Summary of the Article
The article “Hiding Humanity: Verbal and Visual Ethics in Accident Reports” written by Sam Dragga and Dan Voss is devoted to the problem of technical communication and its effectiveness. According to it, modern technical communication is completely responsible for the possible consequences of accidents. Providing publicity with the detailed characteristic of the accidents taking into account human lives, writers are to prevent the number of victims. It is stated that nowadays accident reports writers put down to their job being inexperienced and devoid of any academic skills. The main thing they should understand in technical communication is that any accident should be covered in a proper way, that is causes and consequences of the accident should be highlighted and the writers are to provide the possible ways out of a would-be accident. It is necessary to illustrate the conditions and atmosphere in which the accident happened and make the audience feel the situation in order to prevent the number of possible victims. The authors of the article provided a range of examples highlighting some accidents and pointing out the mistakes of their writers. The authors underlined the main aspects that should be covered in the technical communication and methods of preventing a lot of accidents. Sam Dragga and Dan Voss draw a line between writing ineffectiveness and our ethical power showing a close connection between them. The article under consideration illustrates every step followed by an experienced writer and provides effective examples of disclosing the information in a proper way. According to the authors of the article, a great majority of victims caused by accidents is a grave mistake of the report writers who were unable to announce effective methods of avoiding accidents and making the number of victims visible. (Dragga & Voss, 2003).
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As one can see from the analysis carried out the methods of dissolving the information are very important and even vital. The authors raised the problems of writers’ inexperience and complete ineffectiveness in the way they provide their technical reports. The level of writers’ responsibility for the possible accidents is very high which is why they should put more effort into the ways the information is written and presented. Ethics is an integral part of technical communication and influences the mass media sphere. I would definitely agree that the presentation of the accident reports influences the publicity and causes some emotions, in most cases negative ones. The responsibility lies in making people understand the reasons for the accidents rather than in the number of victims. I support the idea that humanity should be involved in the manner of presenting the information as it can really make people think over the consequences and prevent such accidents in the future.
Recommended Resolution of Problems
One of the most important aspects of problems resolution is devoted to the usage of photo and video material during the accident reports presentation. The involvement of professional photographs in the process of technical communication would allow society to evaluate the consequences and injuries caused by the accident. To my personal way of thinking the visual material is better perceived by people and humanity presented in the accident reports would be able to prevent the number of victims in the future. Photographs are to transfer the atmosphere of the situation by presenting photos of all the people who suffered from the accident. The usage of technical language and jargon should also be an integral part of the accident report. Complete involvement of the audience in the accidents can be reached only by means of effective presentation by the technical writers who should compulsorily take into account all the methods and aspects of professional technical communication.
Case Study: Hartford Connecticut “Hit and Run”
Personal experience of technical communication perception helps to understand the importance and the level of responsibilities for the accident presentation of technical writers. The necessity of visual aids usage should be compulsorily taken into account. As video accidents show our modern society is devoid of humanity and ethic. People became indifferent and uninvolved. (Singer, 2008) It is important to stress that the usage of such technologies as the internet and online videos influence the ways of news delivery and the level of its perception. The authors of the internet articles provided proved the importance of video material as:
- It helps to evaluate the seriousness of the accident;
- Highlights the injuries and number of accident victims;
- Video material is vital and influences our inner world and ethic which can be important for the prevention of future accidents;
- Video can be an integral part of the investigation process in order to make an arrest of a guilty person.
Professional writers who are busy with technical communication are really responsible for the material they present to the audience but people should understand the fact that nobody but only we can prevent the majority of crashes. What writers should do is just help us realize all possible reasons and conditions in which the accident happened. This information followed by the videos would be enough for society to be aware of the complete situation of the accident and make people think themselves how to prevent and minimize the number of victims and avoid possible accidents.
Dragga, S. & Voss, D. (2003) Hiding Humanity: Verbal and Visual Ethics in Accident Reports. Technical Communication.
Singer, S. (2008) Video shows bystanders ignoring hit-and-run victim. Web.
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“We No Longer Have Moral Compass”. (2008). Associated Press. Web.
“Hartford Police Release Video of Hit and Run; Public Assistance Requested in Identifying Suspects”. (2008). Web.