By Anthony Albidrez and Shannon Mullane (MJour’19)

On Sept. 13, 1892, the University of Colorado’s first student newspaper, The Silver and Gold, made its entrance into the field of college journalism. 

This first edition marks the beginning of a long legacy of student news coverage—led by students for students. Although news outlets have come and gone over the years, all of them have documented the colorful history of daily life at the University of Colorado. This week, CMCI and the Department of Journalism are celebrating the 130th anniversary of student newspapers on campus with a deep dive into their history.

This multimedia timeline offers a small glimpse into a much larger history, and CMCI plans to share more over the next year. In it, viewers can read through the front page of The Silver and Gold’s first edition and discover student editorials that stand up for civil rights. They can see what was happening on campus during notable historical periods, like the anti-communism “Red Scare,” the Chicano movement and the arrival of the internet. 

The timeline accompanies “History—As Told by Students,” published in the summer 2022 edition of CMCI Now, and it is one of many projects celebrating the centennial anniversary of the Department of Journalism. We hope you join us in honoring a century of journalism education and enjoy this deep dive into student journalism at CU Boulder!

  1. Sept. 13, 1892

    University of Colorado's first student publication launches

    Silver and Gold, first issue

    Considered the first student newspaper at the University of Colorado Boulder, The Silver and Gold publishes its first edition Sept. 13, 1892.

    Under the editorship of student Charles Potter, the newspaper’s front page editorial reads, “With this number The Silver and Gold makes its first appearance in the field of college journalism. Named from the colors of the state university and maintained by its students, the new paper will endeavor to represent the best interests of the institution in all its departments.” 

     The Silver and Gold features an editorial announcing the paper's launch on the front page of its first issue, published in 1892.
    Source: Colorado State Library’s Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection

  2. Sept. 13, 1911

    The Silver and Gold increases circulation

    When the newspaper first started publication, it was viewed as a literary magazine more than a newspaper. In 1911, The Silver and Gold begins a tri-weekly publishing schedule as the newspaper gains credibility as a news outlet.

  3. 1922–1925

    The Silver and Gold condemns KKK

    George Norlin headshot

    In the 1920s, as CU President George Norlin strives to develop the university, the Ku Klux Klan attempts to gain support in CU's academic community. KKK-backed Colorado governor, Clarence Morley, demands Norlin fire Jewish and Catholic faculty members. When Norlin refuses, CU faces budget cuts. In editorials like "The Klan Expands," The Silver and Gold staff condemns the KKK, saying:

    “The university is too inclusive to support anti-Catholicism; too democratic to permit race hatred; too conservative to allow the reigns of government to pass to a group of hooded anarchists. University officials will be warranted in adopting any reasonable measure in order to curb this threatening nuisance.”

     George Norlin, circa the 1920s. The exact date is unknown. Norlin served as the University of Colorado's president from 1919 until he retired in 1939. 
    Source: Charles F. Snow Photographs Collection

  4. May 10–11, 1929

    First annual Newspaper Week

    Newspaper Week programs

    The CU Department of Journalism hosts its first annual Newspaper Week. The department invites editors and journalists from Colorado and Wyoming to a two-day session on newspaper practices, like advertising sales and writing headlines. Speakers at the event represent publications across the region, including George M. LeCrone Jr., Colorado Springs Farm News; L.C. Paddock, Boulder Daily Camera; R. B. Spencer, Fort Morgan Times; and Allen M. Biggerataff, Sterling Advocate

     Programs from the first annual Newspaper Week hosted by the Department of Journalism at the University of Colorado in 1929. 
    Source: CU Heritage Center

  5. 1938–1950

    The Silver and Gold covers civil rights

    Silver and Gold news sheet

    The Silver and Gold frequently spoke out in support of equality and civil rights through its editorials. For example on April 27, 1943, the paper published an editorial that opposed The Denver Post’s anti-Japanese editorials. In the piece, student editor Paul Clark wrote: 

     “. . . now that The Post has declared war on the Japanese-Americans in our cities and relocation centers, it's about time we college students registered our protests against such fascist techniques in our midst.”

    In a 1949 editorial, The Silver and Gold opposed discrimination and racism in athletics, saying: “There is no more appropriate place to carry on education against bigotry than a state university."

    The Silver and Gold also frequently covered the Faculty Senate Committee for Ethnic Minorities, the American Student Union, and The Cosmopolitan Club, an international and immigrant club established in 1922 that still exists on campus today. 

     In a 1942 newspaper editorial in The Silver and Gold, student editor Paul Clark pushes back against The Denver Post’s anti-Japanese editorials during World War II.  
    Source: University of Colorado Digital Library

  6. 1953

    The Silver and Gold transitions to Colorado Daily

    Colorado Daily first edition

    The Silver and Gold rebrands as the Colorado Daily to reflect a new, five-day publishing schedule. 

