Editorial: FCW’s bias

If there has been a bias in these pages, it is a strong belief in the vital role that IT can play in helping the government do its important jobs more effectively.

Anniversaries are good opportunities to look back. Federal Computer Week’s actual anniversary — March 23 — isn’t for a few months. But we decided to celebrate the magazine’s 20th anniversary the Disney way: stretch it out over a full year. This gives us an opportunity to look at issues, people, rules, regulations, laws and policies in a more complete way by breaking 20 years of coverage into more manageable parts. As we thumbed through older FCW issues, we were amazed to see how much has changed. Microchips are smaller and more powerful. We have more ways to store all our data. We can make that information available to the public on Web sites and portals. Several themes run throughout the pages of FCW’s 20 years. The real issues are cultural, not technical. Take information sharing as an example. Technology has made information sharing more efficient, yet there are still fundamental questions about how we get large organizations to share data. Coincidentally, one story that ran on the front page of FCW’s first issue was about information sharing. Other themes include the importance of leadership and information technology’s role as an enabler that allows agencies to fulfill their missions. People often accuse journalists of being biased. If there has been a bias in these pages, it is a strong belief in the vital role that IT can play in helping the government do its important jobs more effectively. As we reviewed our archives, we were struck when reading the history of the development of the Internet — a government-sponsored project that has changed the world. The work the government does is important and far-reaching, and government workers have opportunities to change the course of history. In the next 20 years, we know there will be failures, but we also believe there are more triumphs to come — large and small. We look forward to chronicling them.
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