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Ethical to already start writing a book about Boston now(not me)?

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Ethical to already start writing a book about Boston now(not me)?

Post  Diego on Fri Apr 26, 2013 2:11 pm

Many of us have gone over to to V-Team(Training Peaks) site in the past. One of the founders is writing an E-book about the experiences of marathoners that day.

Ethical?
Capitalistic?
Meant to help heal?

I'd let you decide where you stand and not share my opinion.

For those of us who think that telling their stories may help the healing process, feel free to share your story with the author.
If you feel strongly the other way, I guess you could reply to his FB page or the TP forum.
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Re: Ethical to already start writing a book about Boston now(not me)?

Post  mul21 on Fri Apr 26, 2013 4:29 pm

I left this:

I hope you plan to donate any proceeds from this to the One Fund. That
would seem fitting if you plan to use stories people donate to you free
of charge.

We'll see if I get something other than a snarky reply.
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Re: Ethical to already start writing a book about Boston now(not me)?

Post  ounce on Fri Apr 26, 2013 4:37 pm

I don't see a problem with writing a book about Boston. There are probably a few people doing the same. I don't think he'll pay anybody for their story based on the fact that he didn't pay any of us (to my knowledge) when he revised his marathon training book a couple of years ago.

He still has the ability to put mind into words and isn't ready to call it quits. It's our choice to either purchase or not.
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Re: Ethical to already start writing a book about Boston now(not me)?

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Fri Apr 26, 2013 4:40 pm

A couple of others that I know are also thinking about writing a book and a runner from here told me to write down my recollections now. His thought is that it will help heal as it will be carthetic (sp?). I believe that is really what he is trying to do and since he is a writer and a runner, it makes perfect sense. And while it might seem early, sometimes it is best for those of us who were there to get it out, for others it might not be, but honestly, no one around me here understands other than those that were there.
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Re: Ethical to already start writing a book about Boston now(not me)?

Post  mul21 on Fri Apr 26, 2013 5:29 pm

To clarify, I have no problem with writing the book or even him sharing the stories of others. I completely agree that it can/will be an important part of the process of dealing with the events of the day. I just hope he doesn't try to monetize it for himself. His marathon training guide is one thing, as those are his ideas and the input he asks for are basically testimonials to the effectiveness of the training programs. Here, it appears he is completely using other people's stories, most likely without payment, and who knows what kind of poetic license he'll take with some of the stories to make them sound better.
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Re: Ethical to already start writing a book about Boston now(not me)?

Post  Julie on Fri Apr 26, 2013 9:02 pm

@Michele "1L" Keane wrote:A couple of others that I know are also thinking about writing a book and a runner from here told me to write down my recollections now. His thought is that it will help heal as it will be carthetic (sp?). I believe that is really what he is trying to do and since he is a writer and a runner, it makes perfect sense. And while it might seem early, sometimes it is best for those of us who were there to get it out, for others it might not be, but honestly, no one around me here understands other than those that were there.

I would definitely encourage everyone who was there to write down their thoughts, whether it's in a personal journal or blog or however you like to express yourself. I wasn't there and I didn't have that happen but I know we do, as communicative human beings, need to tell our stories to someone who cares and will listen.

I can't judge another person's motives but I guess if you want to compile a group of stories it's probably best to ask now since memories do fade.
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Re: Ethical to already start writing a book about Boston now(not me)?

Post  ssilvert on Sat Apr 27, 2013 7:09 am

Fish gotta swim. Writers gotta write.

If he wants to donate something to the One Fund, that's great. If not, I don't see anything unethical about accepting profit for writing a book. It's not like we are clamoring for the news reporters who covered the bombing to donate their salaries.

Writing a book is really hard work. If nobody got paid for writing about tragic events then those events would never be adequately covered.

Stan
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Re: Ethical to already start writing a book about Boston now(not me)?

Post  Admin on Sat Apr 27, 2013 10:44 am

I don't have an issue with it.

