In the past, I’ve been dragged by friends or family members to see psychics and get my fortune read. Despite the clairvoyants’ promising prophecies, though, I have yet to randomly receive “a very large sum of money,” marry a super model, or become a rock star with my amateur guitar skills. Granted, there’s still time and lots of hope, but I’ve come to a more likely conclusion: No one can predict the future. And that certainly applies to editors, such as myself, as well as underscores why we often use the phrase “as of press time” in articles.
Like many other magazine publications, we at Solar Industry have a print and online presence. Each medium has its unique benefits and inherent challenges, but I truly believe both types of media remain essential and serve a different purpose.
There’s no denying that we live in an increasingly digital, fast-paced world full of notifications, e-mails, buzzes and dings. We’re an information-hungry society, which is great – information can lead to educated opinions and thoughtful decisions. Ideally, however, online news sites allow you to get information not only as soon as possible, but also as accurately as possible. It is this publication’s job and my personal mission to keep you, the reader, informed about the solar sector with complete accuracy. Our website is updated daily to let you know what legislators, companies and other industry players are doing and saying. Although we rarely use the “as of press time” phrase online, it comes in handy when we’re in a rush to post breaking news but still waiting on additional details or comments.
We typically aim to keep online posts a bit shorter, because let’s be honest – when on your smart phone, you might not want to read a 3,000-word analysis, which could seem infinite or daunting while scrolling on a small screen. You want succinct but sufficient information and to be able to continue your busy day, whether it be at work, at home or, in some lucky instances, on a well-deserved vacation. Of course, given the ever-changing internet and news flow, blink and you might miss an online story, which is why we also offer a twice-weekly e-mail newsletter to provide you with a chance to catch up.
Nonetheless, print allows you to slow down and read longer, more in-depth analyses and get further informed when the time is right. It also provides us and third-party experts an additional opportunity to cover relevant topics every month dictated not necessarily by the daily news cycle but by their ultimate need to be addressed for the industry overall. Plus, call me old-fashioned, but as a former English major and long-time bookworm, I think there’s something satisfying about the texture of paper: It’s almost as if you can feel the weight of the words.
As an editor, however, producing a print magazine comes with challenges. My team and I put together each month’s magazine a couple weeks before the issue makes it to your mailbox, as it takes time to print and ship. Something might happen within those two weeks that can affect the accuracy of a printed article, though those instances are very rare. To be safe and transparent, we include the phrase “as of press time” whenever a specific outcome could be subject to change. For example, in our June issue and after double-checking with insiders, we stated that the Florida governor was expected to sign a pro-solar bill into law as of press time. He did so on June 16.
Nevertheless, some stories are evolving far too quickly during our magazine production process that we may decide to hold off on our coverage in order to avoid risk and ensure accuracy. For instance, I had written a feature article about the Suniva trade case, an important industry development, for that same June issue. The U.S. government had already set a schedule for its investigation, and Suniva was the sole petitioner. On the same day we were slated to send the June issue to the printers, SolarWorld Americas surprisingly announced it was joining the case as a co-petitioner. It became apparent that the story needed more time to settle before we risked publishing a print analysis, and at the last minute, we omitted the article.
Between my initial attempt at the trade case story and as of press time, not much else has changed. Therefore, I have included an updated article in this July issue with comments from the parties involved and additional insights. Because the solar sector continues to grow and things are always changing, I encourage you to keep checking our website, solarindustrymag.com, for daily news coverage and any future developments on the trade case, and stay tuned for upcoming print magazines for more in-depth analysis and to learn about broader industry issues. As always, thank you for your readership and for trusting us as an information source.