An endorsement for neutrality

Impartiality is (or should be) one of the first lessons editors learn. While it is fundamentally important for every journalist to maintain neutrality, it is a vital tenet to those of us who serve the technical trades. However, deliberately detaching ourselves from industry conflicts or debates in no way precludes us from taking a stand on challenging topics.

01/01/2010


Impartiality is (or should be) one of the first lessons editors learn. While it is fundamentally important for every journalist to maintain neutrality, it is a vital tenet to those of us who serve the technical trades. However, deliberately detaching ourselves from industry conflicts or debates in no way precludes us from taking a stand on challenging topics.

During a recent conversation, a close colleague offered some prudent counsel: Don’t take sides in marketing wars between manufacturers even though their arguments may appear to be on a scientific or engineering level. He said what sounds like physics facts or chemistry on the surface ultimately comes down to this product versus that product or “my technology is better than your technology.”

Whereas vendor neutrality should be one of our main attributes, the willingness to take a stand should be our charge. A worthy goal to advocate is anything that leads engineers and managers toward better decisions or encourages them to empower those within their realm of influence to make better decisions.

The “Automation Insight” column makes its debut in this issue of AppliedAutomation . Columns exist as a place to express opinions; this one is written from an ODVA viewpoint. I am extending an invitation to other automation- and control-related organizations and associations to contribute non-commercial opinions for consideration in future “Automation Insight” columns.

I also invite readers to contribute opinions for consideration in the “Backtalk” column, as well as technical articles for consideration as features in AppliedAutomation .





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