Meet the Post Independent’s new city reporter
Cassandra Ballard is no stranger to the Roaring Fork Valley. She started her college journalism career at Colorado Mountain College’s Spring Valley campus before later transferring to Metro State University, where she graduated in 2018.
She most recently was working as manager of the Denver Press Club and freelancing on the Front Range. She spoke with Editor Peter Baumann about her path into journalism and what she’s looking forward to reporting on in the Roaring Fork Valley.
You’ve lived in the Roaring Fork Valley previously while you attended Colorado Mountain College’s Spring Valley campus. What is it about the area that you really enjoy?
What’s not to enjoy? This is the first place I ever saw the Milky Way in person, the first place I jumped off a cliff and the only place I ever swam next to a beaver while tubing the river.
I love the kind and laid-back people, the geology, wildlife and unique ecosystems, the outdoor activities and the fact that both the desert and snow-capped peaks are just a quick drive away.
What stories do you naturally gravitate toward as a reporter, and how do you think that will benefit our readers?
Personally, I really enjoy writing about science and the environment, but typically, I gravitate to what people in the community are talking about. If there are questions that people want answers for, I like to help people find them.
What is it about community journalism in Garfield County that you’re most excited about?
Hearing from all of the people from different walks of life. There is a lot of diversity in wealth, political opinion and personal interest, but the one thing that brings everyone together is their love of the valleys. People here truly care about their community, and I love watching people get fired up about the things they feel passionate about.
What are you most excited about in the coming year?
Definitely the snow. I’ve spent most of my life in Denver, where it never snows. I’m excited to be somewhere that actually dumps. I also miss the more relaxed mindset of the valley. Everything in Denver is a little more fast paced and angry. People seem a lot happier in the valley.
What are some ways you enjoy being involved in the community, and what are three fun things you’re most likely doing if not working?
I talk a lot, and I love hearing from strangers. I’m surprisingly pretty shy, but when I do connect with a stranger in the park or at the store, it can usually be one of the most insightful and fulfilling conversations I could find. I also miss the community activities in the valley like Summer of Music (which I previously knew as Jazz in the Park), and I will enjoy seeing the festive way people get involved with events like that. Outside of work, I will most likely be hiking, skiing and enjoying the river. Maybe biking, but I’m used to a flat city, and I’m not sure I’m ready to conquer steep hills.
Is there anything else you’d like the community to know? If a reader wants to reach out, what’s the best way to get a hold of you?
Although I didn’t grow up in Glenwood Springs, my family has been in the western states for many generations, and Glenwood Springs has always been the place that holds our hearts. Feel free to email me at the Post Independent at firstname.lastname@example.org or call my office at 970-384-9131.
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