Should QST Apologize to ARRL Members?

Suppose that you had written some QST articles about HF power amplifiers. A couple of years after the last article was published you received a letter from QST asking you if you would be interested in submitting another article. You submitted an article and it was published in QST. Some months later, QST ran an unprecedented four pages of letters by six "experts," disparaging your work, calling it quote CONTRARY TO COMMON SENSE, MISLEADING, ERRONEOUS, INCORRECT, INAPPROPRIATE unquote. Curiously, no letter from a reader who liked the article was published. Worse yet, when you prepared a rebuttal to these "experts," QST refused to run it. YOU have been hung out to dry before some 170,000 QST readers.

That is what the Editor of QST did to Rich Measures, AG6K, a member who has been contributing articles to QST since 1988. His January 1994 article, "The Nearly Perfect Amplifier," evidently touched raw nerves among some amplifier manufacturers who advertise in QST. To placate these advertisers, QST published the aformentioned four pages of criticism in the September 1994 Technical Correspondence section. After Rich's rebuttal was flatly refused by QST, small wonder that Rich resigned from the ARRL in January, 1995. Ironically, in the rush to placate advertisers, QST's own technical review group, who originally reviewed and approved Rich's article for publication, had also been hung out to dry before some 170,000 QST readers.

Allowing criticism of an author's work is perfectly acceptable--provided you allow the author the courtesy of rebuttal, which all ethical journals do. QST did not do this! Having written my share of technical articles, I recognized that what QST did to AG6K is a writer's nightmare.

I wrote to ARRL headquarters and all 15 directors. MY LETTERS WENT UNANSWERED FOR NINE MONTHS as ARRL tried to stonewall this embarrassing lapse in journalistic ethics. After I wrote more than FORTY letters to ARRL headquarters and all 15 directors, QST's Publisher, David Sumner, finally acknowledged my concern, defended the action and indicated the matter was dead. No remorse, no apology, no justice. Does this sound like "Of, by and for amateur radio." to you? Ladies and gentlemen, this is supposed to be OUR League. I do not feel it is unreasonable for us to demand justice when a member and contributor is publicly besmirched by the people WE supposedly employ. If you agree, please call, write or fax your views to your ARRL Director today. Thanks and 73

--- Jack Najork, W5FG ---