3 responses to “Dear WordCount: A source doesn’t like my story, what should I do?”

  1. Carrie Schmeck

    I had something similar happen on what seemed a simple and fun regional lifestyle piece about a cool statue in our town. The “couple” who owned it broke up between the time I wrote the story and the time it was published. Ex-girlfriend was NOT happy about being mentioned by name, though she had given her permission earlier. I think she just didn’t want to be associated with her ex anymore.

    The ex called me, worried he would be liable for something. I decided to send my editor a note with a heads up.

    Turns out that was a good call as Disgruntled Girl called the editor, screaming dirty dog in the meantime.

    My editor said, “Whatever.” They were far less concerned about it than I was.

    I’ve discovered that even willing sources don’t always love how they are portrayed in print. It must be like seeing our own photo or hearing our recorded voice–it’s never quite what we think it should be.

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