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Volume 3 No. 1
By Paul Messenger


HIFICRITIC Volume 3 No. 1  I guess weíve all been affected one way or another by the recent meltdown in the financial sector, and I daresay most of us are pretty sick of hearing about it too. Although it was encouraging to see healthy public attendance at the Bristol hi-fi show a couple of weeks ago, the hi-fi industry is suffering alongside all sectors of the economy, and HIFICRITIC is not immune.

In order to try and ensure our survival through these difficult times, the Publisher has had to take some hard decisions and find some economies. To achieve this weíre cutting our publication schedule down to four issues a year, but increasing the size of each issue by eight pages by way of partial compensation.

Iím truly sorry we have had to make these changes, but this did seem the only way to maintain our high standards and quality, and continue to publish. We  would also like to apologise for the late arrival of this edition, which was largely caused by the decision, rather late in the day, to increase the size of the issue. Hopefully the extra content was worth the wait.

It canít have escaped many peoplesí attention that life is particularly tough for the print media right now. Their viability was already being undermined by Ďfreeí content available electronically on the internet, and itís now further battered by the shortfalls in advertising caused by the recession.

The advertising bit doesnít apply to HIFICRITIC of course, but thereís no denying the considerable impact that the internet has had on the hi-fi scene, as well as the world at large.

As with most major technological changes, the internet is an unholy mixture of pluses and minuses. Having a website has certainly provided us with visibility, and an ability to provide a worthwhile archive of background material. Our Forum too has provided the opportunity for discussion that gives us with useful feedback, with impressively intelligent and perceptive comments.

Indeed, itís a source of regret that I donít get to spend more time on the Forum, simply because I donít seem to find the time. Iíve worried about this a lot, and come to conclusion that itís basically a personality thing, and that Iím fundamentally a slow writer, whether putting together an editorial or posting a comment on a forum.

Some journalists and writers happily pour out thousands of words a day, but Iím definitely not one of them. I struggle to produce more than 1,000 words in a day, and that hasnít changed in more than twenty years.

A journo friend was watching me type with two fingers the other day, and commented that learning to touch-type at a young age had been a real boon. I replied that if I could type any faster, my fingers would simply run ahead of my brain.

I guess it means that my writing will never make me rich. But at least I donít ever seem short of work, and am usually struggling a few days behind my deadlines. Maybe Aesop was right about The Hare and the Tortoise. The real bonus of course is that I get to do a job I enjoy, most of the time at least. And Iíll do my best to get the next HIFICRITIC back on schedule.


Paul Messenger



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