CU students across campus are expressing their voices with the release of a collaborative Community Journalism publication.
The CU Independent is gearing up for its April release of its first-ever Community Journalism issue, a collection of pieces written by CU community members. The publication should be released during the second week in April.
“The Community Journalism issue is a compilation of voices from around campus expressing their experience or experiences on the CU campus,” said Lauren Friedman, 22, a senior media studies major and editor-in-chief of the CU Independent.
The Community Journalism issue not only features students, faculty and staff’s essays, but also their stories, photographs and poetry. According to Friedman, “people of all different backgrounds and all different facets of life” submitted work to the Community Journalism issue.
“The reason why we did it that way was to give students voices that wouldn’t otherwise have one or to be a venue for students to be heard,” Friedman said.
According to Cameron Naish, 20, a junior news-editorial major and managing editor for the CU Independent, the staff received articles that depicted individuals’ positive, negative and neutral viewpoints of CU.
Alexis Smith, a senior news-editorial major and director of UCSU Diversity Affairs, said she submitted a piece about the instances of racism and sexism she has faced throughout her last four years in Boulder. Smith said she contributed to the Community Journalism issue because it offered a unique opportunity for her voice to be heard.
“I don’t think that students are given a forum to talk about these kinds of things often,” Smith said.
Smith noted that, at times, people from minority or low-income communities feel shut out and unable to voice their opinions.
“It’s important that students are able to identify with other students and see that they have commitments to the same struggles,” Smith said.
According to Friedman, the issue, which was conceptualized in the fall as a way to further represent the diverse cross-section of voices heard on campus, has been in the planning stages for months.
Like Friedman, Naish was immensely involved in putting together the Community Journalism issue. While the CU Independent has published print issues in the past, Naish said that the Community Journalism issue was the first open forum compilation of its kind. Unlike the fall print issue published earlier this year by the CU Independent, this compilation consists of independent student voices instead of articles just written by reporters.
“By opening it up to the public, we are representing voices that aren’t represented on a daily basis who deserve to be heard as much as everyone else,” Naish said.
Naish noted that despite the fact that the 60-person CU Independent staff strives to represent every voice on campus, at times, some opinions are not well represented. In releasing this issue this year and potentially in years to come depending on readers’ reactions, he said he hopes the Community Journalism compilation provides readers with a more balanced representation of the CU and Boulder community.
Smith also said she feels the paper is trying to be more involved with the community.
“In working with the CU Independent this semester, I’ve really seen that they’re trying to represent the CU community as best they can,” Smith said.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Mindy Rappoport at Mindy.Rappoport@colorado.edu.