Journalist fired for telling editor to F… off

December 12, 2007

That is astounding… I remember one editor and his pet sub in particular who wouldn’t leave copy alone… to the point where the reporters would
sneak back into the database after the sub had been at it and change stuff back.

My favourite booboo was her changing “iwi” (a word she was unfamiliar with) to “kiwi”. No, really. I caught that one before it went into print.

However the sub prevailed on the editor to make some changes so that she could change our copy and we would be none the wiser… He dutifully
introduced a field to the database wherein he and she could discuss the stories without any input from the reporters whatsoever. When I figured
out what was going on I blew my stack in a spectacular fashion (no typewriters were harmed however) and my only regret is that I invoked
Godwin’s Law by saying “At least in Nazi Germany they knew who the villains were!”

But nobody got fired, least of all me.

Surely robust editorial discussions should be encouraged? Why do today’s editors seem determined to winkle out those “prickly bastards” who make
their life difficult? Aren’t they the ones who are out there making their stories prickly as well?


9 Responses to “Journalist fired for telling editor to F… off”

  1. Mysterious Dave Mather Says:

    Not that I know much about journalism, but that dismissal seems a little over the top. Journalist tells editor to “F… off”: I wouldn’t have thought that was too unusual.

    And the bloke had a point, if it is a column under his name, he has to answer for what is published, and if the paper is backing personality reporting, the paper needs the reporter to be able to stand by his story. Otherwise people will stop reading that reporter’s stories.

    Am I wrong in assuming that the editor’s role is to make sure the story reads well, the story is worth reading, and the story does not get the paper into legal troubles? Oh, and journalists hand in stories, rather than sit around the pub all day.

    Iwi/Kiwi – was the sub from abroad then? What did the story read like with the change? How could it vaguely make sense?

  2. audent Says:

    It didn’t. But then she never let sheer ignorance and her thin-skinned arrogance get in the way of her world domination.

    I believe she’s in PR now.

  3. audent Says:

    Besides, I always took “fuck off” to be a term of news-room endearment!

  4. Gillian Says:

    Oh my, that brings back memories – it was an enrtertaining/amusing day…
    And yeah, newsrooms are hardly centres of decorum, this seems pretty strange!

  5. Gillian Says:

    Is she really working in PR? ah, it happens to us all, eventually…

  6. audent Says:

    Well, “working” might be an overstatement… probably more accurately it would be “lounging around sending her CV out and complaining about everyone else not doing what she tells them to”.

    But I digress…

  7. Mysterious Dave Mather Says:

    If “fuck off” is a newsroom term of endearment, a flung pen must be like a bouquet. That Sean Plunket, so romantic…

  8. […] so it was that I was very angry to discover a journalist was fired for telling an editor to fuck off. But that was some time ago. I no longer mutter “motherfucker” under my breath when I […]

  9. I heard that he that he wanted do a Coronation Street cameo! :O. Not sure how true this is, has anyone else heard it? There’s a bit of me that sort of wishes this is true lol.

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