Last month, I asked for feedback, and I got my wish. Along with much-appreciated positive comments, I received letters to the editor from Mr. Whelan (see Letters), which I believe deserve a response because others may share his concerns.
What is the Reporter's official function?
The magazine is the official voice of the association's governing body; therefore, its primary function is to inform the membership of the official positions and activities of the society related to governance. It is not intended to be an educational journal. We publish inspection-related articles because we believe readers find them interesting and because there are few other opportunities for home inspectors to write for home inspectors.
Why isn't it an educational journal?
The ASHI Reporter is published as a magazine. Although academic journals and magazines both are considered periodicals, magazine content is not limited to a particular subject, does not have to be original, full text research or be considered as adding to a learned body of knowledge. What's more, only some of the Reporter's content is peer-reviewed.
Does the magazine limit itself to publishing articles related to the ASHI Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics?
No, it does not. Members commit to meeting the ASHI Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics. Offering additional services is regarded as a business decision. Therefore, we publish a variety of articles covering a full range of topics we believe to be of interest to property inspectors.
How can someone who is not a home inspector publish a magazine for home inspectors?
In general, those who publish, edit or write are either specialists or generalists. Specialists are professionals in a specific field who learn how to report/write/edit for publications in their area of expertise. Generalists are publishing professionals who use their communication skills to obtain and publish information on any topic or field. I'm the third generalist to hold this position, and I've had the honor of doing so for the past 12 years.
It stops here
We appreciated the feedback on the grow-op article — both from Mr. Whelan and from the reader who wrote to thank us for it.
I depend on input from the ASHI Technical Review Committee and others; nevertheless, what I told Mr. Whelan is true: The buck stops here. With that in mind, I welcome your comments, complaints and suggestions. Sandy Bourseau, ASHI director of communications, firstname.lastname@example.org.