The Current newspaper is no more. The free, weekly newspaper that was delivered to communities around South Jersey every Thursday published its last edition today.

News of the final paper appeared in a short article printed on page six of today's editions of the newspaper.

The Current and the Gazette Newspapers were a chain of 15 community newspapers in Atlantic and Cape May counties.

First published in 1997 by Catamaran Media of Marmora, the idea behind the paper was to offer comprehensive locally focused community coverage with weekly editorials, calendar listings, human interest stories, features, sports, and news.

The editions of the papers were broken up by community, or, in some cases two or three closely adjoined communities.

There were Currents of Somers Point, Linwood, and Northfield; The Current of Galloway Twp and Port Republic; The Current of Absecon and Pleasantville; The Current of Downbeach; and The Current of Mays Landing and Hamilton.

Other editions of the paper focused entirely on one community, such as The Current of Egg Harbor Township, The Gazette of Ocean City,  The Leader of Wildwood, The Gazette of Cape May, The Gazette of Upper Township, The Gazette of Middle Township, and The Beachcomber of Brigantine.

According to the Catamaran Media website, the paper was owned by Catamaran Media, a partnership of the Travers family and The Press of Atlantic City.

In 2014, The Press owner BH Media acquired full ownership of the newspaper chain.

I remember The Current as being a good place to see news about your neighborhood and community, along with very local classified ads and advertising.

The Current was the place where you would see a photo of your kid at the local Halloween party or ballgame. I still have a photo on the fridge of my girls that appeared in The Current when they were in grade school.

As time went on, though, the amount of community news declined and, in the age of the internet, the classified ads disappeared completely.

Gregg Clayton, a former six-year manager of advertising for the Atlantic County Currents posted his feelings on Facebook today about the final edition being published.

I understand why it’s happening but it still makes me sad.
I managed the advertising department of the Atlantic County Currents for about 6 years and met tons of great people.
It was a great job and we put out really good, strong newspapers, 6 different editions a week. Oh the times they are a changing.

Howard Wilson explained his view of the original business model of the paper.

I remember the first edition of the Currents. As I age maybe my memory is not true but here is how I remember the beginning of the Currents -- Jim Hopson's, idea to offer low cost advertising to local merchants. The reach of the Press was too broad and expensive for these local merchants. Each of the Currents zones were based on the local High School districts.

Peter Castellano remembered the higher level of community reporting papers such as The Current offered.

As a former 20-year member of the EHT Board of Education, I can tell you that local communities are losing a vitally important resource. The Currents used to have reporters assigned to cover the activities of the local town councils, school boards, and other boards and commissions. You can't get that type of information without an objective third party present, week after week, month after month. And you can't get it on social media either.

Gene Hall brought up the simple, yet topical local coverage that was part of the weekly coverage in The Current.

Without The Current I won’t know if anyone I know go arrested!


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