Sam Payton: Heading Up The Current's Revival

When our campus newspaper, The Current, was put on hiatus in the fall semester of 2017, there was skepticism surrounding the topic of the publication making its return. As has happened with other clubs and organizations on campus, it looked like it may be the end, but now-senior Sam Payton joined together with Professor Bruning and a few other students and fought to get the paper back up and running again. Sam was kind enough to sit down with Her Campus Carthage and answer a few of our questions.

HC: Were you involved in The Current previously?

SP: I was part of the production design team and a photographer for the past two years.

HC: Why did you decide to revive The Current?

SP: I have worked on The Current since my sophomore year as a designer and photographer, and before that I was a part of my high school's newspaper and yearbook. It's something that is really important to me, and I wanted to keep it going since Carthage doesn't have a lot of options for people pursuing working for some sort of publication, whether it be newspaper or magazine. It's a great opportunity to learn, and I wanted to make sure students had that opportunity.

HC: Were you hoping/planning to take on the role of Editor-in-Chief from the beginning?

SP: I wasn't initially planning to take that role when we first began talking about bringing it back, but as we talked more and I thought about it, I realized I had a pretty good skill set to become Editor-in-Chief. I have previous experience in every aspect of the paper, including writing/reporting, photography, and design, so I figured it would be beneficial for me to be able to answer questions and guide the process from every angle of the news-mag.

HC: What duties did you have in taking on this position?

SP: I had to take on a lot of responsibilities, including recruiting people to work for The Current, finding an Editorial Staff and assigning roles to others, I oversee brainstorming meetings and make sure that people are writing their articles and performing their own duties. As acting Production Manager, I also oversee the layout and design of The Current. I also did a complete redesign over the summer, including new logos, colors, fonts, and colors in order to give it a fresh new look for when we brought it back this semester.

HC: What are you finding the experience like so far?

SP: I have loved the opportunity to help bring back The Current. It's something that I'm really passionate about, and I was so proud to see our first issue go all the way through to print. It's a good feeling to see your team's hard work turn into a finished product.

HC: What was the hardest aspect of bringing The Current back?

SP: The hardest part was finding enough people willing to participate in order to get enough material for print. We never really can have enough people working on it. It takes a lot to see it from start to finish, but I've got several people who do a lot to make sure that happens.

HC: What are you hoping to accomplish/what vision do you have for the future of the newspaper?

SP: My goal for this year is to get a good system going enough to set The Current up for success in future years. I would really like to set a good foundation for future classes to continue to run it. It's a lot of work, but it's also a lot of fun and it benefits everyone involved. It's a great way to build student's portfolios, and it's beneficial to have a way for people on campus to get some news, or read about something they might be interested in. I have a running joke with the staff that my goal for the semester is, "Keep it running and don't get sued." I want to make sure that students learn good journalism ethics, create pieces themselves and, in the end, make sure they have something that they're proud of. That way, everyone's happy all around.

With someone like Sam heading up the revival of The Current, there's no doubt that the publication will thrive and be enjoyed by students for years to come. From all of us here at HCC, good luck!