AIAP: New Audio Industry Publications Association

Elliot G.

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I wonder what everyone thinks of this new organization and its possible effect on the Industry.

AIAP Press Release regarding its formation and launch of its Web site:


(Happy Valley, OR, June 4, 2022)

The founding members wish to announce the launch of the Association of International Audiophile Publications (AIAP). The AIAP is composed initially of ten audiophile publications from around the world, all dedicated to a set of ethical and professional standards. These have been organized as a Statement of Principles, which the founding member publications have all agree to adhere to as guidelines for ethical and professional operations at their publications. This statement is available as a download in three languages so far (English, Polish, and Croatian) at the AIAP Web site.

Our Web site and Statement of Principles will be found at https://www.aiap-online.org.

The ten founding publications of the AIAP include the following:

the audio analyst https://www.theaudioanalyst.com
Enjoy the Music https://www.enjoythemusic.com
Hifimedia https://www.hifimedia.hr
Hi-fi+ https://hifiplus.com
High Fidelity https://highfidelity.pl/@lang-en
Hifistatement https://www.hifistatement.net
HomeTheaterReview https://hometheaterreview.com
Part-Time Audiophile https://parttimeaudiophile.com
Positive Feedback https://positive-feedback.com
Stereonet https://www.stereonet.com

All members of the AIAP are committed to providing the best in high-end audio/video journalism, and are pledged to do so according to our mutually agreed Statement of Principles.
We invite audiophiles and videophiles everywhere to go to our site and read our statement for themselves.

Note that the AIAP Web site is not a discussion site, nor do we act as audio ombudsmen or audio advisors. Readers are invited to visit the AIAP member sites and use the communication tools there to pursue questions or email any of our member publications. The "Contact Us" form will send a direct email to Dr. David W. Robinson of Positive Feedback, who acts as Coordinator for the AIAP.

We welcome all interested to visit our site, and familiarize yourselves with our Statement of Principles.
AIAP.jpg
 
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Elliot G.

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I'm not sure if this in part was a follow up to Roy Gregory's Industry report or some other reason. I wonder what the Forum thinks of this and whether this will have any effect on the review process in the future.
Thoughts?
 

Ron Resnick

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I think codification of these principles is a wonderful idea, and I applaud each of the participating publications for signing onto the Statement of Principles! I think these principles will go a long way towards ameliorating much of the consternation experienced by consumers, by hobbyists and by industry professionals in the high-end audio industry arising from concerns about "pay-to-play," and long-term "loans" and reviewer accommodation purchases and other apparent or actual conflicts of interest. Bravo!
 
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Ron Resnick

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I fully appreciate that it is difficult to secure widespread agreement about a general statement of principles like this. As with negotiating and passing a piece of legislation, compromises have to be made in order to achieve broad support. A wide variety of different interests and sensitivities must be taken into account to achieve consensus on principles like this.

I am very impressed with the thoughtfulness, comprehensiveness, clarity and detail of Principles 1 through 10.

When I finished reading Principal 11 I became concerned that Principal 11 operates as an exception to Principles 1 through 10, and could be used to over-ride Principles 1 through 10.

Principle 11 includes the sentence: When in doubt, the general guideline that “Full disclosure equals no conflict of interest” should apply. Respectfully, I do not agree that disclosure cures an actual conflict of interest. My view is that full disclosure does not equal no conflict of interest.

Disclosure is one thing, and conflict of interest is another thing. Full disclosure does not cure an actual conflict of interest, in my opinion. If full disclosure cures an actual conflict of interest, then Principle 11 does indeed have the potential to undermine Principles 1 through 10.

I would like to see Principal 11 deleted in its entirety. Alternatively I would like to see deleted the sentence "When in doubt, the general guideline that 'Full disclosure equals no conflict of interest' should apply." Alternatively, I would like to see a declaration that: "Nothing in Principle 11 constitutes an exception to Principles 1 through 10."

Also, Principle 9 is problematic as it creates the term "true conflict of interest." This is unnecessarily confusing because it sets up an unnecessary dichotomy of "true" conflict of interest versus "false" conflict of interest. There is the concept of "actual conflict of interest," and there is the concept of "potential conflict of interest." A new concept of "true conflict of interest" obfuscates rather than illuminates.

Of course it is easy to make these critiques after the fact. As with legislation, compromises have to be made to achieve consensus. I appreciate that consensus would not have been able to be achieved without Principle 11.

