Arthur Editorship Platforms 2020-2021

Nick Taylor and Brazil Gaffney-Knox, Arthur Editorial Candidates for Volume 55. Photo by Ethel Nalule.

Hello Arthur Newspaper staff collective. We are Nick Taylor and Brazil Gaffney-Knox, and we are here to introduce ourselves and our platform for the volume 55 editorship of Arthur. We are both very excited for this opportunity to share our hopes and dreams for Arthur, and demonstrate why we think we are the right team for this job. 

Nick Taylor:

Hello! My name is Nick Taylor and I am a fourth year International Development Studies and Philosophy student who has been living in Peterborough/Nogojiwanong since September of 2016. For as long as I can remember, I have loved to write – whether it’s academic work, poetry, or journalism. Naturally, I was drawn to Arthur in first year as I quickly became an avid reader of the paper, learning a great deal about my community in the process. In second year, I decided to become more involved in this paper I had come to love, and applied to become a Staff Writer. Over the next two years, I would write over thirty articles, spanning topics around housing, gentrification, decolonization on campus, student politics, municipal and provincial politics, as well as local arts and culture. My work at Arthur has been incredibly formative, influencing my approach to journalism and ultimately, my life aspirations. This work also served as a wonderful introduction to both Trent and Ptbo/Nogo communities, inspiring me to get involved further. Over the past four years, I have been a programmer/operator/employee at Trent Radio, a member of the Saldeir House Board of Directors, a Champlain College O-Week leader, the Head of the Speaker’s Committee for the Community Movements Conference, and a member for the Board of Directors for this very newspaper. These experiences have made me deeply appreciative of, and passionate about, the many eclectic and extraordinary parts of my community. I hope that in the role of co-editor, I am able to serve this community that has given me so much. 

Brazil Gaffney-Knox:

I, Brazil Gaffney-Knox, am a Trent student who has been living in Peterborough/Nogojiwanong for almost four years, working on an undergraduate degree in Philosophy and Environmental Science. Throughout my time here, I have found it necessary to spread my energies around as much as possible, lest I die of boredom. This is not to say that I haven’t focused on academic work, but more that I have invested deeply in non-academic projects in the Trent and Ptbo/Nogo communities. My community involvement spans from managing Trent Apiary for three years, doing radio shows at Trent Radio, and sitting on their Board as both a member, and currently as the President and Chair. I have volunteered with and worked for other levy organizations like the Seasoned Spoon Cafe and the Trent Vegetable Gardens. I delight in making connections between these organizations and the people who make them up. I am an illustrator and I believe that I can bring a strong set of design skills to this position. As well, I am excited to bring my many connections that span the Trent and Ptbo/Nogo communities. I see myself not only as a Trent student, but as a citizen of Ptbo/Nogo, and I hope to serve both constituencies in this role.

Editing Arthur requires strong conceptual and practical competencies, and we believe we can offer both. We have experience in leadership and governance roles in not-for-profit organizations. As well, we have experience managing multiple projects at once, delegating responsibilities, and coordinating volunteers and employees. We think that these experiences we bring are relevant to the editorial role, as editors rely on a prepared, effective, and well-organized team for every publication. Our shared experience sitting on boards, in Nick’s case Sadlier House and Arthur, and Brazil’s as President and Chair Trent Radio, affords us significant competency working with not-for-profits, and the unique challenges and possibilities they present.  

Much like the outgoing editorship, we see Arthur as a symbol of the relationship between the city of Peterborough and Trent University. As such, our goals as editors will be to continue to strengthen this bridge, and work on new projects to enhance the potential of Arthur in both these domains. 

If we can take anything out of our experience with the Student Choice Initiative, it should be that engagement with Trent students is vital to this organization. Unfortunately, Arthur had one of the highest op-out rates at Trent. While this is certainly due to a variety of factors, we think it is still a sign that Arthur should continue to value and serve the needs of Trent students. To do this we would strategically plan a market research/student engagement campaign to learn more about Trent students themselves, as well as to understand how they engage with Arthur and how this relationship can improve. We see increasing social media presence, polling students on social media, and providing clear and consistent financial transparency as the foremost methods of cultivating a strong and long lasting relationship with students. 

We also think that the climate crisis is a unifying topic for students and community members alike. We see that a dedicated climate crisis column could help to ensure that Arthur is relevant to readers’ lives. In order to accomplish columns like this, we want to expand the research and internship possibilities for students at Arthur. This means in-person classroom visits to relevant classes in the fall to encourage student participation in these positions. 

Finally, as two white settlers taking on this role, we would commit to working with organizations that can fill gaps in our perspectives (eg. TUNA, TISA). We want to ensure that Arthur strives to continue to engage with its membership in an anti-oppressive manner, providing marginalized and under-represented communities with a platform to have their voices heard. We also want to maintain the precedent of availability and accessibility to the membership/community that has been set by our outgoing editors. 

And while Arthur is imperative to a well-functioning and democratic Trent community, we believe that Arthur’s role in the greater Ptbo/Nogo community cannot be understated. In recent years, it has become increasingly apparent that local media is lacking in its diversity of perspectives represented. We feel as though our independent paper helps to remedy this, and we want nothing more than to continue this work. 

As such, we hope to maintain and expand Arthur’s partnerships with local businesses and organizations to increase advertising revenue, and ensure the financial stability of Arthur. Part of this will be ensuring that our readership is up to date with local events. We hope to set up an online calendar that merges both Trent events and Ptbo/Nogo events, keeping both communities connected to one another. Arthur has always been a prevalent source of local arts and culture coverage, and we hope to continue to share with our readers the incredible work of Ptbo/Nogo’s vibrant arts community. Further, we want to ensure that Ptbo/Nogo’s municipal politics are well documented in Arthur, and we hope that through a community research project, we can inspire Trent students to create recurring coverage on these issues.

We want to thank you for taking the time to get acquainted with us, as well as our hopes and dreams for this 54 year old fixture in Peterborough/Nogojiwanong. If you have any further questions about us or our platform, don’t hesitate to get in touch. We would love to talk further with members of this community to gain a better understanding of how Arthur can serve its membership. We sincerely hope to have your support in this upcoming election, as we would love to have the opportunity to prove all that we have to offer this organization.