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Subject:RE: STC is broken From:David Hailey <david -dot- hailey -at- usu -dot- edu> To:"McLauchlan, Kevin" <Kevin -dot- McLauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com>, "richard -dot- melanson -at- us -dot- tel -dot- com" <richard -dot- melanson -at- us -dot- tel -dot- com> Date:Tue, 29 Apr 2008 11:08:36 -0600
Kevin said. . .
"Unions don't seem to apply in situations where the members work in onesies and two-sies at thousands of different companies.
I agree . . .
Unions also don't work when 45% of the employees are contracted. Graphic artists and copywriters have struggled with this problem at least since the '70s (when I was one). As long as technical writers are seen as technicians (who posess one, narrow skillset), they will face the problem of having their jobs outsourced. As Pirjo Tinat has pointed out, many suggest that a technical test that shows us qualified to be "information manipulators" is enough to define the profession.
Much of the problem is in the name, but much more of the problem is in the behavior of the profession. I think the key is to move beyond technical writing and editing to a broader understanding of what it means to communicate. The technical communicator who understands the entire collection of fields related to corporate communication and who stays abreast of innovations in the profession can become communications director.
David E. Hailey, Jr., Ph.D.
Associate Professor -- Professional and Technical Writing
Utah State University
dhailey -at- english -dot- usu -dot- edu
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