Dear NWU Journalism list members (hoping you’re still out there!),
I recently published an article with a music magazine–a profile of an up-and-coming artist. Unfortunately, two factual errors turned up in the published piece. One was a misunderstanding between the editor and me; the other was an honest oversight on my part. It was (understandably) embarrassing to me. I later received an email from the artist, who said (rightly) that I had never run the final draft by her before submission. If I had, the errors would have been caught. The reason I didn’t run it by the artist was mostly due to my own ego: I was trying to stay “objective,” to play the role of a “professional” journalist. The piece, however, was not so much a review as a profile, so my opinion played only a small part. Nonetheless, I wish now I had run the piece by the artist.
My question is, what are the ethics or proper conduct in consulting the artist? It seemed to me the artist and I, after hours of interviewing, had formed a nice relationship. Then by my “professional” behavior, I built a wall between us. Should I have just forgotten the damn “etiquette” and shown the artist the draft? It would have prevented the problems.
I will appreciate all good input.
His name is not important. But he was concerned about issues that are universal. This writer’s response: