I am a television producer because I like to work in the background. That said, one of the realities of publishing a community journalism site is you have to let people know what you’re doing. With the encouragement of Stephanie Snyder at LION Publishers, I am posting our press release to let you know how Bucket List Community Cafe is putting University of Colorado journalism and marketing students through a real world bootcamp. Reach out if you’d like to know more and if you want to help shape how community journalism can look please take our survey. Thanks for your support and contributions. With gratitude, Vicky Collins
Contact: VICKY COLLINS
NAME BUCKET LIST COMMUNITY CAFÉ
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
COMMUNITY JOURNALISM SITE BECOMES A BOOT CAMP FOR
ASPIRING YOUNG JOURNALISTS
Bucket List Community Café provides mentorship to journalists as they wrap up
their college journey
DENVER, April 12, 2022 – In starting up her own community journalism site, Bucket List Community Café, veteran television producer Vicky Collins never envisioned that her site would double as an incubator for the next generation of ground-breaking journalists.
Bucket List Community Café is an online community journalism site that Collins launched when she moved from the Denver suburbs to the Sunnyside and then Berkeley neighborhoods. It gets its name because a “bucket list” item for Collins was to build community by having a coffee shop/book store/art gallery. Rather than a brick and mortar location, in 2019 she built the space online and it now covers the neighborhoods, small businesses, non-profits and people of North Denver.
“We build community by telling our stories,” says Collins. “We stay close to the grassroots and the neighborhoods. “We call it journalism by walking around.”
As the site grew in popularity and reach, help was needed but, on a start-up budget, Bucket List Community Café turned, as many small businesses do, to interns to help shoulder the load.
Working with students from the University of Colorado’s College of Media, Communication and Information and CU Denver, Collins was not only able to find journalistic talent but to also realize that the real-life experience is priceless for these up-and-coming reporters and strategic communicators.
Recent stories covered by the students include how Afghan refugees are adjusting to day to day life in the Denver area, a small Ukranian church concerned for those fighting and fleeing in their homeland, and the return of the high school musical at Denver School of the Arts (after COVID derailed the program for two years).
The students go out in the field, write and are also responsible for photography and videos.
Marin Fallon, is a senior who will graduate in May. She has worked on the engagement side and believes she is now well prepared for what comes next.
“The six months that I’ve spent working with Bucket List Community Cafe have been extremely beneficial to both my current and future work. I’ve learned a lot throughout my college career and Bucket List allows me to put my skills to the test. I am grateful for the opportunity to be working so closely with such a talented team of students, along with our mentor.”
Noah Anderson, a junior on the journalism side, has been writing for Bucket List Community Café since the fall of 2021. This summer he signed up again for a 3-credit internship. He’s noticed his writing transform.
“While working with Vicky at Bucket List Community Cafe, I have gained valuable, real world reporting skills. I have connected with sources and have developed strategies for writing efficiently to meet deadlines. Meeting impactful individuals in the community has been inspiring and has allowed me to write meaningful stories.”
“Mentoring is an important part of our values. I was mentored as a young journalist and I think it’s very important to help bring up the next generation,” says Collins. “Community journalism is part of the news ecosystem and we’re putting our soon to be graduates through a journalism boot camp.”
ABOUT BUCKET LIST COMMUNITY CAFÉ:
Bucket List Community Café is an entrepreneurial venture and is looking for partnerships to scale, collaborations, and sponsorships. In 2021 it was one of 26 Colorado community news organizations that was selected to receive a $5000 matching grant from the Colorado Media Project. To learn more about Bucket List Community Café visit our website or contact Vicky Collins at firstname.lastname@example.org.