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Aspen Public Radio participating in two grant-based initiatives to strengthen local news

Alex Hager
Aspen Public Radio
Aspen Public Radio has been awarded two grants from the Colorado Media Project to work with local and regional media partners to enhance our local news service across the Roaring Fork Valley.

Aspen Public Radio has been awarded two collaborative grants from the Colorado Media Project (CMP), working with local and regional media partners to enhance our local news service for the Roaring Fork Valley.

The station worked with seven other local newsrooms to submit an application requesting funding support to explore possible solutions for meeting the information needs of Spanish speakers in the Roaring Fork Valley. Over the next eight months, station leadership will meet with key stakeholders and non-profits, and participate in community engagement initiatives that successfully grow the collaboration’s understanding of current and unmet needs, including: Aspen Daily News, Aspen Journalism, The Aspen Times, Glenwood Springs Post Independent, KDNK Community Radio, KPVW/La Tricolor 107.1, and The Sopris Sun. The cohort was awarded a $25,000 seed grant to build trust between newsrooms and diverse communities, with the possibility of receiving additional funding for the following two years to implement findings.

Additionally, Aspen Public Radio will be leading a three-year CMP Community News Network effort to support a new managing editor for Rocky Mountain Community Radio, a network of nearly twenty rural and mountain community radio stations who collectively reach more than 415,000 unique listeners per week. Veteran local journalist and Aspen Public Radio news director Brent Gardner-Smith will oversee the position to expand thematic story collaboration, partnerships, and distribution among the network.

"The Colorado Media Project has made a remarkable commitment to enhance communities’ access to quality, homegrown journalism,” says Aspen Public Radio executive director Breeze Richardson. “In particular, being able to collaborate with our peers here in the valley, as well as with our Rocky Mountain Community Radio network colleagues, ensures that we can grow in new and engaging ways to better serve listeners from a variety of backgrounds. We’re excited to advance both projects throughout the next year, and share what we learn to help other newsrooms throughout the region who are working to tackle similar challenges.”