Plastics News' 20-year anniversary coincides with my 25th year as a newspaper reporter. Journalism has been a great career choice an endlessly interesting, often exciting and fun job.
The same basic job for 25 years! That's not supposed to happen anymore; you're expected to move around and even switch careers. It's called reinventing yourself. Maybe it's in the genes. My father had just two jobs, as a Pennsylvania coal miner and then an autoworker in Cleveland. Manufacturing gave our family a good standard of living.
That's one reason I like covering the plastics industry. I'd rather cover manufacturing than the service sector, like the insurance or legal businesses.
I spent summers during college working in factories. It's so satisfying to see the physical results of your work at the end of the day. Journalism has elements of that as well. We publish Plastics News every Monday, and every single day on the Web.
I came to Plastics News from daily newspapers covering car crashes, elections, even murder trials and I still remember wondering, back in 1989, if I would get bored covering plastics all the time. But that never happened. Just about every product made today has some plastic, and plastic plays a key role in most of the revolutionary products of today, like fuel cells, wind turbines and solar panels.
Plastics is such a fast-changing industry, filled with open-minded folks who, for the most part, aren't afraid to change. And Plastics News has the ultimate challenge of covering technology and business and the men and women who make it happen.
And our readers are educated and motivated to keep up with the news the perfect readership. It's exciting to meet a Plastics News reader, and to have him or her ask detailed questions about a story. That always gives me a major energy boost. As a journalist, all you can ask is for people to read what you write.
Newspapers are in trouble, as you may know. Readers are getting more of their news online although I think our democracy is poorly served by the way most people read online news, clicking around for quick-hits and headlines. The Internet has grabbed some advertisements, especially classifieds.
Plastics News has a good Web site, we've got video and a searchable story archive. But I can't imagine a day when PN is available only online. Holding the paper in your hands, reading it on a business trip, highlighting an article, these things are important. Right?
Thanks for reading our paper. We started from scratch back in 1989. In the news business, you learn something new every day. Then you get to tell the world. That means you!
Bregar is an Akron, Ohio-based Plastics News senior reporter and one of the original staffers.