Even with Principle 11, with the Statement of Guidelines exactly as it is posted presently, I think the Statement of Principles is an excellent and very important step forward toward addressing these issues and to professionalizing our industry.

Thank you to the people driving this project and achieving a successful outcome. You have performed a great service for our industry!
 
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Ron Resnick

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It is disappointing that the absolute sound and Stereophile did not sign onto this Statement of Principles as founding members of AIAP. Some consumers, hobbyists and industry professionals consider these two publications to be the greatest sources of conflicts of interest in our industry.

Many of the old stories, rumors and anecdotes about conflicts of interest in our industry arose from reviewers at these two publications. Many of the concerns about "pay-to-play," and long-term "loans" and reviewer accommodation purchases and other apparent or actual conflicts of interest continue to arise in connection with reviewers at these publications.

Hopefully the executives and reviewers at these publications will reconsider, and the absolute sound and Stereophile will adopt the Statement of Principles in the future.
 
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microstrip

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Considering the very limited number of associates and the absence of the larger publications in the founding members I think that the success of such movement is compromised and it will only lead to discussion and distrust.
 
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andromedaaudio

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I m all for transparency / honesty whatever , but i personally see no harm in " Pay to play " meaning having to put an ad in a magazine to have a review .
How is a magazine gonna pay its bills otherwise ?

Take stereophile for example , J Atkinson puts a lot of effort in speaker / amp measurements etc .
Ps i have no idea what their business model is , i take stereophile merely as an example

He does a good job , his database is very valuable , all the measurement gear he has/ uses ain t for free.
Giving opinions everybody can do , but the detailed reviews he does are quit a task
 
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microstrip

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It certainly is very disappointing that the absolute sound and Stereophile did not sign onto this Statement of Principles. Some consumers, hobbyists and industry professionals consider these two publications to be the greatest sources of conflicts of interest in our industry.

An unfair and undeserved comment, IMHO.

Many of the old stories, rumors and anecdotes about conflicts of interest in our industry arose from reviewers at these two publications. Many of the concerns about "pay-to-play," and long-term "loans" and reviewer accommodation purchases and other apparent or actual conflicts of interest continue to arise in connection with reviewers at these publications.

Always the same old stories and rumors coming from the same people that never address things directly.

Hopefully the executives and reviewers at these publications will reconsider, and the absolute sound and Stereophile will adopt the Statement of Principles in the future.

If you were a reader of these magazines - I am - you would know that they have their own code of publication and often write about such subjects. But yes, a Statement of Principles written without the collaboration or participation of these magazines looks bizarre. Ley us wait for their opinion on the subject.
 
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Gregm

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fbhifi

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I m all for transparency / honesty whatever , but i personally see no harm in " Pay to play " meaning having to put an ad in a magazine to have a review .
How is a magazine gonna pay its bills otherwise ?

Take stereophile for example , J Atkinson puts a lot of effort in speaker / amp measurements etc .
Ps i have no idea what their business model is , i take stereophile merely as an example

He does a good job , his database is very valuable , all the measurement gear he has/ uses ain t for free.
Giving opinions everybody can do , but the detailed reviews he does are quit a task

They pay their bills based on the advertising rates they charge which are, in turn, based on their audited circulation. This is how virtually every legitimate print media business is structured- not on what amounts to a version of an ”advertorial” approach to product coverage and review- which, inherently, should not be trusted.
 
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andromedaaudio

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They pay their bills based on the advertising rates they charge which are, in turn, based on their audited circulation. This is how virtually every legitimate print media business is structured- not on what amounts to a version of an ”advertorial” approach to product coverage and review- which, inherently, should not be trusted.

Thats all nice in theory .
But I think practical its probably not so black and white , probably more a thing of ," you help me i help you " like in any other business
Coming back from Munich recently im more convinved then ever that audiophiles should read less magazines and hear more gear and trust their own ears.
That is , If they wanna own the best the market has to offer
 
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Ron Resnick

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I look forward to learning the perspectives of the executives of the absolute sound and of Stereophile on the organization and the Statement of Principles of the AIAP.
 
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tima

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It certainly is disappointing that the absolute sound and Stereophile did not sign onto this Statement of Principles. Some consumers, hobbyists and industry professionals consider these two publications to be the greatest sources of conflicts of interest in our industry.

Many of the old stories, rumors and anecdotes about conflicts of interest in our industry arose from reviewers at these two publications. Many of the concerns about "pay-to-play," and long-term "loans" and reviewer accommodation purchases and other apparent or actual conflicts of interest continue to arise in connection with reviewers at these publications.

