View from the publisher – March 2009

If you read the headlines in most newspapers today, or watch the news on TV, or listen to the radio, all you hear is doom and gloom. “The New York Times could stop publishing in May 2009,” “Transcontential cuts 1,500 jobs,” etc., etc., etc., ad infinitum. This is what we’re facing every day. Is this how we want to start our morning and end our workday? What’s a person to do?

I would suggest the first thing you should do is stop listening to the media and start thinking for yourself. Imagine if you turned off the television and radio and didn’t read a newspaper for one week. I’d bet that you’d be in a much more positive frame of mind – yet the world would still be the same, right? Stop worrying about what you can’t control. We have been through recessions before and this one will pass as well.

Besides, a recession is not the end of the world – technically, it’s two consecutive quarters of negative growth. Yes, unemployment is now estimated at 7 – 9%, but that means that over 90% of the population is still working. A lot of our negative media reporting permeates Canada from the U.S., but the economy there is in much worse shape.

Furthermore, Canadian foreclosure rates are less than half of 1%. The International Monetary Fund recently ranked the Canadian banking system as the most stable and secure in the entire world! But, does that information make it to the front page? Compare that to Britain, ranked 40th, and the U.S. banking system, ranked 44th. As a country, we have the goods that the world needs – food, fuel and much more. As the stimulus packages here and in the U.S. kick in, we should see more activity and an improved economy.

As this is our “Green Issue” (aside from St. Patrick’s Day, of course), I would like to congratulate all the winners of the Environmental Printing Awards. I would especially like to congratulate, Matthew Alexander of Colour Innovations who picked up three awards. See his interview on page 50 with Brian Collins. Be sure to read our lead article on page 18 by Gail Nickel-Kailing on environmental issues in print. And on page 24, John Piggott has practical advice on reducing waste in your printing business.

Finally, as a Canadian who was born in Ireland, I would like to wish all our readers a happy St. Patrick’s Day, March 17. May the luck of the Irish be with you for the rest of your life.

Until next time, stay positive and stay focused.

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Joe Mulcahy Publisher, Graphic Arts Magazine joe@graphicartsmag.com