The Board of Directors of Central Current Inc. is pleased to announce Julie McMahon as its founding editor-in-chief. McMahon has worked in journalism for a decade, mostly in Central New York, as a reporter, editor and college professor. She will lead the organization’s news operation and the development of its online publication that will launch in 2022.
McMahon has covered criminal justice, education, government, breaking news and business as both a reporter and assistant editor at The Post-Standard in Syracuse, NY. She also worked for legal trade publications in Boston, MA, Providence, RI and New York City. She earned her undergraduate degree from SUNY Geneseo in 2011.
In addition to being a journalist, McMahon teaches news writing and reporting at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications in the magazine, news and digital journalism department. She also earned her master’s degree in journalism at Syracuse University.
“I’m excited to join the Central Current team, which has recognized the vital role journalism plays in democracy and in our community,” McMahon said. “I can’t wait to get to work and build a team that will serve Central New York through watchdog reporting and powerful storytelling.”
“Julie comes to Central Current with a strong passion for journalism and understands its vital role in helping our community be stronger,” said Anthony Malavenda, chair of Central Current’s Board of Directors. “She has extraordinary talent and a commitment to producing quality local news. Her strong belief in journalistic integrity and community engagement sets a great foundation for building our newsroom and establishing trust with our audience.”
McMahon starts her new position on Jan. 1 and will immediately begin work to develop Central Current’s newsroom. The newsroom will be located at the broadcast headquarters of WCNY in Syracuse’s near west side neighborhood. The newsroom will be in a dynamic community space that will also serve as a café and venue for engaging public officials and other news figures. Central Current’s Board of Directors has set a $1 million fundraising goal to assist in the launch of its news operations.
WCNY is a public media enterprise serving Central New York by broadcasting PBS, NPR, music and public affairs programming. While remaining independent organizations, WCNY and Central Current will partner in producing multimedia news content that will be distributed across Central Current’s digital platforms and WCNY’s broadcast channels.
“Partnering with WCNY is a terrific opportunity for our newsroom,” said McMahon. “It will give Central Current the opportunity to immediately engage with the community, and allow our journalists creativity in how we present and share the news and stories that are important to our region.”
McMahon has a track record of being an engaged journalist. She serves on the Syracuse Press Club’s board of directors, where she recently helped launch the Syracuse Journalism Lab – a project to inspire Syracuse high school students to pursue journalism careers. She has also coordinated Syracuse Press Club’s annual awards contest and recently oversaw the redesign of its website.
McMahon grew up in the Catskills. She enjoys camping in the Adirondacks and Thousand Islands and vacationing in the Berkshires. She has worked in the food service industry most of her life to support her journalism aspirations. When on sabbatical from journalism earlier this year, she took a job as manager of The Sweet Praxis bakery in downtown Syracuse. She and her partner Chris recently bought a home on the east side of Syracuse where they live with Mouse The Cat.