Good print magazines have place in digital era

Jan. 19, 2015

During the startup period for Plastics Machinery Magazine, I was asked several times "Why launch a print publication when everyone gets their information online?"

The answer was easy: There is still a place in the plastics industry for a well-written and well-edited publication focusing on new equipment and technology that can help processors do their jobs better. We will deliver information through our website and via a digital edition that is a replica of the print publication, but the experience of browsing a magazine is still important.

Do a Google search on "new blenders" and you get 20.6 million matches; "new shredders" nets 9.1 million; "new injection molding machines" returns 653,000; "new pelletizers" finds 449,000 matches. So the Internet may be great for looking up a specific machine, but not necessarily for answering the question "What's new?"

A more important concern for readers should be who is writing and editing the stories about new technology, who is sifting through the announcements about new products and product upgrades and who is putting together the publication so that it is organized and useful. Content that lacks insight, is not comprehensive and fails to explain the benefits to processors is not useful.

So I wanted to use this first column from the editor to introduce the editorial staff responsible for answering the "What's new?" question. They have an astounding amount of experience in plastics industry publishing.

The three senior correspondents write most of the stories: Merle R. Snyder, Rob Neilley and Mikell Knights. Managing Editor Angie DeRosa supervises the writers as well as Lisa Sarkis and Marvin Brown, designers and copy editors.

Snyder has covered the plastics industry for 33 years. He was editor-in-chief of Plastics Machinery & Equipment and Plastics Machinery & Auxiliaries magazines. In addition to those two jobs as the top editor, he has written for seven other industry publications and multiple websites and blogs.

Neilley was European editor of Injection Molding Magazine for 10 years and editor-in-chief for another five years. In addition, his 32 years in the plastics industry included stints at GE Plastics (now SABIC Innovative Plastics) and the SPI.

Knights has been a writer and editor covering the plastics industry for 15 years, primarily with Plastics Technology magazine and the U.K.-based Compounding World. He has also reported on the food and beverage industries.

DeRosa has 14 years working in plastics industry publishing, including as a reporter covering the packaging and building and construction industries. Most recently, she served as the conference director at Plastics News.

Sarkis was a copy editor, reporter and assistant managing editor for 24 years. A primary responsibility at PMM is writing and editing the Product Innovations section.

Brown, who spent 17 years in plastics publishing as a copy editor and video editor, is responsible for PMM's eye-catching page designs and story editing.

Kathy S. Hayes has recently joined the staff as a copy editor.

We are going to do our best to tell you what's new in processing equipment and technology and to present the information in ways that will inform and educate. Let us know how we are doing.

Ron Shinn, editor

[email protected]

About the Author

Ron Shinn | Editor

Editor Ron Shinn is a co-founder of Plastics Machinery & Manufacturing and has been covering the plastics industry for more than 35 years. He leads the editorial team, directs coverage and sets the editorial calendar. He also writes features, including the Talking Points column and On the Factory Floor, and covers recycling and sustainability for PMM and Plastics Recycling.