Should writers cave to censorship or stay strong against all odds?
Is there a point at which one should give in to censorship?
I don't think there is a blanket answer; each case is going to be different, and each writer is different.
We each have to decide such things for ourselves.
I feel writers should stay strong. Caved once myself - learned my lesson, and won't cave - there are other avenues.
Well, who is doing the censoring?
If I had a fiction manuscript that a publisher was willing to give me a big bag of money to publish, but he'd only do it if I changed a few things, heck yeah I'd change a few things! Thanks for the big bag of money, Boss!
When I'm as well known as a Neil Gaiman or a Steven King or a Harlan Ellison or a J.K. Rowling, then I'll start insisting on my artistic integrity. Until then, I think I'll get paid however I can, even if it means changing my work to suit the guys with the money.
A journalist, however, has a different mission, and if I were a journalist being censored, I'd have to find another place to work--one that would let me publish the truth.
I believe the response is dependent upon the criteria that's presented at the time of writing. I also think it's dependent upon the subject material and who the audience is. What is being censored and how is it being censored. I think the answer to this question is open-ended. Obviously, if you're writing a children's book, there's a general assumption of some form of censorship involved. Also depends on who the publisher is. Everyone has guidelines.
so far everyone has made some great points. i would like to add just one thing. i dont believe the truth should be censored. the truth has a way of offending a great many people. so it really doenst matter if it offends people it should still be told. i have a cousin who published a free "news letter" here on the rez. you could count on him to tell the hard truth about everything. many people, especially those in positions of power, were highly offended by what he printed. so much so that they put a stop to his newsletter and ran him off the rez. if he comes onto the rez he can be arrested on sight no questions asked.doing the right thing is going to offend people. is doing the right thing more important to you as a writer? then do it regardless of who it offends. if doing the right thing seems to risky to you, and you would rather take the easy way out...then you will have to live with it. and i dont necessarily mean you, i mean you in a general way.
it may lead you to suspension, like you Email address ( profanity ? ) video? you can only do so much in a public domain? you mite want to do that kind of things in the UNDERWORLD DOMAIN, thats if your thinking of the censorship that i'm thinking.
Henry Miller and William Burroughs did not cave, long before anyone knew who they were. Upton Sinclair, I still hear referred to as a Communist. His book, THE JUNGLE, led to the Clean Food Act of 1906. I am with them.
I think using profanity because of lack of a decent vocabulary, though it should not be banned, speaks for itself. By the way, in what context is the question being asked?
Truth? Whose truth? I always wonder when I hear that term used. I do not know that such a thing exists.
Censorship, first of all, is a word that is often misused in writing circles. True censorship is the willful and effective blocking of material from it's intended public. Does it happen in today's world? Absolutely. Does it happen a lot to writers in the free world... not really so much. The fact is, we live in a society that censors itself so much that the bigger issue is: How do you get your audience to actually hear you? So, if you're feeling pressure to back down on an issue, the question shouldn't be, "Do I cave?" but, "Is my message important enough?" If it is, then push through any barriers. Break through any walls. Fight all obstacles. You may not reach everyone, but you will reach someone.
It depends on what type of writer you are, and to whom you're writing!
I think a writer should stay strong against all odds. After all, what we write is (or should be) what we are, doesn't mean the rest of the world must agree and like it.
It depends on what it is at risk of being censored, where that censorship would take place, and who is aiming to do the censoring. It also depends on whether someone else is paying the writer to do the writing, whether the writing is in someone's own book or on someone's own website, and on whether it's "genuine censorship" (or, instead, a matter of having writing guidelines/rules in some venues).
If a writer has something important to say then I think he ought to say it, even if that means he has to print out his own writing, make a bunch of xerox copies, and distribute it himself. That's what saying some things might require, but I think the writer (again, who has something important to say) should find a way to write what he wants.
If it's a matter of, for example, someone wanting to fill up his Hubs with a bunch of profanity and call it "writing freely" - then, no. A site like HP has a right to say what they don't want on their site for their own reasons. In that kind of instance, the writer should just find somewhere else for his profanity-riddled writing (which may be perfectly fine writing but which isn't welcomed on a site like HubPages or by advertisers).
Writers need to know how to pick their battles. It's not being "strong" to refuse to comply with some writing standards of some publishing venues. More importantly, they need to understand the difference between real censorship (with the intent of shutting someone up) and "seeming censorship" (when writers are asked to find another way to say what they want to say). Most of the time, a talented/skilled writer can say what he wants to say (and in a powerful way) without running into "censorship issues". In those instances when that isn't possible, then I think the writer should write whatever he feels is important to him but understand that the particular piece won't be welcomed in some venues. If it's the government aiming to do the censoring - then that's a completely different thing.
If it needs saying, then it must be said.
Unfortunately there are many "writers" who have nothing to say, and can't construct well enough to make it worth looking at. Thank God the Internet is here, or they would be publishing their rubbish in hard copy and there aren't enough trees for that.
It depends, if you are trying to "sell" your work; and the only way that a "buyer" will accept it is if you "censor" your material, then censor it or let it be censored.
If you're writing for "fun" and maybe "potential" profit, stick to your guns; if sales are an after thought.
It is the writers responsibility to police themselves. Where there is a decision of a buyer to select any written articles, or publications, it falls on the buyer. In a public forum, censorship should come within. If the complaint is use of four, five or seven letter off color words, the writer should seek replacements. Good writers can convey their messages with appropriate language. Judgement is the answer.
I debated the same question when my family and I got into a fight about the things I write on the internet.
I wrote a hub about how to take criticism when it comes to your work:
"There is a limit to what people can read, but there is no limit to what we choose to write. As writers, we should be concerned about writing well. It is the reader who must interpret and deal with what he or she is given."
Bottom line: Never ever for any circumstance censor yourself as a writer. You may, in real life, censor yourself when needed--that is if you feel the need.
Stay strong. The 1st Amendment lets us! I think a writer should be able to write absolutely anything they choose to write. Let it flow out on it's own.
stay true to yourself, if you betray yourself, you are betraying your readers and without readers you are no one:)
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