The University of Vermont launched this week the Center for Community News, a national initiative to support local newsrooms around the country.
Building on UVM’s Community News Service, the $400,000 non-partisan project is funded through the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and matched by generous donors in the College of Arts & Sciences at UVM.
The Center for Community News was inspired by the success of UVM’s Community News Service (CNS), a program that pairs student reporters with professional editors to help small local newspapers tell the stories of their communities. Since its launch in 2019, CNS reporters have produced more than 1,000 stories and collaborated with dozens of print, online and broadcast news outlets. It has been both a newsroom and a laboratory for experimentation in creative ways to address the challenges facing local news. The extraordinary potential for growth and demand from other regions inspired the creation of the Center for Community News.
UVM is already training citizens at every stage of life on the ethics, mechanics, and skills of responsible local journalism. These are individuals who are learning to write stories on local governance and elections, civil rights, environmental issues, and more which can serve as supplemental coverage for local newsrooms. UVM’s Community News Service just graduated its third class of citizen reporters, in partnerships with the Nackey Loeb School of Communications in New Hampshire. AARP highlighted this program and its enormous potential in a recent feature. A new session begins this week.
The Vermont Daily Chronicle has published many Community News Service stories, including:
- Vermont allows inmates to vote – but they don’t
- Vandalism linked to ‘hate,’ Feather murder, Fox coverage of school webinar
- Enough of San Francisco! Traveler to 100 countries calls Williston home
- Teen Challenge gives back on Green Up Day
- Winooski lawmaker, deputy mayor to retire
- $100 mil ticketed for rural internet
- Jr. Iron Chef makes sizzling return
- Senate Finance chair eyes fed $$ to keep jails and prisons funded and safe