Moshe Kam IEEE President
 
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Appointment of Dr. Moshe Kam to Dean, Newark College of Engineering
3 April, 2014

ENGINEERING AS A LIBERAL ART: an address to the Edinburgh International Cultural Summit (The Debating Chamber, Scottish Parliament; Edinburgh, Scotland; 14 August 2012)
14 August, 2012

Comments during the dedication of an IEEE Milestone on the World’s First Reliable High Voltage Power Fuse, 1909 (3 August 2012, Chicago, IL, USA)
3 August, 2012

Comments at the Dedication of the IEEE Milestone Mainline Electrification of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, 1895 (21 June 2012, Baltimore, MD)
9 July, 2012

Comments at the installation of the Iota Lambda Chapter of Eta Kappa Nu at the University of Hong Kong (13 January 2012)
13 January, 2012

Comments at the Unveiling of the IEEE Milestone on the Apollo Guidance Computer, Cambridge, MA
13 December, 2011

Roger Pollard (1 June 1946 - 3 December 2011)
4 December, 2011

As 2011 draws to a close...
3 December, 2011

Member Letter – U.S. Hurricane Irene/Floods
10 September, 2011

Message to IEEE Volunteers and Members in Japan
14 March, 2011

It Is About Value (Not About Price)
11 February, 2011

A Small Miracle in Hyderabad
27 January, 2011

So you are traveling a lot, eh?
17 January, 2011

How Should We Proceed with IEEE’s Humanitarian Efforts?
1 January, 2011

IEEE and Haiti
20 January, 2010

A Most Impressive Quasquicentennial in Hyderabad
7 January, 2010

My New Year Resolution - Seeking Less Experienced Volunteers
2 January, 2010

Mail about IEEE Spectrum article - Powerless in Gaza
26 December, 2009

The list of new IEEE Fellows is out
15 December, 2009

In praise of three tough guys from Trinidad
25 November, 2009

Who will be the 50th President of IEEE?
23 November, 2009

Smart Grid and Standards Search - the Board of Directors approves new initiatives
22 November, 2009

Globalization and Music - a Visit to the IEEE France Section
12 November, 2009

Moshe Kam elected IEEE 2010 President-Elect
7 October, 2009

 

Mail about IEEE Spectrum article - Powerless in Gaza

The December 2009 Cover Story of IEEE Spectrum was titled "Powerless in Gaza." The story was written by Sharon Weinberger, an American journalist who focuses on defense and security issues.

 

An unusually large number of Spectrum readers wrote to different officers of IEEE, as well as to the Editor-in-Chief of Spectrum, expressing (often strong) opinions on the article. Though the readers provided views on both sides of the issue, praising as well as condemning the story, most of the mail that I received was on the negative side. Many of those who wrote to me thought that the article verged on political propaganda, and some questioned the publication of articles "of this kind" by Spectrum. Others objected to the tone, to the way the context of the Arab-Israeli conflict was described, and to specific statements described in the article as facts (such as the number of casualties in Gaza during the Israeli "Cast Lead" operation). There was also a political element in some of the correspondence I received. While most of the letters I got were genuine, and came from individuals with sincere and deep concerns, some letters appeared "manufactured" and may have even come from individuals who did not read "Powerless in Gaza" at all. However, this is not unusual in cases such as this.

 

Over the years the IEEE Board of Directors provided the editorial staff of Spectrum with the largest possible autonomy, and avoided interfering with specific articles and editorial decisions. I thought, and still think, that this is the correct approach. The quality of what Spectrum can publish would deteriorate very quickly if its writers and editors would have to worry all the time about what the volunteer leaders of IEEE think about each and every matter. This being said, I am certainly concerned that this particular story has alienated many in the Spectrum readership, and that it had raised questions about fairness and objectivity. Whether one agrees with them or not, those who objected to the article - in principle or on content details - certainly deserve an opportunity to express their objections.

 

Spectrum plans to run a special forum in February 2010 where opinions of readers on "Powerless in Gaza" will be shared. I encourage readers who have strong feelings about the article to express them (you can write to the Editor-in-Chief Susan Hassler using s.hassler@ieee.org). While it is not likely that we would reach consensus about the December Cover Story, I hope we will at least have a good opportunity to have an open exchange of opinions.  This exchange will help all involved understand, for the sake of our future activities, how our members and readers interpreted and reacted to this particular story.

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Moshe Kam ( m.kam@ieee.org ) ECE Department, Drexel University, 3141 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA
The opinions expressed on this website are the opinions of the author and not necessarily the opinions of the IEEE