of the event and reporting about it. I thoroughly enjoy my job as journalism is something I always wanted to do. But lately I have been less enthusiastic about what I do. This is specifically due to the fact that I don’t get credit for work I do.
As I’m at a lower post, each article I write is proof read by my associate editor before being published. The next day when I open the newspaper excitedly to go through my article, I realize that the byline under my article contains the name of my associate editor. This really bothers me as I’m the one doing all the work but it’s he who gets the credit for it. I stay out all day and shuffle between different areas of the city to report various incidents. But at the end of the day, it’s him who gets acknowledged. I don’t know how to bring this up as I don’t want to jeopardize my job. Please guide me about what to do.
There is an old belief that work speaks for itself. But with the changing times, it’s important to make sure your work is noticed. The point often overlooked is that getting credit for work is not just about acknowledgement. There are various other factors related to it. For instance, one’s increment and work productivity depends on the quantity or quality of work he produces. If someone else takes credit for your work, then his work gets noticed instead of yours. Consequently, the other person might end up being applauded for his work.
It is perfectly normal to be upset if someone else’s name is printed instead of yours in the byline. Especially in your profession, credit is at a public scale. It is the editor’s duty to go through a reporter’s articles before submitting them for publishing. But this does not give him the authority to get his name printed under your piece of work. It is very important to deal with this issue tactfully as after all he’s your senior. He can also cause trouble for you if you point fingers at him. That should not stop you from bringing this matter to his attention.
One of the initial things you can do is that consult another senior regarding what is the criteria for getting one’s name published on the byline. It is very important to be aware of the profession’s rules before questioning anyone. If you get a satisfactory answer which is in your favor, have a peaceful talk with your associate editor. Begin the conversation by asking him about how you can improve your writing skills. After doing so, bring up the topic in a light-hearted manner. Thank him for his advice and assure him you will work upon it so that very soon even your name will be printed with the article. This will give him a hint about your displeasure without you offending him in any manner.