Our names are Josh Skinner and Dan Morrison, and we are excited to announce our campaign for Arthur co-editors. We have plenty of experience and are passionate about journalism, and we are excited to continue our work through the unique, community-based platform that Arthur offers.
We recognise that we are each born into a certain narrative. As white men, we are aware of our privilege, whilst recognising our responsibility to break these narratives. We strive to achieve these goals, and thus this would shape our editorship, if elected.
We love the work that Arthur has allowed us to do in the past year. As an exchange student from the UK, Dan has enjoyed being thrown into the Peterborough community, where he fell in love with the place and the people. He relished the chance to explore new avenues through covering student events, managing to challenge grand narratives and hypocrisies with Op Eds. Through Arthur, Josh has covered city council meetings and brought municipal issues to the Trent student body. Josh has also been working tirelessly on Arthur’s board as treasurer, to understand the root of the financial issues that have hindered the newspaper in the past and present.
Dan co-founded the blog Foreword, where youth from across the world write about navigating society. The blog’s diverse content, ranging from poems to long-form pieces on the politics of the day, is geared towards breaking down the times we live in.
Josh has worked for himself since 2014 with his radio show Trent Variety. His show covers local news in Peterborough through interviews with local politicians and community members. He is focused on bridging the gap between Trent University and the broader Peterborough community.
The experience we have gained in these roles includes: coordination of contributors, administrative know-how, and, most importantly, journalism with integrity. We will harness these skills to make Arthur more than a newspaper and make it a creative, collaborative, community.
At the forefront of this, we have begun discussions with a number of Peterborough bars and cafés about establishing working relationships. Several have expressed their interest, should we be elected, and we have a discussed a framework with one of them. With this policy we would collaborate to hold events several times every term at each place. Arthur should work with the diverse community as well as being the student voice in Peterborough, offering the community as much as it can offer us. These collaborations raise many opportunities, from bonding with the community and raising substantial funds for the paper, to stimulating new ideas and ways to practice our ideals. A fair estimate suggests we could raise the equivalent funds to hire an additional, unsubsidised staff member.
Further, we would assign reporters to specific roles, in order to establish consistency, This would allow writers to develop and carve out a niche for themselves. In allowing writers to nurture their specific interests, we see that this will improve the quality of coverage, giving writers the opportunity to pull out emerging trends in their area. Specialization enables writers to stay on top of stories, as they get to know their field better and establish contacts. We envisage that this would see us pick up new areas to report on: for example, there’s little writing on food in Peterborough. This will breed a sense of community for readers, who will quickly become familiar with the writers that interest them.
We also plan an incentive for student submissions that diversifies our contributor list and content. This will be a 3 for 5 model, in which students from a broad background of studies will have the chance to improve their grades by having 3 articles accepted and published in exchange for a 5% boost in their grade. This policy will target people who struggle in a traditional classroom setting, whilst increasing the staff collective’s numbers which have steadily fallen since 2014.
We have many more ideas for Arthur, including expanding the use of the website and social media. You can find more information about our platform at https://danandjoshforarthur.wordpress.com/. Here, you will find further explanations of policies described above, as well as more about a proposed research project, comparing and contrasting the ways western media discusses First Nations and Muslim women.
We are aware of our privilege and the responsibility it brings; to dismantle colonial and romanticizing discourses wherever they are. To borrow words from our friend Brendan Campbell, we will always seek to amplify the voices of those uncomfortable with the stage, or to move aside for those who are.
The paper will be defined by action, pro-action and participation. We won’t just resist oppressions but actively take the lead against them.
Arthur will be ahead of the game, finding the next big things of Peterborough.
Who’s this guy?
Jeffrey Moore here. I’m the guy with all the passion for helping others reach their goals and become the best they can be, and since I earned my B.Ed. at Trent University I’ve been following that passion to improve every community I touch. I’ve taught English, math, and science in remote fly-in communities. I’ve been a program coordinator for the community bike shop, B!KE, where I mentored community members and volunteers in bike maintenance. I’m a mentor and managing director of Peterborough Independent Podcasters, where I help people from all walks of life make the podcasts of their dreams.
I’ve also created promotional materials in every organization I’ve worked for using InDesign, the same layout software Arthur uses. Oh, and I’m a long-time Arthur lover.
I’ve been on Arthur’s board for two years, steering the organization through troubled waters and advocating for training for staff and board members. To me, Arthur is the ultimate hands-on learning environment for aspiring journalists, and I want to ensure that every contributor gets the opportunity to develop their skills and explore their voice. But because we stumbled into a bit of a financial crisis, Arthur needs a capable and experienced manager at the helm to ensure our contributors are still getting the guidance they need to grow.
With my management, design, and education experience, I’m certain I can ensure that this organization continues to help its contributors excel.
How will he do that?
Feedback. Lots of it. In fact, I’ll provide feedback on every article submitted to the paper, and I’ll offer coaching to anyone who wants it. This feedback will borrow from my experience as an educator, focusing on positives and providing next steps to improve each contributor’s work.
I will connect interested contributors with experienced mentors—both within the paper’s staff and within the community. I’ve already spoken to writers and photographers who’ve offered to volunteer as mentors. What’s more, photography and writing mentorship will be available to any contributor—regardless of speciality. My goal is for every staff member at Arthur to have ample opportunity to develop any journalistic skills they wish to.
To that end, I’ll be treating features a little differently. At the beginning of the year, each writer will pick a topic they’re passionate about, and for that topic they will oversee the development of a featured centerfold. This means working with me and the other staff to secure interviews, perform research, capture photographs, and lay out the feature from scratch using InDesign. This will be a patient and guided process to allow the writer to build confidence in a variety of journalistic skills—becoming a very appealing candidate for today’s jack-of-all-trades journalism industry.
To make all of this work, I’m going to be relying on feedback, communication, and collaboration from my contributors. I’ll be available through a wide variety of channels ranging from Facebook messenger and SMS to an Arthur-only chat and voice channel, and I’ll be working five days a week with an open door during student-friendly office hours.
Deadlines will be staggered throughout the week to even out Arthur’s workload, and contributors will have access to a ‘story bounty board’ to pick and suggest leads for stories without having to wait for story meetings.
What’s going to be in the paper?
Much like Trent Radio facilitates a diversity of voices through its producer-oriented programming, Arthur’s content will be writer-focused with a simple guiding principle:
Arthur will tell the stories of interesting people doing interesting things. Through following their passions, writers will cover a diversity of topics and perspectives for such sections as Sports, Politics, Culture, and Academics.
You can also expect the same explosive and experimental photography that has made Arthur a welcome addition to many counters and walls, and I will be partnering with Arthur’s photographers to give readers an opportunity to purchase prints of their favourite covers and pages in order to fundraise for additional issues and to support the photographers.
I also thought it would be nice to just have more Arthur, so I sought out the advice of an experienced editor to help get more pages into Arthur at a smaller print cost. That means more articles, more puzzles, more listings, and a calendar of upcoming events. And because Arthur is Trent University’s student paper, the paper will feature regular columns from student groups and, if all goes well, a multilingual section of the paper where non-English articles will be published next to an English translation.
Finally, because I despise reading an article and feeling incited without an outlet, I will ensure that Arthur’s articles end with next steps for anyone wishing to make a change.
If you’re feeling incited now and looking for next steps, I hope you’ll consider voting for me as your next editor.