If you apply for a job, your application is screened. If it meets the prospective employer’s criteria, you may be called for an oral interview. In all of this you are being “vetted.” This isn’t a term used in the past be the private sector in filling vacant positions. The term was usually restricted to government positions or to high security agency positions. It was the process of an intense investigation and scrutiny of the applicant. I could not find a definition in Random Houses Webster’s Dictionary fourth edition Ballantine paperback, nor in the 1,550 page American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Houghton Mifflin Company 1976. But the use of the word “vet” as a verb may be found at various online locations such as:
It has been a term that I used to see in research articles or books about intelligence agency practices. One of my first memories or awareness of vetting that was used in private industry, was the complaint by established media reporters, news writers, and TV journalists. The complaint was about bloggers. I suppose it was about the time that bloggers were being quoted, on the air. It ran along the lines, that “bloggers are out there in the blog-i-sphere whom we do not know,” and “they are blogging information contrary to what main stream media was reporting,” and, …. “we simply do not know who these people are.” Then, “these bloggers are not vetted,” presumably by the established media. More recently, there was a Brian Lamb C-SPAN “Book Notes” interview of a history professor. The professor complained about the self-published historians who “were not vetted” by the scholarly process of university historians.
There were media bloggers too, but, there was an explosion of “other voices” in the mid 2,000s years. About this time I was interviewed by one agent at a conference. It was short and he seemed to like the book I pitched to him, and he said to “send it to the agency” and to his partner a lead agent. [I thought that was hopeful, but later I realized that I was blown off.] This same agent later hosted and led a breakout session entitled “The Agency –Publisher – Writer Relationship.” His main point during the session was that the “agents vet the writers” for the publishers. There it is. Another angle on all this has been said many times. Also, there was “the catch.” To get traditionally in print by a big house, you need an agent – to get an agent, you need to be published. An agent wants published writers.
An e-world revolution, of sorts, is going on, has been going on. E-writers and self-publishers are by-passing the agent/publisher vetters. Who decides what is good, readable, correct, or entertaining? “Readers” is the obvious answer. The other question is, does this affect the marketing?
And, do your credentials matter?
Timothy J. Desmond
THE DOC ~ Revised Edition
Copyright © 2014 by Tim Desmond
Cover Design by Jackson Cover Design
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Print ISBN: 978-1-626941-44-1