Reflecting on the last 12 months, the aerospace/defense community writ large had much to celebrate in 2011—and we did just that on the editorial page of the Dec. 19/26 edition of Aviation Week & Space Technology. And since balance is one of the journalistic principles that we assiduously observe, we also took the opportunity to call individuals and organizations to task for decisions or actions we thought deserved to be called out.
This was the first year in which Aviation Week looked at the past year through a “Cheers and Jeers” prism. I’m confident it won’t be the last. In fact, there were so many developments worthy of praise and criticism that editors putting the edition together found themselves with more material than we could squeeze onto a single page.
For example, we cheered retired Defense Secretary Robert Gates for his efforts to start positioning the Pentagon and its suppliers for a new era of lean budgets, while jeering another year without a successful ground-based midcourse defense test. (It’s getting ugly.)
While having an abundance of material can be a nice problem to have in the publishing world, it left some of us wondering what should have been on our list of items to consider for “Cheers and Jeers.” So I am inviting AW&ST readers to share their ideas. What do you think qualified as a ‘success,’ and what ranked among the more notable setbacks or disappointments?