For volume 49 of Arthur, we have built our editorial platform around three fundamental goals: increase the quantity and diversity of coverage while at the same time maintaining quality, foster a culture of collaboration and support within the staff collective, grow the paper’s presence within the Trent University and Peterborough communities.
In order to accomplish these goals, we are proposing a minor restructuring of Arthur’s staffing model. First, some of the support staff positions, such as Distribution Manager, will be eliminated and the responsibilities subsumed into the editors’ position. This will minimize the bureaucracy of the organization, giving us the flexibility to hire more content staff.
Second will be the formalization of staff writing positions into two content bureaus: “News” and “Arts & Culture.” Currently, there are few writing positions tied to specific “beats” which we think has hindered the paper’s ability to cover important issues and events within our communities. The bureau model will rectify this as it will better define the roles and responsibilities of Arthur’s paid writers. In addition to the current sports and science reporter positions, which will be maintained under Arts & Culture, we will create several “Breaking News” positions for writers wishing to cover local and campus news that develops during the production week.
Along with this restructuring, we believe that Arthur needs to do a better job supporting its staff and volunteers. As senior staff, it is the responsibility of the editors to ensure that personnel are given the tools and resources necessary to achieve their potential. We will work to create an ongoing system of support that will help develop a spirit of collaboration and unity among the staff. This will begin early in the year with a comprehensive orientation session, and continue with regular events and activities for staff and volunteers.
Within any organization, open and honest communication is critical to fostering a sense of community. We will will work hard to develop open lines of communication between the staff collective and the editors. To help ensure this is the case, we will hold regular open office hours, create a Facebook group to serve as the primary hub for inter-staff communications and continue the employee-employer evaluation system. We will also create a Staff Contact Sheet similar to the one Trent Radio has for its staff and volunteers.
We believe the proposed staffing changes and the emphasis on support will lead to an increase in the amount of weekly content within Arthur. However, we also want to diversify content that is seen each week. In addition to the popular Street Style photo column, staff photographers will be encouraged to submit regular journalistic photo essays showcasing interesting perspectives on local issues. We will engage with campus clubs and groups to make sure their voices are heard within our coverage. This will mean not only offering them space for recurring columns, but also increasing the amount of themed issues such as the Feminist, Self-Love and Black History Month issues.
An increase and diversification of content will go hand-in-hand with focused attempts at growing Arthur’s profile within the Trent and Peterborough communities. Central to this is is expanding our physical presence on Symons Campus. If elected, we plan to regularly table on the Bata Podium, an initiative that will give ourselves, staff and volunteers the opportunity to engage directly with students and receive feedback and criticism from readers. Additionally, we will continue Arthur’s weekly show on Trent Radio to make our presence felt on the airwaves. Finally, we will conduct a targeted overhaul of the website with the goal of improving our online presence. This will include making articles easily searchable, adding a .pdf display application and creating an online version of our event and community listings section.
These are just just some of our ideas for volume 49. If you have any questions, comments or just want to talk about the paper, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. We look forward to hearing from you and are excited for the upcoming year.
Matthew Rappolt is a fourth year student and proud LECer majoring in Canadian studies with an emphasis in law and policy. He has been a member of Arthur’s Staff Collective since his second week at Trent, serving as a volunteer writer for volumes 45 and 46, TCSA News Reporter for volume 47, and a staff writer for volume 48. Throughout his time with the paper, Matt has covered campus, local, and national affairs and has interviewed almost half of Trent’s eight presidents. He is excited to help grow Arthur within the Trent community and ensure that it continues to reflect the voices of our university and local communities. Outside of Arthur, Matt has served as director on the boards of the PRCSA (Sadleir House) and the Peterborough Student Cooperative. He also plays drums in the local folk-rock band, I, the Mountain.
Pat Reddick is a Trent Alum (Class of 2013) and Co-Editor of Arthur’s volume 48. He has experience in virtually all aspects of the organization, having worked as Proofreader (volume 46) and Weekly Reporter (volume 47) prior to becoming Editor. His focus tends to be on the arts, but he’s written on campus and local issues as well, and has even delved into photojournalism. He has served as a Staff Collective Director on Arthur’s board. When he’s not working at Arthur, Pat spends his time reading (as if the English degree wasn’t enough) and wishing it were summer so he could bike all day again. He plays drums, too, but he’s not in a band.