Staff Standpoint | January 2019 Hearing Review

It doesn’t seem possible, but The Hearing Review turned 25 years old in January. If someone had told me in November 1993 that I’d be writing about hearing healthcare 25+ years later, I would have been very skeptical. However, when you see the huge number of people in our field with far more years under their belts, you can appreciate the dedication that readers of HR have in helping those who struggle with hearing loss. Although 25 years is a worthwhile milestone to acknowledge, there are many who have been in practice and in the industry for decades longer. In fact, I sometimes joke that one day we’ll publish a spiderweb-like graphic that traces the interwoven career paths of the people in our field. (Well, maybe that’s more of a threat than a joke!) However, this is a field where it’s not wise to burn bridges, and that’s because, for the most part, it’s still an industry made up of people who are making a real difference in the world. They’re people with passion.


As an editor, this makes my life easier on many different levels. First, it should be obvious that it just makes things much more interesting and satisfying. You’re given the honor of working with a lot of really smart, often-funny, engaged people. Second, people who have a passion in life often want to contribute and share their knowledge. That makes article procural, curation, and editing much easier and more gratifying. In numerous cases, I’ve seen our authors and presenters (and their skills for disseminating information) blossom by contributing to Hearing Review both in print and online; I’ve seen their reputations grow, their careers advance, and new doors open to them. Writing and presenting ideas requires the distillation of ephemeral concepts into concrete thought; it makes you think through an idea. As Bill Wheeler said, “Good writing is clear thinking made visible.” I encourage anyone reading this to share your ideas with your colleagues—whether through HR or via other venues. I’ve developed a profound respect for anyone who does. It’s certainly not easy—or risk-free to “put yourself out there”—and I’m immensely grateful to those who have taken the time to write articles, participate in interviews, and help build our audiological literature, especially those contributors to Hearing Review. Third, a natural by-product of passion is emotional response. You might not think it, but getting chewed out by someone or “engaging in healthy debate” is much easier when you realize that it’s not really personal. (Well, not most of time!) Complex issues are multifaceted. I’m truly thankful to those who do take the time to present “the other side”—even when that means I have to keep the phone receiver a couple inches from my ear.

There is also a crucial business aspect to publishing a trade magazine. Through the years we’ve been blessed with an industry that believes in supporting information dissemination and advertising so we can publish the wide variety of authors, ideas, and viewpoints found in The Hearing Review. Their support has allowed us to run landmark features and special issues that span the gamut from industry-changing market reports and research, innovative how-to articles for improving hearing aid fittings and diagnostics, to technical briefs and legislative reviews. But, as the Apollo astronauts were fond of saying, “No bucks, no Buck Rogers.” If we did not have the support of the advertisers you see in this magazine, the information flow would end quickly. So, thanks to those companies who continue to support HR as a respectful meeting place for information between professionals, industry, academia, and others.


During the holidays, I was fortunate enough to bump into HR’s founder, Lars Fladmark (pictured with me above), at a party. Lars, a long-time publishing executive, had the initial vision to start HR. We talked about the harrowing days with our little start-up group who cranked out the premiere issue in January 1994: Editorial Director Marjorie Skafte, Publisher Pauline Davies, Managing Editor Shirley Brandt, and Production Manager Pat Kelley—back when everything was done by mail, foot, fax, and phone. This magazine has been blessed with some of the most dedicated and talented staff members—including today’s staff of Roy Felts, Ashley Miller, Stefani Kim, and others listed on our masthead. The changes never end, and we’re looking forward to seeing what will be in HR and what’s in store for hearing care in the future!

Citation for this article: Strom KE. HR celebrates 25th anniversary. Hearing Review. 2019;26(1):6.