Fresh. Cutting-edge. Honest. Edgy. Impactful. Current.
Our staff has been working diligently to produce a publication that encompasses all of these values — and we believe we’ve done it with our new magazine, The Current, set to launch on Nov. 20, 2019. Michigan State University’s campus has no shortage of magazines, yearbooks and newspapers covering important topics, spewing out humorous satire, opinion rants, hard-hitting news and exciting feature stories. What we found it was lacking, though, was a publication specifically focused on addressing important, controversial issues in an honest, investigative light. And, written by students. Thus, The Current was born.
It all started on the first day of class when our professor, Kate Birdsall, said we would be creating a brand new magazine from scratch under the publishing umbrella of M3 Group, a Lansing-area branding and advertising agency. Naturally, our communal first thought was: how? Yet here we are, merely days away from the official launch, ready to share this stirring content with the world. While we did not make it here without stress or tight deadlines, we made it here as a team with one shared mission: impact our campus and the capital city with meaningful stories destined to spur change.
Mark Ostermeyer, an editor for The Current’s first issue, has long-been a copy editor for The State News, an established campus publication known for its breaking news content, sports features and student stories. Working on The Current was an entirely new playing field for Ostermeyer, and it was clear how important teamwork and compromise was in its creation. He wasn’t returning to an acclaimed news outlet to continue pushing it’s already well-known brand, as is the case at The State News. He was creating something entirely from scratch.
“Working with a group like M3, we had to manage their vision with our own vision,” said Ostermeyer. “Us working together was super crucial…Making this magazine from scratch, we had this rough draft vision and it was a matter of how do we work together to keep that vision similar but also adapt it based on what M3 wants, what our professor wants and what we want.”
The first issue of this magazine is tackling topics from sexual assault to climate change. In a journalistic manner, but with our own sense of pizzazz and personality, we have driven the discussion of each significant subject with care. From interviews with compelling sources sharing their powerful stories to our hours-long travels down internet rabbit holes, we’ve put time and effort into handling these stories with care and accuracy.
“After being a journalism major for four years, this is definitely the first story I’ve gotten to do that isn’t just ‘go report on your beat in Okemos.’ It’s like, you get to go report on something that’s important to your community and important to you,” said Bridget Bartos, a writer for The Current’s first issue.
This is the work of student advocates, empowered through storytelling. Whether we are shedding light on a humble community sharing stories in The Poetry Room or addressing the stigma of metal musicians and mental health, our writers drafted and finalized each element of The Current with a goal to inspire our readers.
“I’m really excited to just hold the final copy,” said Sophie Schmidt, an editor for this issue of The Current. “You spend a lot of time and late nights writing and editing and taking photos, and many times all you do is just turn that into the teacher. But we get to hold it in our hands, and there’s always something magical about seeing your name in print.”
So, join us for a cup of warm coffee at Blue Owl Coffee’s East Lansing location Nov. 20 where we will officially launch our new publication with the community. Or, the next time you’re roaming through campus or sitting in a coffee shop, just keep your eyes peeled for that matte cover page and bold logo. Our publication, The Current, may be sitting beside you just waiting to be picked up. We urge you to turn the page and take a journey into our months-long project and final product.
Sydney Naseef is a journalism major and public relations minor in the Honors College at Michigan State University graduating in 2020. She is working as a student practitioner at Martin Waymire, an award-winning PR firm in Lansing, Michigan. When Sydney isn’t at work or in class, she likes to spend her time writing, taking photos or exploring her new love for graphic design—all while listening to The 1975, of course.