Mackenzie Eldred Shines Light on the Importance of Local News
While newsrooms have shrunk in the last decade, there is still hope for the next generation of journalists. About four in ten K-12 teachers reported a rise in journalism class enrollment, according to a 2019 report from the Journalism Education Association, hinting at the potential growing ranks of future reporters. Mackenzie Eldred, a 22-year-old recipient of a Casey Feldman Memorial Foundation (CFF) journalism scholarship, plans to be one of them.
Mackenzie keeps herself busy as a journalism major and English minor at CU Boulder while preparing to graduate this spring. While hiking, spending time outdoors and reading books in her spare time, she is also pursuing an international media certificate due to her interest in reporting on global issues and humanitarian causes.
I think it’s really important to help a community understand what’s going on in the world,” she said. “It’s an opportunity to tell people’s stories and help share information.”
She was able to do just that in the fall of 2020, through her internship at the Boulder Daily Camera, a local news site that serves Boulder County. Her role, along with her dedication and drive to practice credible journalism led to Mackenzie receiving the CFF scholarship that paid for her internship.
While at the Daily Camera, I gained more experience writing, and expanded my portfolio,” she said.
The Casey Feldman Foundation awards journalism students working in unpaid internships with a stipend in an effort to support young reporters in the field.
Last semester I was taking five classes and then had my internship, so it was a lot and I didn’t really have time for a job,” Mackenzie said. “This scholarship helped a lot where I didn’t have to worry about financial stuff and I could focus on school and my internship.”
Originally from Missouri, Mackenzie moved to Fort Collins, Colorado, before college. She spent her first few semesters at the University of Northern Colorado before transferring to the University of Colorado Boulder (CU Boulder) in the fall of 2020.
It wasn’t until Mackenzie began working in her high school’s yearbook club that she realized journalism was a passion of hers. By her senior year of high school, she was named editor, a precursor to her path to journalism in college. While attending the University of Northern Colorado, Mackenzie was a student reporter and Editor-in-Chief for the UNC Mirror, the university’s student-run news site.
In addition to her local news work, Mackenzie has expanded her writing experience by joining the Dreaming Big Publications, a small press publisher, as an interning editor in 2020. Mackenzie continues to intern for the publishing company, but she expressed interest in sticking to her journalistic roots to pursue reporting for local news post-graduation.
It’s important to reach out to others and see what they have to say, and how I can help them share that, which is why I really enjoy writing local news,” Mackenzie said.