Journalism and reporting experiences for students

The Community News Service is a student-powered partnership with local community papers and media outlets. We are a professionally-edited reporting service that pairs student reporters with outlets to provide community content at no cost. Go to to see our latest stories

With a focus on hyper-local and local news, the project has two primary goals:

  • To educate and engage students in journalism and build citizenship skills
  • To provide local content to community newspapers

Enroll in the appropriate section of CAS 3922 to join the Community News Service!

  • CAS 3922 A - Writing-focused with Carolyn Shapiro T/Th at 10:05 a.m.
  • CAS 3922 B - Writing-focused with Carolyn Shapiro T/Th at 1:15 p.m.
  • CAS 3922 C - For students working directly with editor Justin Trombly, contact Richard Watts
  • CAS 3922 D - Audio/Podcasting focused with Brittany Patterson 

The Student Experience:

Students in the program... 

Community Impact:

Students in the program provide local and hyperlocal news content (print, audio and video) to local community papers in Vermont at no cost, helping to eliminate news deserts in our state. Run by experienced journalists and editors, the Community News Service matches talented student reporters with the needs of media platforms across Vermont

We also coordinate the web pages and electronic newsletters for the Hinesburg Record, Waterbury Roundabout, Winooski News.  

Read our stories

Meet our current team

Our Community partners

Community News Service Editor:

Justin Trombly (he/him)

Justin Trombly is the editor of Community News Service. He coordinates with our media partners, workshops stories with student reporters and helps build CNS' effort to strengthen Vermont journalism. He's been a reporter at VTDigger, the Tampa Bay Times, the Buffalo News and local papers in upstate New York. Email:

Faculty Mentors:

Carolyn Shapiro (she/her)

Carolyn Shapiro is a freelance journalist and longtime reporter and writer at daily newspapers from upstate New York to southeastern Virginia. She has penned stories for The New York Times, Boston Globe, Seven Days and FedTech magazine. She also teaches advanced journalism at Champlain College in Burlington. She loves to talk about journalism and, when she's not doing that, walking her her two boxers and eating Vermont cheese. Email:

Richard Watts (he/him)

Richard Watts is a former journalist and political campaign manager who now studies and teaches courses in journalism and public policy at the University of Vermont. Richard is the co-director of the Reporting & Documentary Storytelling Program, directs the Center for Research on Vermont, and coordinates internships for the College of Arts & Sciences. Email: (Richard is in sabbatical until July 1, 2023).

Brittany Patterson (she/her)

An executive editor at Vermont Public, Brittany is deeply entrenched in the audio news world and brings her experience, expertise, and production skills to the Community News Service audio branch. She holds degrees in journalism from San Jose State University and U.C. Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism. A native of California, Brittany has nonetheless found a home in Vermont and enjoys playing with her dog Cooper and cat Mila. Email:

Credit information

The Community News Service counts as elective internship credit. If you are minoring in Reporting & Documentary Storytelling, this course counts as your required internship.

If you have any questions, please get in touch with Carolyn Shapiro or Justin Trombly, CNS editors. 

Thank you to our generous donors...

AARP, UVM College of Arts & Sciences, UVM Office of Engagement, Gannett Foundation, Lintilhac Foundation, ISNE, Windham Foundation, Scripps-Howard, Pomerleau Real Estate, National Life, Vermont Electric Co-op, ...and the many UVM alumni and friends who so generously support our students

115 students have participated in the Community News Service to date!