Our names are Josh Skinner and Dan Morrison, and we are excited to officially announce our campaign for Arthur co-editors. Between us we have plenty of experience and a vibrant passion for journalism. Because of this, we are excited to continue our work through the unique, community-based platform that Arthur offers.
Both of us 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 quickly 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 longform 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 longform 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 a couple of 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 lots of opportunities, from bonding with the community and raising substantial funds for the paper, to stimulating new ideas and new ways to practice our ideals. A fair estimate now 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 recognise that we are each born into a certain narrative and, as white men, we are aware of the privilege this affords us. We recognise our responsibility to break these narratives, 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.
With this in mind, 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 and reporting original news.