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Re: Ethical to already start writing a book about Boston now(not me)?

Post  fostever on Sat Apr 27, 2013 12:17 pm

Have at it. The idiotic conspiracy theorists are putting out their moronic thoughts so the more eye witness accounts the better!
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Re: Ethical to already start writing a book about Boston now(not me)?

Post  Mark B on Sat Apr 27, 2013 1:40 pm

@ssilvert wrote:Fish gotta swim. Writers gotta write.

If he wants to donate something to the One Fund, that's great. If not, I don't see anything unethical about accepting profit for writing a book. It's not like we are clamoring for the news reporters who covered the bombing to donate their salaries.

Writing a book is really hard work. If nobody got paid for writing about tragic events then those events would never be adequately covered.

Stan

+1

It's just another form of journalism and oral history. Call us vultures if you will, but there is a place for someone to exercise his craft, and a benefit to those whose stories he shares and those who read them.

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Re: Ethical to already start writing a book about Boston now(not me)?

Post  Nick Morris on Sat Apr 27, 2013 9:16 pm

@mul21 wrote:I left this:

I hope you plan to donate any proceeds from this to the One Fund. That
would seem fitting if you plan to use stories people donate to you free
of charge.

We'll see if I get something other than a snarky reply.

It would be a classy move if at least a portion of the proceeds go to the One Fund. Time will tell...
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Re: Ethical to already start writing a book about Boston now(not me)?

Post  Nick Morris on Sat Apr 27, 2013 9:17 pm

Oh, and I don't have an issue with it...but if it was me, I would definitely donate some, if not most of the proceeds.
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Re: Ethical to already start writing a book about Boston now(not me)?

Post  Jerry on Sat Apr 27, 2013 11:51 pm

@Mark B wrote:
@ssilvert wrote:Fish gotta swim. Writers gotta write.

If he wants to donate something to the One Fund, that's great. If not, I don't see anything unethical about accepting profit for writing a book. It's not like we are clamoring for the news reporters who covered the bombing to donate their salaries.

Writing a book is really hard work. If nobody got paid for writing about tragic events then those events would never be adequately covered.

Stan

+1

It's just another form of journalism and oral history. Call us vultures if you will, but there is a place for someone to exercise his craft, and a benefit to those whose stories he shares and those who read them.


Agreed!
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Re: Ethical to already start writing a book about Boston now(not me)?

Post  Natalie63 on Sun Apr 28, 2013 11:03 am

I don't think it's unethical. He is a runner, a writer, an artist, and an entrepreneur. He has many stories to tell. If he painted a picture depicting his emotions of the day would you object to him selling it? How about a whole series of pictures and a gallery show? No objection at all and he can keep all the profits if he wants. I don't believe that he is a man of astronomical wealth who can afford to donate his work product wholly to charity.

I hope when I am the same age that I am still blessed with the same sharpness of mind and creativity to express myself in the same way. Not to mention learning new-fangled things like internet forums, facebook, and twitter!

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Re: Ethical to already start writing a book about Boston now(not me)?

Post  Bob on Sun Apr 28, 2013 1:55 pm

@Natalie63 wrote:I don't think it's unethical. He is a runner, a writer, an artist, and an entrepreneur. He has many stories to tell. If he painted a picture depicting his emotions of the day would you object to him selling it? How about a whole series of pictures and a gallery show? No objection at all and he can keep all the profits if he wants. I don't believe that he is a man of astronomical wealth who can afford to donate his work product wholly to charity.

I hope when I am the same age that I am still blessed with the same sharpness of mind and creativity to express myself in the same way. Not to mention learning new-fangled things like internet forums, facebook, and twitter!


My thoughts. Your words. Perfectly said.
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Re: Ethical to already start writing a book about Boston now(not me)?

