Editor’s Note

Friday, September 10, 2004

I was in New Orleans last month to give a presentation dubbed “Maritime and the Media” at the GICA annual convention. Stereotypical stale introduction jokes aside (evidently, not many had heard this one, as it actually produced some laughter), the presentation gave me unencumbered time to assess what we do here, in the broad perspective. Now many, including the guy who signs my check, might assume that this is an ongoing rather than isolated process. But like many of you reading this, the daily, weekly, monthly and yearly job of multi-tasking, infinite deadlines and continual troubleshooting despite the best laid plans often leaves pondering “the big picture” low on the list. This industry, in general, has a noted aversion to media coverage of any type, an innate reaction built on many reasons, including generations of coverage by the general media only when things go terribly wrong. It’s a shame, really, because, case in point of my 24 hours in New Orleans, there are so many great stories to be told (though I must admit, most are followed by the disclaimer “but you can’t print that!”) Reading Dennis Bryant’s “Signed Confessions” starting on page 9, you might be tempted to dump me in the formerly mentioned media category. However it is an important story to tell, and all operators need to be aware of the lesson a few companies are learning to the tune of millions of dollars.

This edition is pivotal for a number of reasons, chief among them it is the one that will be going with us to SNAME in Washington and SMM in Hamburg. For those of you who have not been to either of these events for awhile, it would be a worthy venture to look again. SNAME maintains its leadership on the technical front, producing what is arguably the finest technical conference in the world with a broad range of topics to whet most any appetite. On the heels of an outstanding show in San Francisco last year, the exhibition is again sold out and the papers line-up for Washington will not disappoint. Additional information can be found on page 83, or by visiting www.sname.org.

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