     This edition of the Colorado Daily was the first to be published after the newspaper transitioned from The Silver and Gold in 1953. 
    Source: Norlin Library microfilm collection

  7. 1970

    Colorado Daily leaves campus

    Colorado Daily masthead

    In 1970, the University of Colorado Board of Regents cuts ties with all campus publications, including the Colorado Daily. The Colorado Daily decides to continue its coverage as an independent paper in Boulder.

     The 1970 logo of the Colorado Daily
    Source: Norlin Library microfilm collection

  8. 1970

    Faculty-led Silver & Gold Record begins

    Silver & Gold Record last issue

    Often mistaken for the student newspaper, The Silver and Gold, the Silver & Gold Record begins as a faculty-led newspaper in 1970 and continues publishing until 2009. 

     The final edition of the faculty-led Silver & Gold Record, published in 2009.
    Source: Coloradoan Alumni Magazine

  9. 1972

    El Diario de la Gente launches

    1973 student protest

    From 1972 to 1983, the United Mexican American Students (UMAS) launched El Diario de la Gente as a Chicano student paper, which covered the Chicano movement in Boulder. 

     University of Colorado Boulder students march to Regent Hall in fall 1973—a peaceful protest in response to discriminatory financial aid practices.
    Source: Photo collection of Juan Espinosa (Jour'74), El Diario de la Gente founder and editor.

  10. 1980

    The Campus Press begins publishing

    Campus Press students at work

    Students begin producing The Campus Press in February 1980 as part of a course offered by the School of Journalism. In 1986, The Campus Press was honored with the Sigma Delta Chi award for best all-around newspaper by the Society of Professional Journalists. 

     A student reviews copy before an edition of The Campus Press goes to print Dec. 15, 1985.
    Source: CU Heritage Center Archives

  11. 1987

    NewsTeam Boulder begins broadcasting

    NewsTeam broadcasting students

    NewsTeam Boulder begins broadcasting in 1987 as a 30-minute newscast. One of the first graduates is NBC news correspondent Tom Costello, followed by many other award-winning reporters. 

     NewsTeam Boulder students and instructor Melda Adams gather outside a studio in 1987, the year the student broadcast program launched. 
    Source: CU Heritage Center Archives

  12. 2006

    The Campus Press leads in digital age

    Campus Press advertisement

    As the digital age of journalism ramps up, The Campus Press begins to operate as an online-only publication in 2006. In April 1994, The Campus Press became the first Colorado newspaper to have both a print newspaper and an online version. 

     An advertisement, published in a 2006 print issue of The Campus Press, showcases the new online edition.
    Source: Norlin Library microfilm collection 

  13. 2009

    The Campus Press becomes CU Independent

    In 2009, The Campus Press rebrands as the CU Independent, in part as a step toward increased independence. The newspaper moves its operation out of the classroom setting and plans to move off-campus. It still receives funding, office space and staff support from the journalism school, according to journalism department records. The change is also partially in response to a controversial student opinion piece, published in 2008, that raised concerns about the paper's editorial process. Under the new arrangement, the CU Independent plans to incorporate a new governing board made up of students, faculty and professional journalists.

  14. December 2019

    CUI starts transition to complete independence

    In December 2019, CMCI announces it will create a new student media outlet with strong co-curricular and faculty mentorship components. The transition changed the relationship between CMCI and the CU Independent, which experienced a gradual decrease in funding and administrative support during 2020. For CUI, the change triggered a period of ongoing adjustment and an opportunity to gain complete independence from the college. For CMCI, it opened the door for exciting educational and professional training for students.

  15. 2020

    COVID-19 pandemic strikes

    The Bold students during pandemic

    In March 2020, the CU Boulder classes, activities and operations move off-campus and online in response to the growing COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout the disruption, CU Boulder student journalists continue their coverage, documenting the community as it responds to notable events such as COVID-19, the murder of George Floyd and resulting summer 2020 protests, and the 2021 mass shooting at a King Soopers in Boulder. 

     The Bold staff gathers for an editorial meeting in fall 2021. Students had to manage the newspaper remotely early in the COVID-19 pandemic and continued to wear face coverings as a public health precaution.
    Source: CMCI archive photo by Kimberly Coffin (CritMed, StratComm’18)

  16. August 2020

    The Bold launches

    The Bold students on Zoom

    In August 2020, The Bold begins publishing online, featuring stories about campus events and issues, politics, sports and current events. The Bold also has a magazine section for long-form and themed content. 

     The Bold staff members pose for a screenshot photo during a Zoom meeting in 2020. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, students primarily managed the developing publication remotely.
    Source: CMCI archive photo