Post  Seth Harrison on Mon Apr 29, 2013 8:16 am

My first reaction was that there is something unseemly about capitalizing on the tragedy, especially so quickly after it happened. On the other hand, if there was no revenue to be generated, would CNN and other news networks have provided wall to wall coverage for days following the attack, would newspapers and their websites have devoted the resources to covering the story if they weren't getting so many clicks on their sites and the advertising dollars weren't flowing? For that matter, would my newspaper have expected me whip out my Iphone and cover the explosions shortly after I crossed the finish line? As journalists, we'd love to believe that coverage of tragedies such as the Marathon bombings are what we do because of our mission to inform, (and I firmly believe in the importance of said mission), but not many of us are so naive as to believe that such ideals are the sole driving factor when decisions are made as to what we devote our resources to. So my answer is that I see no ethical issues with Hal, or anyone else, writing a book about the tragedy.
That said, I can't imagine what he can offer that would be so different from what's been reported ad infinitum over the past two weeks, and so I can't imagine that there would be great interest in such a book at this time. Last I looked, CNN was still reporting out of Boston, and I'm already paying my cable bill, so why would I need to pay for a book on the story.
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Re: Ethical to already start writing a book about Boston now(not me)?

Post  ssilvert on Mon Apr 29, 2013 9:00 am

@Seth Harrison wrote: As journalists, we'd love to believe that coverage of tragedies such as the Marathon bombings are what we do because of our mission to inform, (and I firmly believe in the importance of said mission), but not many of us are so naive as to believe that such ideals are the sole driving factor when decisions are made as to what we devote our resources to.

True. It's an important mission, but it is a mission that is almost never carried out.

I think the reality is that coverage really has absolutely nothing to do with any "mission to inform". It has to do with ratings and revenue. We had a sporting event, two bombs, a manhunt, and Islamic terrorism. That makes for really compelling TV. It also gets us to demand that our government leave no stone unturned and spare no expense when combating future terrorists.

If it had just been some guy with a Bushmaster who killed 10 people and injured a couple hundred at a shopping mall, it would have been big news for maybe a day or two. And in reaction, we would have demanded absolutely nothing from our government. Such is the "mission to inform", and the relative value we place on particular acts of violence.

Stan
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Re: Ethical to already start writing a book about Boston now(not me)?

Post  JohnP on Mon Apr 29, 2013 9:32 am

This thread is convincing me to document my recollections of the day before they fade, even if only for myself.
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Re: Ethical to already start writing a book about Boston now(not me)?

Post  Diego on Mon Apr 29, 2013 12:18 pm

@JohnP wrote:This thread is convincing me to document my recollections of the day before they fade, even if only for myself.

Great idea.
I have done the same thing for each year of our kids' lives.
Perhaps that's why I am still bothered by Newtown, but am close to accepting(stages of grief) the Boston tragedy.
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Re: Ethical to already start writing a book about Boston now(not me)?

Post  Seth Harrison on Mon Apr 29, 2013 12:19 pm

@ssilvert wrote:
@Seth Harrison wrote: As journalists, we'd love to believe that coverage of tragedies such as the Marathon bombings are what we do because of our mission to inform, (and I firmly believe in the importance of said mission), but not many of us are so naive as to believe that such ideals are the sole driving factor when decisions are made as to what we devote our resources to.

True. It's an important mission, but it is a mission that is almost never carried out.

I think the reality is that coverage really has absolutely nothing to do with any "mission to inform". It has to do with ratings and revenue. We had a sporting event, two bombs, a manhunt, and Islamic terrorism. That makes for really compelling TV. It also gets us to demand that our government leave no stone unturned and spare no expense when combating future terrorists.

If it had just been some guy with a Bushmaster who killed 10 people and injured a couple hundred at a shopping mall, it would have been big news for maybe a day or two. And in reaction, we would have demanded absolutely nothing from our government. Such is the "mission to inform", and the relative value we place on particular acts of violence.

