Umair Haque Triggered Me.

The urge to tell people off for manipulative writing is strong within me.

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I grew up in a time and a place where one did not allow writing to touch people emotionally. Own documents.

You will probably have no idea what I’m talking about, but one of the first things I learnt about writing (in my science classes) was to keep away from any writing that expressed emotion, opinion, or was there to influence and promote.

During the days I worked for a magazine, the editor was serious about not using advertorial as a story. If a client submitted a piece of puff to sell a product, it was published, yes, but it was also charged for, and it was clearly marked ‘advertorial.’ Today, marketers use another word — sponsored.

I also recall my late father (journalism degree from the Sorbonne in Paris pre-war) complaining about the way that newspapers were now using emotive words to write stories. Journalism was supposed to stick to the facts in an objective manner. “The sun rose in the east on Tuesday at precisely 7.06 am and set in the west, eleven hours and 46 minutes later.”

Today, writing to stir emotions is taken for granted. Writers, they tell you, are supposed to evoke emotions in their readers. What they don’t tell you is that while that may be true in fiction, in the realms of non-fiction, it influences through triggering people. That is both dangerous and unethical — in my book.

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Tessa Schlesinger Global Atheist Am Yisrael Chai.
Tessa’s Web-log

Complexity is never easy to explain, and far too many stick to black and white, and forget about the colors and the greys.