A team effort at Current

By Dean’s Intern Sean Meehan at Current

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Sean contributing in a meeting at Current.

The first thing that struck me when I started at Current was the size of the staff. I’ve only worked in a few newsrooms, but with a six-person editorial team (including me), Current is the smallest I’ve worked in.

Nonetheless, Current puts out a 16-24 page paper every other week and is constantly updating their website with new content. While the small news team means that there is a lot of responsibility on the shoulders of all the reporters, I’ve also come to learn some major advantages of working in a small newsroom.

The first advantage is evident every morning. At 10, the entire editorial staff meets to go over what we’re doing that day. Each reporter shares what they will be working on and everybody has the chance to make suggestions or give the reporter the contact info for someone they should contact. The meetings also give us a chance to coordinate the timing of articles so that we always have something fresh to put on the website.

These daily meetings not only help with contacting the right sources and planning out the paper logistically, they also bring the newsroom together and underscore the idea that the newspaper and the website are a collaborative team effort. They also make sure that everybody, even the intern, gets a chance to weigh in on our biggest stories and editorial decisions.

Because of the small news team, Current also has a three stories policy, meaning people are usually working on three stories at any given time – one longer, more in-depth piece, one feature or shorter news item, and one news brief. As someone who is comfortable with multitasking, I love this system, because it means that there’s no wasted time waiting to hear back from sources or editors, I can simply shift gears and work on another project.

My large project is one looking into state funding for public media, so whenever I’m not reporting something more immediate, I’m reaching out to different state legislatures to see if public media funding has rebounded since the recession. This project was daunting at first, but has gotten easier knowing that all of my coworkers are willing and able to help every day in our morning meeting.