Little Village Magazine is a magazine in the Iowa City and Cedar Rapids area. Little Village was founded in 2001, and they cover politics, news and cultural events in the area.
Little Village has an online magazine, which publishes daily content, and it also includes a print magazine that is published every two weeks.
Paul Brennan, the news director of Little Village stated, “online, it’s typically the news regarding the events of the day in the Iowa City/Cedar Rapids area or at the state-level. The print magazine has longer feature-type stories and more cultural content, including things like music reviews.”
Brennan has worked in journalism around the country for 30 years.
He selects the news topics Little Village covers and writes almost all the online stories. He also often writes feature stories for the print magazine and edits the content. As well as mentoring college interns that Little Village hosts every summer!
Brennan describes his typical workday, “I’m reading the news, both local and national, trying to spot stories or information that might lead to stories. I start making notes on the stories I want to write that day–typically I write between 1 and 3 stories each day. Throughout the day, I’m writing and researching stories, as well as interviewing people. All day long, I monitor the news, read emails, review press releases and other documents published by city, county and state governments. I usually spend about 9 hours at the office.”
There are many things that need to be completed and accomplished before becoming a successful journalist. Brennan believes that “I’ve developed a reputation as a fast writer and reliable reporter with a wide-range of knowledge. I think my willingness to reexamine stories to find angles or information others have missed has been important in the success I’ve had.”
When asked what his favorite part of his job is, Brennan stated, “there are two answers to this question. First, I enjoy being able to engage with important and interesting events on a daily basis. Second, my co-workers: the people I work with at Little Village are very nice and great deal of fun to work with.”
When it comes to online material, Brennan writes almost all of it at Little Village. However, they have other writers for the print edition that often vary.
For an online story, once Brennan is finished writing and selecting the illustrations for the article, the article is reviewed by another Little Village editor, who checks for typos and makes sure everything is understandable.
For a print story, the author and editor work together to make improvements, until it is polished enough for print.
With recent technological advances, business has been harder for paper articles and news. Brennan says, “unfortunately, over the past 15 years the economics of the news business has changed radically, and many local newspapers and news site have either gone out of business or have drastically cut the amount of content they publish. Little Village is working to fill in the gaps that have been left by the withering of local news.”
However, he then goes on to tell, “for a long time and Little Village first attracted my attention because as other news organizations have been cutting back, it has been steadily growing. That is very unusual these days, and it’s why I was willing to move to Iowa City to take this job. I’m glad I did.”
Plus Brennan hints that “a major innovation for Little Village is planned for later this year, but I can’t talk about it right now. It’s still a secret.”
Pick up a paper copy of Little Village Magazine, or tune in daily to their website! It is important to read Little Village Magazine, to know what is going on in your community and to understand your community’s history and culture.