A podcast from Beacon, NY

Covering Beacon, With Highlands Current Journalist Jeff Simms

Beaconites_Jeff Simms_20-05-19_031Image credit: Michael Isabell

Jeff Simms’ newspaper work has drawn him gradually north from his hometown of Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

After taking journalism classes in high school and college (Appalachian State University),  he held reporting jobs in Boone, NC, Baltimore  and eventually Beacon.

“It’s just what I was drawn to,” he says. “I enjoyed and still enjoy taking government-ese and complicated situations and explaining them in a way that they make sense to people.”

In 2015, six years after moving to Beacon, he started picking up assignments for The Current, covering issues like education, development and land use.

Now, like everyone else, he’s trying to do that work from home. Before Covid-19, The Current’s editors were planning a series of deep-dive features studying the community impacts of global issues like recycling and climate change. Jeff says the objective is to “not just cover something that’s discussed for 20 minutes in a meeting but really go into all facets of an issue and try to localize it so it makes sense and is relatable for people who are reading our newspaper.”

With social distancing in effect, the series is temporarily on hold.

“You need [face to face] interaction for those kind of stories,” he says. “I hope that as the restrictions ease somewhat we can get into more physical interaction. That’s where the really juicy stories come from.”

Also: Jeff’s inner journey, cycling the length of the Hudson River, what Covid-19 could mean for development.

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