One of the great writers — a true craftsman — of the the 20th century, E.B. White, had this to say on the responsibility that writers have:
“A writer should concern himself with whatever absorbs his fancy, stirs his heart, and unlimbers his typewriter. I feel no obligation to deal with politics. I do feel a responsibility to society because of going into print: a writer has the duty to be good, not lousy; true, not false; lively, not dull; accurate, not full of error. He should tend to lift people up, not lower them down. Writers do not merely reflect and interpret life, they inform and shape life.”
—E.B. White (1899-1985), writer, interviewed by George Plimpton and Frank H. Crowther, The Paris Review, 1969
Hat-tip to Ted Pease, Today’s Word on Journalism, at http://tedsword.blogspot.com/.