Re: Freshman journalism and media bias

Subject: Re: Freshman journalism and media bias
From: Daniel John Brinegar <6545 -at- EF -dot- GC -dot- MARICOPA -dot- EDU>
Date: Thu, 26 Jan 1995 12:55:51 -0700

> Subject : Re: Freshman journalism and media bias
> Author : Richard Lippincott <rlippinc -at- BEV -dot- ETN -dot- COM>
> Written : 01/26/95.06:36am

> Normally, I try to avoid "off-topic" postings, but as a former journalist
> I wanted to throw in an opinion.

I dont know that ethics in journalism is actually all that off-topic...
The same ethics we as T/Cs should be conscious of are, to myy mind, what
are taught in journalism

I realise that the running-dog, fascist, popular liberal reactionary
elitist, bread-and-circuses, tabloid tools of the monopolists have not
always stuck to these high principles esposed in school and in newspaper
movies <grin>, but I feel that technical communicators *are* reponsible to
holding to ethical practices....

Off the top of my head, Journalists and Techwriters share the following:

o Journalists and technical communicators are

o Our instructors in both classes in school told us ethics were critically
important in accomplishing our mission. (Okay so one of my techwriting
instructors and my journalism instructor were one and the same...)

o The users of our products (as journalists or T/Cs) need accurate,
timely, unambiguous information to get their jobs done and live their

o My first official lesson in techwriting was "Dear Mom." It applies to
journalism as well. (I also use Who, what, when, where, how, & why when
first interacting with my engineers.....)

o The journalist's shibboleth, "if yer mother sez she loves you, check it
out," is critically important to ethics in techwriting, too.... If the boys in
engineering say it works, check it out... 'cos if you don't *mobs* of
frightened unhappy citizens (users) could be outside your building
tomorrow, wanting somebody's hide over that awful combination
microwave/VCR you documented that made their mothers' pacemakers
flash 12:00.....

I have been known to chastise a fellow T/C over a lapse in "basic
journalistic ethics" on certain occasions.... I was quite surprised when
the answer was "I'm not a journalist." Pray, what are we then? Novellists?


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