Re: Misqoutes/Flames?

Subject: Re: Misqoutes/Flames?
From: Karla McMaster <mcmaster%pcmail -dot- cti-pet -dot- com -at- CTI-PET -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 19 Jul 1994 13:18:30 EST

Karen Steele said:
> It occurs to me that, just like life, writing is all done through filters.
> Your statements come out through your personal filter, based on lots of
> experience and values that form your views. I pick up that quote,
> looking at it through my own set of personal filters, and write an article
> that uses your statements to support my thesis.

Having spent time doing graduate work toward an MA in science journalism, I can
second (and possibly third and fourth) this opinion! I was very disillusioned
to find that journalism is _not_ the objective reporting it sells itself as.
One is subject not only to one's own (reporter's) filters, but also to those of
the editor and publisher. I figured that since my writing was never going to be
objective, I'd rather have my objective (e.g., to sell or promote product) out
in the open. (Try not to notice the double use of the word "objective" in the
previous sentence...I'm too tired to work it out.)

In any case, I think that technical writing is similar, in a way. We are
writing about products, but we rarely say bad things about that product. We
slant the information in a positive way, often times (e.g., "That's not a bug;
WORKING FOR MY PRESENT EMPLOYER! I've had a lot of programmers tell me "Well
that may be what I said, but what I _meant_ was..."

Karla McMaster, technical writer
CTI PET Systems, Inc., Knoxville, TN
mcmaster -at- cti-pet -dot- com

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