Re: inter-writer relations

Subject: Re: inter-writer relations
From: Christopher Carmichael <chrisc -at- SYNERGYMICRO -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 29 Oct 1997 11:35:23 -0800

>Several posts in the last few days have basically said that journalism is
>appplicable experience for technical writing. But the two are not the same
>thing, and writing is only a part of what a tech writer does.

Let's see here, as I am a newspaper columnist AND a technical writer:

Tech Writing Newspaper
------------ ---------
Research Research
Interview Interview
Write Write
Re-write Re-write
Spell check Spell check
Editorial review Editorial review

[Your results should vary, standard disclaimers here.]

>We don't expect that writing a software manual qualifies us to be newspaper

I think it does, and I have done both for four years, concurrently.

>So what is that it we're doing or not doing, as a profession,
>to cause journalists not to give us the same courtesy and respect?

In my view: a qualified tech writer or a qualified journalist have the same
credentials. The tools are the same, but applied differently. I can't write
the same way in the manual as I do for the paper; and the reverse is true.

Again, in my view, it's the audience I'm writing for. Frankly, as much fun
as the fourth and fifth estate is, technical writing is easier because the
focus is narrow [or specific] to an audience.

Before the verbal darts are flung, this has been my experience, and one
that has worked -- successfully -- for me. Your results will -- and should
-- vary.

Chris Carmichael

| Chris Carmichael The attention span of a computer is as |
| Synergy Microsystems long as its electrical cord. |
| San Diego To be, or not to be: Those are the parameters. |
| 619.452.0020 x227 When all else fails: Read the instructions. |

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