RE: Tech writing saves journalism

Subject: RE: Tech writing saves journalism
From: "Fetzner, Bill" <BFetzner -at- amsuper -dot- com>
To: 'Al Geist' <al -dot- geist -at- geistassociates -dot- com>, techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Tue, 30 May 2006 10:09:25 -0400

Al Geist writes: <<Many writers (reporters and technical writers) strive
for the truth. Sometimes it's right in front of us and that makes the
day easy. Sometimes, you have to wade through the swamp to find the

I don't doubt that they do, which is the reason I questioned David Durbin's
remark that started this thread, to wit: <<Anyway, with abject apathy comes
little need for the media to be totally truthful, objective, or
comprehensive in reporting news.>>

My point, and nobody responded in kind (although Al unfortunately launched
into an unbecoming personal attack), was to wonder if technical writers,
perhaps like reporters, are likely to lose their commitment to truth,
objectivity and comprehensiveness in the face of oft-mentioned indifference
of superiors to their performance and their typical isolation from their
audience. If tech writers are likely to trudge on regardless, then why
wouldn't reporters do that when they're backed up by Constitutional
authority, no less, and often working with center-stage visibility? You say
they do, and I say hurrah for that (and as you can tell, without reference
to any political position I may hold).

Honest Al, I had no intention to veer into politics, and nothing I wrote
came even close to an attack on reporters of any particular stripe. You must
be smarting from remarks somebody else made. I just suggested (with tongue
in cheek of course), that if David is right about reporters caving when they
don't think their audience is paying attention, that maybe they would be
bucked up by some technical writing experience. And, it appears, you tacitly
agreed with me because you left journalism for the honorable tech writing
profession. Good move, I'd say.
~ Bill

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