Editor's Note: Are Your Currents Piling Up?
CURRENTS Article “I think that Currents is a great magazine. I just don’t have time to read it anymore.” You too? That’s not good. Comments like these are part of the reason Currents is now bimonthly. In fact, in our recent readership survey, 60 percent of you said you wanted to receive Currents six times a year instead of nine. Starting with this issue, you’ll have more time between print magazines to consume all the high-quality content on advancement trends, challenges, and innovative ideas you’ve come to expect.
Outlook: Why I Let Sources Read Stories Prior to Publication
CURRENTS Article I’ve known great reporters and editors over the years who never let their sources read a story before it’s posted or published. They’re afraid that they’ll be branded a flack. Or that their source will turn their masterpiece into a puff piece. Fresh, realistic-sounding quotes may come back sounding like software documentation.Give professors the draft of a story, some editors believe, and they’ll revise it to sound like an article for an academic journal. On many campus writing projects, source reviews are mandatory. The client paying to print and mail that viewbook or president’s report demands sign-off privileges—and should get them. But with magazines, the protocol is less clear. When I write or edit a piece for a college or university magazine, I usually invite source review. Here’s why:
CURRENTS Article Advice on editorial policies for sources reviewing stories; a website that generates inflated university titles; and acknowledgement of the struggles many students face in juggling studies and outside responsibilities.
10 Sacred Cows of Alumni Magazines (And Why You Should Rid Your Pages of Them)
CURRENTS Article A longtime editor reveals his list of wrongfully revered and oft-repeated publication practices, departments, features, and philosophies.
The Editor’s Dilemma: How Should You Cover Campaigns?
CURRENTS Article The development office wants stories in the alumni magazine about institutional campaigns and other fundraising efforts, but editors have a mandate to engage readers (and maintain their journalistic credibility). Several colleges and universities have effectively integrated these two interests in the magazine, and CURRENTS reveals the secrets to their success.
Crème de la Crème
CURRENTS Article In 2011, 268 bronze, silver, gold, and grand gold Circle of Excellence awards went to 171 colleges, universities, independent schools, and nonprofit organizations worldwide. Eight of those grand gold and gold award winners are profiled here.
CURRENTS Article Profiles of selected 2002 Circle of Excellence winners
CURRENTS Article Find out what other editors have to say about how to cover controversy in their alumni publications.
Making Magazine Magic
CURRENTS Article Alumni magazines need to tell compelling stories to engage the reader ... but how? The author gives 10 tips on how to find creative content that will leave your readers wanting more.
Signs of the Timing
CURRENTS Article Alumni magazine editors say good editorial planning is essential to good content. They use brainstorming retreats and frequent planning meetings to stay on track even as they realize they’ll have to cope with changes brought on by shifts in budget, advertising, campus priorities, and editorial snafus. This article is of interest to alumni magazine editors.
Closing Remarks: Courting Disaster?
CURRENTS Article A recent New Jersey court ruling regarding Rutgers Magazine jeopardizes the authority of institutions over the content of campus magazines. This column outlines the legal arguments for reversing this decision, maintaining that editorial decisions concerning a magazine’s content are not subject to the First Amendment, and that campus magazines may reject ads that conflict with reasonable policy.
Closing Remarks: A Matter of Trust
CURRENTS Article In the familiar battle between alumni magazine editors and campus administrators, Jones says, the civilian casualties are the magazines' readers, and their trust and faith in their institutions suffers the damage. A chief advancement officer with a development background, Jones crosses the traditional battle lines to take the side of the editors, maintaining that attempts at information management betray administrators' commitment to the purpose of higher education.
AdvanceWork: Your Themes Are Showing
CURRENTS Article Two alumni magazines tackle the challenge of developing single-topic issues
Write-Minded: Show Us Your Stuff
CURRENTS Article Readers are a source of knowledge and memories that can enliven an alumni periodical. To encourage readers to offer material for publication, present their voices in many ways, such as through class notes, letters, or opinion surveys. This article offers topic ideas for reader participation features and provides tips for maximizing response.
Write-Minded: I Spy a Story
CURRENTS Article Magazine staff can find story ideas through sources like faculty grant proposals and sabbatical applications, news clips, and student publications, as well as by asking development staff, student telephone callers, and others to pass on the tales or trends they come across.
Closing Remarks: Keep Those Letters Coming
CURRENTS Article Editorial guidelines for alumni correspondents