candid (adjective) — honest and telling the truth, especially about something difficult or painful (Cambridge Dictionary)
A candid writer should not expect to be popular with those who wield some power and influence in the shipping world. On the contrary, he should prepare himself to be despised or, worse, ignored. This much I have learned in the 13 years that Marine Café Blog has been in existence.
Shipping is a conservative industry that does not take kindly to writers who tell it like it is. Praise is valued, criticism frowned upon. This is why there is such a proliferation of maritime awards. The latter are regularly handed out like burgers and fries at a McDonald’s counter, and the recipients make sure to post pictures of the event on LinkedIn.
Some institutions are also regarded by the shipping industry as sacred cows or see themselves as such. When has the maritime press been critical of the International Maritime Organization? In the eyes of the shipping community, it just isn’t the normal thing to do.
Praise is valued, criticism frowned upon. This is why there is such a proliferation of maritime awards.
One would think that writing candidly about the rights and welfare of seafarers would win the support of the seafarer charities. Not so in my experience. My social media posts on the subject have been largely ignored by the charities. That is fine with me. Those folks must be busy doing their own thing.
A maritime writer can spare himself all these aggravations by writing only about safe topics and staying away from controversy. Bestowing praise, even if it is undeserved, is better. It can be quite rewarding. But what would be the consequence? The loss, not only of one’s integrity, but of one’s soul as a writer.