Wednesday, October 10, 2012

An update about Hudson Valley Parent and my final vent (I promise)

I am not as angry anymore.  After a day of venting, writing, and trying to relax, I feel like I am in a better place.  The editor of Hudson Valley Parent apologized to me yesterday, explaining that this is the first time she has edited the magazine. I emailed her back and asked her to remove my name and Linus' name from the article about orthoses since I do not want to be associated with it.

I understand that she is new to editing and this is probably the first time she has been handed this much responsibility.  I feel that a good editor would ask for a rewrite, a bad editor just will rewrite the article.  I understand that there are deadlines, but you cannot write a first person account about someone else's life experiences, especially when the information was largely a fictional account.

She also took a quote I had gotten from a third party, and she rewrote it. A journalist/editor does not rewrite quotes.  It is unethical. What she did is totally unacceptable to me.  My credibility could have been damaged by her acts.

The article I pitched was about orthotics and prosthetics for children.  This is my exact assignment (given to me by the former editor of Hudson Valley Parent):

Orthotics and Prosthetics for Children: What are the most common appliances? How do they work? Where do you get them?  How much can they cost? Does insurance cover them? Speak to someone who works with children about how the child handles it?  Are they upgraded and resized as the child grows? Whatever else you feel is appropriate.
Real family experiences WITH PHOTOS. 
Sidebar story: what a parent should know if their child needs a cranial helmet

The article I wrote was exactly what I was assigned.  I interviewed parents and an orthotist who works with children to get his point of view.  The only mention of helmets was supposed to be in the sidebar.  

The publisher/editor did ask me to rework my article a bit and make it a little more personal, which I did last month.  I explained to them that I do not have a child who wears an orthosis or a prosthesis, but I could add some of my experiences with Linus along with the experiences of other parents.

I would have preferred that if she wasn't happy with my style she should have written her own article, leaving me entirely out of it.

I asked the editor for a correction/retraction printed in next month's magazine.  I am still waiting for her to remove my name and Linus' from the online article, which she hasn't done yet.

I did write a second article for the Baby Issue of Hudson Valley Parent which should be out soon, if it is not out already.  It is available online and I am happy to report that this article is exactly as I wrote it.

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