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The Importance of Good Journalism

Honest coverage of RFID and other new technologies is important—but, unfortunately, all too rare.
By Mark Roberti
May 12, 2008This week, AIM Global announced that it had awarded yours truly its Excellence in Journalism Award, "in recognition of his journalistic excellence and media representation of the RFID industry." (See AIM Global Honors Industry Leaders at 2008 Summit.)

AIM Global's Education and Public Policy committee established the award to recognize a journalist or media representative covering the automatic identification industry whose work exemplifies the qualities of honest, educational and unbiased reporting of the auto-ID and mobility industry.

I'm honored to receive the award and feel privileged to cover the automatic data capture industry, which has brought efficiencies to so many businesses. I'm sure those opposing RFID will see the award as proof that I am the industry's tool, but RFID Journal's work truly does exemplify honest, educational and unbiased reporting. And I'm very proud of that.

In six years of publishing RFID Journal, we have made a few factual errors here and there, which were corrected once they were pointed out to us. But we have never knowingly published anything we knew to be false, nor have we ever covered up information or misled our readers. Even those who strongly oppose RFID technology have never accused us of printing bogus information. We have always been honest about the potential abuses of RFID technologies, and have sought ways to prevent them. (AIM, to its credit, has been equally responsible.)

Sadly, journalists who see RFID as a tool Big Business plans to use in order to invade consumers' privacy can't say the same thing. Back in March, for instance, I wrote a blog in response to a "Consumer Confidential" column in the Los Angeles Times (see Fact-Checking the Los Angeles Times). The column raised unnecessary fears of privacy abuse by grossly distorting the facts regarding RFID technology and its use in cell phones.

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