Saturday, August 05, 2006

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?

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I used to belong to the National Writers Union. Wasn't too wild about their politics, so I voted for the less political candidate for office.

emilydixieson said...

How do you separate the individual from the organization? I mean, I do not expect my views on political/ social issues to become the official word fro my organization -- not that I have one. But, if I did, I’d certainly make clear that that organization did not necessarily approve of/ concur with my patio pot farm. wink* God knows, I can voice my position in the face of authority and have walked away from places I wanted no part of. I might have lost some privilege or benefit, had to apologize for a remark or slammed door, but I harbor no regret (to date). Y’all heard the song: you gotta stand for something, or you’re gonna fall for anything.

grackyfrogg said...

i haven't been in the situation, but i think it would really depend on the point at issue. everyone is entitled to their opinions, no matter how egregious (and of course, the very egregiousness is my own opinion, based on my disagreement with them).

ultimately, what is the whole organization about? and is it being influenced by the beliefs of the leader, apart from what the organization was formed to accomplish/provide? is the leader taking the entire organization in a direction i don't want to go? are the leader's beliefs, when known to the public, going to affect the reputation of the organization as a whole in a negative way? those are the sort of questions i imagine i would ask myself, before i made any decision to disassociate myself from the organization.

Hank Nielsen said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Hank Nielsen said...

Erika,
I would say the best recourse of action would be to fight or challenge the issue from within. The more you are involved in a group or organization the more this makes sense.
Of course, if you are only marginly involved, it might be better to part ways from the group and find other places to put your energy.
This hasn't happened to me lately, but I have found that trying to work things out from the inside is most productive.

Erika Dreifus said...

Thanks for the feedback, folks.