Stan

Stan, I don't think we're that far apart. As I said above, a great deal of the coverage is driven by the need for revenue, as opposed to for the more "noble" reasons of why we all originally got into this business (and trust me, very few journalists go into the business because they want to get rich). One thing that you said that I think is very true (despite the fact that I think you undermined your own case as to the efficacy and value of this type of coverage), is that constant coverage and attention paid to a particular story forces the government to react, which is almost never a bad thing, especially when it comes to a situation like this.
As for your statement that if it had been a shooting that it would have been a one or two day story, I couldn't disagree more. In the wake of Newtown and the present debate on gun control, if this had been a shooting, I think we would have seen a similar type of coverage.
This had veered away from the original topic. My apologies.
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Re: Ethical to already start writing a book about Boston now(not me)?

Post  ssilvert on Mon Apr 29, 2013 12:43 pm

[quote="Seth Harrison"]
@ssilvert wrote:
@Seth Harrison wrote:

If it had just been some guy with a Bushmaster who killed 10 people and injured a couple hundred at a shopping mall, it would have been big news for maybe a day or two. And in reaction, we would have demanded absolutely nothing from our government. Such is the "mission to inform", and the relative value we place on particular acts of violence.

Stan

As for your statement that if it had been a shooting that it would have been a one or two day story, I couldn't disagree more. In the wake of Newtown and the present debate on gun control, if this had been a shooting, I think we would have seen a similar type of coverage.
This had veered away from the original topic. My apologies.

I hope folks don't mind too much off-topic stuff. But now that we're a couple of weeks past, it's time to put things in perspective.

Your average shopping mall shooting doesn't get nearly that much press. Here are all the mass shootings from 1982 to 2012.
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/12/mass-shootings-mother-jones-full-data

Looking down the list, I never heard about any of them where the death toll was less than ten. That is, with one exception. That's the Tucson shooting. The only reason that got lots of coverage is because a member of congress was one of the victims.

You may be right that in the wake of Newtown, the coverage would have been a little greater for a mass shooting on Patriot's Day. But I doubt it. Collectively, we just don't care that much.

BTW, I do admire good journalists and I love to follow the news. But I can't help but look at what gets covered and think about how our priorities are so out of whack.

Stan
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Re: Ethical to already start writing a book about Boston now(not me)?

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Mon Apr 29, 2013 12:56 pm

Stan - I thought the first blast was a shooting as I only could see smoke, but the second was definitely an explosion (and at the time, I saw fire, smoke, and debris and equated it with a gas main or boiler in my mind.) I think bombing and terrorist is what riled up the media more than the tragedy in Newtown or Aurora or Tuscon because the "bombers" were in the wind so not thought to be "crazy people" with their own death sentence. "Bombing" brings to mind more thoughts of the Middle East, Syria, Beirut or London during the 80s and 90s with IRA attacks, and of course, 9/11, and as sad as it is, I think as a country we would have been more impervious to a "shooting" and we should not be. Maybe as a country we have become too desensitized to shootings? Sad if true.

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Re: Ethical to already start writing a book about Boston now(not me)?

Post  healdgator on Mon Apr 29, 2013 4:18 pm

Depends. It is it driven in part by an effort to get his book to press first (strike while the iron is hot)? If not, I guess there isn't really anything wrong with it though these things always rub me the wrong way. That's probably my problem though.

People profit from misfortune all the time, and it's not always inappropriate. This is probably in that category, though I know very little of the details. Is the author going to be sanctimonious and condescending about it?
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Re: Ethical to already start writing a book about Boston now(not me)?

Post  Admin on Mon Apr 29, 2013 4:41 pm

It's also worth remembering that Hal wrote a book about the Boston marathon as a prelude to it's 100th running; "Boston, a Century of Running : Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the Boston Athletic Association Marathon"

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Re: Ethical to already start writing a book about Boston now(not me)?

Post  amyjoann on Mon Apr 29, 2013 7:17 pm

My initial reaction when I saw his post on FB was Hal really??? I didn't give it much thought, He is an author so I guess, but
I just think it may not have all sincere motives.I'm wishy washy not sure on a verdict
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