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Subject:_Technical Communication_ and Its Audience From:"George F. Hayhoe" <gfhayhoe -at- SCESCAPE -dot- NET> Date:Tue, 25 Feb 1997 09:28:01 -0500
Geoff Hart commented:
<<TC is trying to satisfy two very different audiences. On the
one hand, there is the "academy", university folk who are
accustomed to and demand a certain amount of theoretical
rigor, sometimes accompanied by fairly dense writing; on
the other hand, there are the more numerous "toilers in the
trenches", who are more interested in tools to help them do
their daily jobs than in theory. There are plenty of folks
(myself included) in between. No journal can meet the needs
of everyone in the audience, particularly when the audience
is this diverse, and TC is no exception.>>
As editor, it's my belief that _Technical Communication_ should not be an
"academic journal" in the strictest sense of that term. Our field is
fortunate to have several fine journals that meet that audience's needs,
among them the _IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication_ and
_Technical Communication Quarterly_.
Like Geoff, I'm convinced that many practitioners want to increase their
understanding of how to communicate more effectively about technical
subjects. This is the principal audience of _Technical Communication_.
Their needs are somewhat different than those in our field's academic
community. They want to know about theory, but they also want to understand
how to apply that theoretical knowledge to real-life situations.
What we're trying to create is a journal that recognizes and responds to
this need--not _Technical Communication_ Lite, but a journal that combines
"academic" rigor with a practical approach to solving communication
We've been fortunate to attract some very strong manuscripts in the past
year. In the most current issue, several of our fellow listmembers
(including Geoff) have made significant contributions to our understanding
of some key issues in our discipline.
The journal's new design (it debuts in the 3rd Quarter issue that will mail
in August) should make a clear visual statement about who our audience is.
I think you'll be surprised and pleased at what a difference it makes.