Why I love print, for better or worse // Editor’s Note

Photo by Ian Patterson
A love letter to print media

By Melissa Kluger

On Wednesday September 6th, 2017


First loves are special. They stay with you. They can shape your life, thrill you and hurt you to your core. And so it was with me and my first love: print.

It was 1981. Mrs. Young’s kindergarten class. I can only remember a few things now: an avocado plant that grew its way around the classroom, my drawing of Ronald Reagan recovering in the hospital after an assassination attempt, and a purple book. The brand- new book, thin and crisp, was part of an early-reader series at a level that no classmate had yet reached. I was first to crack its spine and enjoy that new-book smell. But as I opened the book, full of anticipation, I got a paper cut — the edge of one of its pages slicing deep into the flesh of my five-year-old finger. I loved that book and it hurt like hell. I forgave the book, however, and my love affair with print continued as I grew up. In Grade 6, I volunteered at the school library, mainly to have regular access to new books. From there, I took on every sort of self-publishing: journals, scrapbooks, diaries and photo albums. I also edited school newspapers and yearbooks.

That basically explains how we got here, with you holding my magazine in your hands. Well, for a little more detail, see this issue’s cover story.

Ten years ago, I stood on the factory floor of a printing plant in Pickering, Ont., as the first issue of Precedent literally rolled off the press. From that day forward, I have delighted in finding great stories about lawyers and then choosing the best writers, editors, artists and designers to help me tell it. And when I hold each issue in my hands, I know how much work went into it — every photo carefully selected, every headline cleverly crafted, every comma accounted for. It always thrills me. It’s what I love so much about print.

I also share my love of print with my daughter. As she begins Grade 2, her love of reading has taken off. We visit different libraries around Toronto. We subscribe to children’s magazines. Every morning, we read the newspaper together at breakfast. And she recently asked me, “Mommy, what’s the scoop?,” as she, unprompted, drafted her own newspaper with sports, news and “antertainment” sections.

Am I being naive about print? Hell, yes. Whatever I write about the wonders of print will, inevitably, seem cute and shortsighted as the internet ravages what’s left of the publishing industry. But naïveté has gotten me this far, so I’m going to bask in it. To my advertisers, sponsors, family, friends, advisors, staff and readers: thank you for letting me be that fool who started a print magazine as the internet was booming and the economy was busting. It continues to be a privilege and a pleasure to share my love of print with you.




Melissa Kluger
Publisher & Editor

Post script: Team effort

Photo by 5ive15ifteen Studio

The Precedent staff, from left to right: Daniel Fish, Melissa Kluger, Stephanie Philp, Sissi Wang, Lauren Parrott

It’s been a long time since the first issue of Precedent came out 10 years ago. It wasn’t easy to create a magazine out of thin air or to keep up with the fast-paced changes in the media industry. But we’ve come a long way. Now, a decade later, we compete with the best of the Canadian publishing industry. This year, our senior editor, Daniel Fish, won gold at the National Magazine Awards for his exclusive profile of Michael Bryant. And, much to my surprise, the Canadian Society of Magazine Editors named me Editor of the Year.

I want to thank all the staff and freelancers who have contributed to Precedent over the past 10 years. Your talent, patience, creativity and curiosity have helped us make a fabulous publication. And thank you for loving print magazines as much as I do.

More from the Fall issue:

Opinion illustration

Alex Curry

Paul Jonathan Saguil

Style counsel illustration

tall building





Fall 2017 CoverThis story is from our 10th anniversary issue, published in Fall 2017.




Photo of Melissa by Ian Patterson; Photo of Precedent by 5ive15ifteen Studio