Colorado Media Project awards CSU Pueblo $25,000 grant

The+Colorado+State+University%E2%80%93Pueblo+welcome+sign%2C+located+at+2200+Bonforte+Blvd+in+Pueblo%2C+Colorado+July+7%2C+2017.

The Colorado State University Pueblo welcome sign is located at 2200 Bonforte Blvd. in Pueblo, Colorado, July 7, 2017. (Photo courtesy of Jeffrey Beall via Wikimedia Commons)

Piper Russell, News Reporter

The Colorado Media Project recently gave a grant of $25,000 to Colorado State University Pueblo’s media communication department.

According to the Colorado Media Project’s website, the grant will support the creation of Community Story Bureaus, which includes creating a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Advisory Board with a student leader and helping Pueblo students and citizen journalists with University resources.

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“We’re looking at making this a kind of cultural rewriting of how we pursue media and media storytelling,” said Regan Foster, an adjunct professor in CSU Pueblo’s department of media communication and faculty adviser of The Today, CSU Pueblo’s student newspaper.

Melissa Milios Davis, director of the Colorado Media Project, said the CSU Pueblo media department is looking to maximize the potential of The Today and their other forms of media, including their radio station, Rev 89 (KTSC-FM).

“One of the things we really liked about this project was just the idea that you’re really using an anchor institution in the community — one that is trusted and multifaceted and really community-oriented, like the University — to connect with the community and connect community stories,” Davis said.

Foster also spoke about building connections with the community. Foster said they’d like to increase students’ interactions with the community.

“We’re really interested in breaking down some of those barriers and getting our students into the community and having the community have access to points of communication — safe spaces where they can come in and tell their stories — and we can really elevate the narrative of Pueblo,” Foster said.

The grant is one of 25 grants totaling $957,150 that the Colorado Media Project announced in January. According to the Colorado Media Project’s announcement, the grants are to support Colorado journalists in “launching new projects and strengthening existing efforts to serve communities across the state.”

The Colorado Media Project, a community-led organization, began in 2018 as a response to a decline in local news across Colorado. The organization has now produced media ecosystem research, helped launch the nonprofit Colorado News Collaborative and supported individual newsrooms through the #newsCOneeds Matching Challenge and the Informed Communities Fund.

“A lot of journalists’ positions have gone away, and so local news reporting has just become more and more sparse across the state,” Davis said. “And that has a direct impact on communities and their ability to get local news about what’s going on in their communities and their local governments and their local schools. While this is kind of a business problem, it becomes a community problem. And so we are really excited to be a community response to that.”

Foster spoke about how CSU Pueblo’s communication department would like to use their resources and partnerships to improve the way people think about Pueblo.

“I hope that we’re able to revitalize the way that the rest of the community thinks of itself and then the rest of the state thinks about Pueblo,” Foster said.

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Reach Piper Russell at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @PiperRussell10.