RE: Tech writing saves journalism

Subject: RE: Tech writing saves journalism
From: "Fetzner, Bill" <BFetzner -at- amsuper -dot- com>
To: "'Dubin, David'" <David -dot- Dubin -at- sage -dot- com>, techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Thu, 25 May 2006 15:44:20 -0400

David Dubin responds: <<... how many of you have looked at the instructions
that accompany a new cell phone or digital camera? If you have, have you
noticed that some functionality is poorly documented, some not documented at
all, and other functionality documented with WHAT to do and no explanation
of WHY you should do it that way?>>

I think that lawyers would place these two kinds of infractions in the
categories of nonfeasance and malfeasance. A party might be accused of
malfeasance by committing some act that he/she knew to be wrong, or by
purposely omitting some action that was critical to prevent a wrong. That
might aptly characterize what journalists do when they deliberately lead us
astray with intentionally biased and unbalanced writing -- it's an error of
commission. In contrast, see the poor technical writer who is told to rush
through a project, often without oversight or review, and with the
admonishment that "nobody reads the manual anyhow." That miscreant might be
somewhat guilty of nonfeasance for not giving it all he could in spite of
the employer's indifference. By contrast, that's an error of omission. I'm
inclined to pity one and condemn the other.
~ Bill

WebWorks ePublisher Pro for Word features support for every major Help
format plus PDF, HTML and more. Flexible, precise, and efficient content
delivery. Try it today!.

Doc-To-Help includes a one-click RoboHelp project converter. It's that easy. Watch the demo at

You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as archive -at- infoinfocus -dot- com -dot-

To unsubscribe send a blank email to
techwr-l-unsubscribe -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
or visit

To subscribe, send a blank email to techwr-l-join -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com

Send administrative questions to lisa -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.


Previous by Author: Tech writing saves journalism
Next by Author: RE: Tech writing saves journalism
Previous by Thread: Re: Tech writing saves journalism
Next by Thread: Re: Tech writing saves journalism

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads