L’Affaire Grass

When I want to find reliable information about something literary happening outside the United States, one of the first places I check is the Literary Saloon (linked to the right). So as I follow the developing Gunter Grass story, that’s one of the sites I keep checking. To catch up, click here.

An Ethical Question

I’ve been mulling over this Ha’aretz article for awhile. It describes the resignation of a group of Israeli journalists from the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ). According to the article, their resignation followed the IFJ’s general secretary’s refusal to “retract his condemnation of Israel’s bombing of Hezbollah’s Al-Manar television station in Beirut.”

So here’s my question: what would you do if a leader of a professional writers’ organization to which you belonged wrote, verbalized in speech, or otherwise presented, in his or her role as leader of that organization, outright biased political statements–with which you disagreed? Have you faced this kind of situation in the past? How have you responded/acted, if at all?

And Speaking of Ethics

And speaking of ethics, this is just a friendly reminder to other writing newsletter editors/publishers that the contest and submission call information I post both in the newsletter and on this blog is the product of my own research and writing.

When I quote directly from a listing, I use quotation marks; when I don’t, it’s my own writing, and I’d appreciate it if you did not republish it without my permission. Or, at the very least, attribution.

Just look through this blog (or recent issues of our newsletter) for examples. You’ll see that whenever I locate a writing or publishing opportunity from another blog/announcement list/Web site/newsletter rather than discovering it on my own I list (and link) the source. It helps us all to know about good resources for locating these opportunities, even if some of them may be “competitors.”

I believe attribution is the polite and ethical way to go, and I’m always happy to find others practicing a similar code of writerly/editorial conduct. So I send warm thanks to those of you who already do link to this blog whenever you pass along information you find here, and I hope one day we’ll all be doing the right thing as far as this is concerned.

Jim Lehrer at Harvard

It’s Commencement time this week here in Cambridge. Which means it’s Reunion time, too. Which means I’m going to spend the next couple days catching up with old friends and not spending very much time at the computer at all.

But if you want some writing-related material in the meantime, you might read the speech journalist Jim Lehrer delivered at Harvard’s Commencement yesterday. His main point was more about politics than writing (consider that fair warning) but there are plenty of writing-related tidbits included. I especially like Lehrer’s own guidelines on the practice of journalism (starting with “Do nothing I cannot defend” and “Cover, write and present every story with the care I would want if the story were about me”).

Have a great weekend.