Posts Tagged ‘Verso Paper Mill’

Lost in Transcription?

In Business writing, Technical communication on February 16, 2013 at 1:39 pm

What are we really capturing/documenting in accident reports? What is lost when statements and interviews are summarized in reports?

Take, for example, the following excerpt from an official police document meant to record narratives of a paper mill explosion that killed one employee and injured several others:

Police report summary of witness statement

Police report summary of witness statement

While narratives such as this are important elements of fact-finding research, the way in which they are written down “may inadvertently silence or render invisible the kinds of information that decision makers need to assess” accidents and make recommendations to prevent future disasters (to quote Beverly Sauer, who wrote about mining risks, see p 5 in “Rhetoric of Risk”).

The remainder of this blog post explores one surprising approach to improving the depth and accuracy of accident reports that include statements made by victims and witnesses. Read the rest of this entry »