Hopefully the executives and reviewers at these publications will reconsider, and the absolute sound and Stereophile will adopt the Statement of Principles in the future.

Without knowing more I think it is naive to speculate about other publications and their relation to this joint policy initiative. Why do you think TAS and Stereophile declined joining, or put differently do you know they declined?
 

Ron Resnick

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Without knowing more I think it is naive to speculate about other publications and their relation to this joint policy initiative. Why do you think TAS and Stereophile declined joining, or put differently do you know they declined?

I don't know that the absolute sound and Stereophile declined to join AIAP. I am assuming that they declined, because they are not listed as being participants in AIAP.

I think it is improbable that David Robinson did not invite them to sign on.
 
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tima

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I don't know that the absolute sound and Stereophile they declined to join AIAP. I am assuming that they declined, because they are not listed as being participants in AIAP.

So you are speculating that they declined or that they were asked to join. With all respect, I am unsure you know the players or the industry well enough to make that conjecture though anyone is free to say what they choose.. David Robinson is my editor; I will see if he has information.to share. Imo the formation of this initiative is genius.
 

andromedaaudio

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I think it all comes down to the fact most audiophiles are lazy lol ( or simply dont have time ) , they dont wanna go out and travel everywhere to hear all kinds of different gear all the time, they just wanna be told " whats best "
" The Absolute sound " / other mags or some other type of guru / audiodealer provides / takes care of that .
The audiophile takes a monthly prescription and the magazine decides " whats best " ,... order restored in a otherwise chaotic world .

People who think otherwise / blasphemists who ruin this scheme/ status quo must of course be crucified / cursed lol
 
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PeterA

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I look forward to learning the perspectives of the executives of the absolute sound and of Stereophile on the organization and the Statement of Principles of the AIAP.

Ron, are you sure they will share their perspective publicly?
 
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morricab

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I fully appreciate that it is difficult to secure widespread agreement about a general statement of principles like this. As with negotiating and passing a piece of legislation, compromises have to be made in order to achieve broad support. A wide variety of different interests and sensitivities must be taken into account to achieve consensus on principles like this.

I am very impressed with the thoughtfulness, comprehensiveness, clarity and detail of Principles 1 through 10.

When I finished reading Principal 11 I became concerned that Principal 11 operates as an exception to Principles 1 through 10, and could be used to over-ride Principles 1 through 10.

Principle 11 includes the sentence: When in doubt, the general guideline that “Full disclosure equals no conflict of interest” should apply. Respectfully, I do not agree that disclosure cures an actual conflict of interest. My view is that full disclosure does not equal no conflict of interest.

Disclosure is one thing, and conflict of interest is another thing. Full disclosure does not cure an actual conflict of interest, in my opinion. If full disclosure cures an actual conflict of interest, then Principle 11 does indeed have the potential to undermine Principles 1 through 10.

I would like to see Principal 11 deleted in its entirety. Alternatively I would like to see deleted the sentence "When in doubt, the general guideline that 'Full disclosure equals no conflict of interest' should apply." Alternatively, I would like to see a declaration that: "Nothing in Principle 11 constitutes an exception to Principles 1 through 10."

Of course it is easy to make these critiques after the fact. As with legislation, compromises have to be made to achieve consensus. I appreciate that consensus would not have been able to be achieved without Principle 11.

Even with Principle 11, with the Statement of Guidelines exactly as it is posted presently, I think the Statement of Principles is an excellent and very important step forward toward addressing these issues and to professionalizing our industry.

Thank you to the people driving this project and achieving a successful outcome. You have performed a great service for our industry!
Someone with a conflict of interest shoukd recuse themselves of doing a review or commentary…agree disclosure means very little as the bias is still there
 

Ron Resnick

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MarcelNL

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Disclosure is a BIG ticket item in my world (clinical research), as it found out the hard way....there is no realistic practical way to avoid conflicts of interest there, I suspect there are some similarities in this industry. Both are dealing in a niche that often is so narrowingly specialistic that you cannot circumvene the experts lest the articles that appear only contain completely subjective information.
Medical journals have found a way that IMO works reasonably well, by making it mandatory for authors to list conflicts of interest transparently, and same applies for editors. When directing articles for editing the selection of editors may be adapted according to ties to the industry to preserve a fair balance. (medical literature is peer reviewed and increasingly data is audited)

I do not see why this industry cannot do the same, after all in the end the stakes are lower, here they just involve $$s not health.
 

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