There's an interesting interchange between John Cooley and Gayatri Japa of the India Times on John's Wiretap today. Seems Mr. Japa takes exception to the implied independence of Apache's is a violation of "honour" since the site is dedicated to pushing Apache's products and technology. He points out that while companies like Synopsys, Mentor and Cadence have their own blog sites, they clearly identify themselves as being financed and promoted by their host companies.
I'd like to agree with Mr. Japa because it does make my skin crawl a bit to see a blatant lack of transparency, but then I am reminded of something that happened to me in the past year with New Tech Press.
A company I was talking to about the program, when they learned that at the bottom of each article is a statement that says who the sponsor of the article is, said they didn't want that statement in their article. "Just say that it was sponsored by New Tech Press." When I explained that would be a violation of our ethical code; that we must maintain transparency not only because we agreed to do that with out media partners, but because journalistic standards require it, they said, 'Your ethics are not our ethics."
And that pretty much wraps it up. Everyone ascribes to a cetain ethical code, but those codes are in no way equivalent. Apache is not a journalistic organization. It has no employees or contractors that have training or experience in journalism. It has no one in the organization that even knows an established code of ethics exists for journalism, public relations and marketing communications, much less what is in that code. And even if they did know what it was they would not agree to abide by it.
So with that knowledge in mind, I think we can all admit that Apache has not violated anyone's honor, because they don't agree with an established honor code.
This is what you get when you have an industry that refuses to support a vibrant, independent media; when amateurs run the show. If you need brain surgery, don't go to the hospital janitor. Go to a real doctor. If you want journalism, don't go to an engineer. If you want an ethical story, don't go to a company website.