Tomorrow Food Safety News will celebrate its 3rd birthday.  Third year?  No, third month.

I will get back to that in a moment.

Editor & Publisher, the 125-year-old magazine seen by most journalists as the Bible of the newspaper industry, is ceasing publication.

A weekly until 2002, Editor & Publisher was a magazine you’d sneak off the boss’s desk at night if for nothing more than to check the job listings.   Better yet, you’d find a marked up copy on your publisher’s desk, and felt a little more secure knowing what he or she was finding important.

The remaining ten editorial staffers at E&P apparently expected the magazine would be sold or perhaps shift to a net-only existence–which is becoming pretty popular–when they got the news the axe was falling.

For newspaper people, it’s hard to over-state the impact of this news.  One veteran I know emailed me the article with one word: “Stunning.”

So the walking wounded of the newspaper industry will no longer have their own trade publication.  The Nielsen Company, which killed E&P, is also shutting down Kirkus,  a magazine for book reviews.

Food Safety News would never exist if we had to print and distribute it.  I do not think anybody trying to do serious news and analysis on the net feels good about these print deaths.  We’ve seen the Seattle Post-Intelligencer cease print publication and move to the net, the Rocky Mountain News shut down entirely, and heard the Washington Times maybe next.   And, those are only in the three cities we have staff members in.

We are troubled by the amount of talent that’s being let go.   If anyone out there is looking for writers and editors, let me know because I’ve got a file of incredible people.

As for having three months under our belt, Food Safety News continues to do its part in blazing the brave new trail that is beginning to emerge.   We’ve made a mistake or two, and had some technical glitches, but we are getting better and more confident as we go forward.

We trust you will stay with us, as a reader and maybe be contributor.   You are the food safety leaders. We are here for you.

Until next time.