Welcome to Santa Barbara Current

Who Are We?

The Santa Barbara Current was created to provide a platform for independent-minded journalism, analysis, and opinion. Edited by Jim Buckley, the founder of the Montecito Journal, the Santa Barbara Current is a venue for thoughtful and informed content creators to engage directly with their audience. 

Santa Barbara Current published its first edition on November 15, 2023. In addition Editor-in-Chief, Jim Buckley (Jim@SBCurrent.com), the Current was cofounded by Bonnie Donovan (Bonnie@SBCurrent.com), Christy Lozano (Christy@SBCurrent.com) and publisher James Fenkner (fenkner@SBCurrent.com)

To Our Writers:

You are now a professional writer, and you will be one of a rare breed. As a pro with some common sense, you will be required to restrict yourself to certain rules and regulations inspired by the Current’s benevolent yet exacting editorial overseers and to hue closely to the following standards:

Rule Number One: Always, always, always, put your name and contact on your actual document. You should begin all contributions with an identifying headline (that may or may not be altered by us) along with your byline. For example:

“My Long and Dreary Life Story”

By Jacques l’Ennui

Just as in, say, mail-in voting, whereby once a ballot is removed from its envelope, there is no way to confirm the identity of the voter, once your contribution is separated from your e-mail, we have no way of identifying the author (you).

Rule Number Two: Include all web links, either embedded in text or numbered at bottom of article, and if you are including graphics, please provide source and a suggested caption.

Rule Number Three: Try to be both chatty and informative. “Chatty” in that you are communicating informally, as to a friend, not a potential employer. “Informative,” meaning there should be factual stuff that can be verified. Little tidbits of information, presented in a chatty way, are best. For example: “My bartender friend, Mal (short for Malheureusement), graduated from Harvard and lived in Paris for two years but drank too much Absinthe, which blinded him to other opportunities.”

Rule Number Four: Stick to your subject. If you’re writing about bananas, stay with their substance, taste, and peels, even their history. Don’t wander off into coconut palms or ICBMs.

5) Bring up persons, places, and events with any connection with Santa Barbara, wherever appropriate and/or possible.

6) We don’t publish promotional or PR pieces. Please do not discuss the products and/or services you provide, even if your article revolves around something you regularly sell or promote.

7) We cannot infringe on a third party’s copyright. Neither can you.

8) Try not to be too disparaging, though when doing a political piece; that may be difficult, so you have some leeway there. Remember, you should be trying to convince not berate your readers.

9) It’s best to quote comments or speeches rather than paraphrase them. Make sure you can cite the reference.

10) Try to stay under 1,000 words; 850 seems a good readable length. Don’t forget to add web links whenever possible.

11) When writing an opinion piece, stick to your own original estimation. If you are going to reference someone else’s, do it in quotes. Rule of thumb: if other local media will publish it, you should probably approach them first, as it may not be strong enough for us!

12) Every article in SB Current needs to be vetted for possible libel, so please understand that we may remove something with libelous potential.

13) All articles accepted are subject to being edited, altered, re-arranged, and otherwise made more readable!

14) SB Current reserves the right to use your output in any of our products in any way we see fit unless otherwise specified or agreed to.

This style guide is effective as of April 10, 2024.  As style does change, look for future revisions and the latest version on www.sbcurrent.com/about

We encourage all writers to reach out with their article ideas in advance by writing to Jim@SBCurrent.com (Editor-in-Chief) and fenkner@SBCurrent.com (Publisher).

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The cultural, economic, and political currents that impact our lives on Santa Barbara's central coast. Reach out to us at editor@sbcurrent.com


Husband to 1, Brother to 2, Father to 4
Jim is the founder of Montecito Journal and was its Editor/Publisher until 2019. He was chief political columnist for the Santa Barbara News-Press and is now Editor-in-Chief of Santa Barbara Current (sbcurrent.com).