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How frequently do people ask you if a columnist is your editor?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Mr. X, Aug 17, 2008.

  1. Mr. X

    Mr. X Member

    A publicist I had dealt with on a story a few days earlier called to pitch a story to me. I was polite, thanked her for the suggestion and said, "I'll have to talk with my editor about this."

    The publicist then said, "Is (name of columnist, who she deals with frequently) your editor?"

    "No," I said. "(Name of editor) is my editor."

    (This is all a cityside situation.)

    My question is this -- as was posted on the subject line -- how frequently do people ask you if a columnist is your editor?
  2. GB-Hack

    GB-Hack Active Member

    Can't say I've ever had that happen to me.
  3. dooley_womack1

    dooley_womack1 Well-Known Member

    I always get asked what stories I write, even tho I always say I copy edit.
  4. mike311gd

    mike311gd Active Member

    I've never had that happen to me. But I do notice that most everyone I speak with regarding a story idea is generally put off by my "I'll have to talk with my editor" response. It's almost as if they assume just because I'll write the story, it's my call as to whether it sees the ink.

    Of course, I also use that line when I want to get off the phone or get back to my car. So that might be it, too.
  5. BrianGriffin

    BrianGriffin Active Member

    I've been at papers small enough where the columnist WAS the editor.
  6. king cranium maximus IV

    king cranium maximus IV Active Member

    Was a copy editor, then a night news editor before getting out of the biz. Never wrote a story. My mother-in-law, thinking it was a huge crack to my self-esteem, would always ask me when I was finally going to be able to write a story.

    Ha. Ha.
  7. MMatt60

    MMatt60 Member

    When I have been a reporter as well as when I have been an editor, civilians often ask, "What column do you write?"
  8. Joe Williams

    Joe Williams Well-Known Member

    No offense to all the fine deskers here -- folks who have saved me countless times from silly errors and dumb mistakes -- but I had a buddy who loved to introduce himself as "An editor at --------" and was quite happy to leave the citizen with the impression that he was a high-ranking, decision-making honcho.

    Because of that, whenever I could beat him to the punch and introduce him, I'd refer to him as a "copy handler." Only because I knew it short-circuited his little game.

    I know writers who are glad to let people think that all whose copy appears in the paper are "columnists." And I've also known a couple of knuckleheads who, when referred to as a "writer from the ----------" would interrupt the person and say, "Columnist!"

    Gimme a break. Let's get over ourselves.
  9. And many of them do.

    My somewhat (somewhat!) related story: I once watched a TNT basketball game with a non-journalist, not-very-educated friend. After Craig Sager did his halftime interview, the friend started peppering me with questions about Sager's "reporting" job in a way that made it obvious he thought my job, as a newspaper sports reporter, was more or less the same.
  10. BrianGriffin

    BrianGriffin Active Member

    To wear bad suits and pander?

    We don't wear bad suits...just bad golf shirts ;-)
  11. Johnny Dangerously

    Johnny Dangerously Well-Known Member

    People who call a column "an editorial" -- and they are legion -- are likely to think a columnist is an editor.
  12. Rosie

    Rosie Active Member


    A couple years back, I was back home for a rare visit. A guy who worked for my dad at the time stopped by and after my dad introduced me, I excused myself to go help my mom with something.

    As I walked away, I heard my dad tell his employee I was the sports editor at Nearby Larger Town Daily.

    Problem was, I was sports editor at Small Town Weekly. And had been for years.

    Weird thing, now that I'm at the paper I'm at now, there are people who think I really did move to the Nearby Larger Town Daily.
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