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Well, thanks to Karen for saying what I've said a million times.
Feeling misrepresented is usually brought on by seeing your words
in print. It is so easy to say something and then later blame
someone else for the words.
When I first became interested in tech writing I joined my campus
newspaper as a newswriter. It was great! The writing and editing
experience was invaluable, and I finally became involved with what
was going on on campus. Until, that is, I interviewed one of our
campus administration "higher-ups" about a pretty touchy subject
(quarters vs. semesters--be careful at Mich. Tech!). It was my first
big article so I wanted to make sure everything was perfect. I even
taped the conversation I had with this person. To say the least, I
wrote the article well (so I've been told), and NEVER misquote anything
said or took anything out of context. Pretty soon campus was all fired
up because of what this person said, and *_I_* got blamed. This person
told student and faculty organizations that "the writer from the [paper]
took everything completely out of context" and other horrible lies.
One of my professors even called the newspaper office asking if I was
responsible for other stories that were misrepresented!
What he didn't know is that I made available to everyone interested a
copy of the tape from my interview. Soon people knew what had
really been said by who, and now I get to cover a lot of big
articles. It is so easy to say something to someone without
thinking about what's coming out of your mouth. If I wouldn't
have been as careful as I was about writing this article, I
may have lost my job at the paper. People like to be in the
limelight, but only if they're getting praise and glorification.
Sorry about going off on this subject, but it's one that's near
and dear to me. If you don't want someone telling everyone what
you said, don't say it, especially to a journalist! What do
people think when they talk to reporters/journalists? That
there's some sort of exception if the material being discussed
might upset some people? Forget it. Just watch what you say
and you won't be disappointed (usually).
Shelly (goes-off-on-tangents-not-really-related-to-the-list) La Rock
larock -at- tycho -dot- arh -dot- cdc -dot- com