In the fall 2015 semester, Lars Gesing traveled the country’s swing states for “States in Play.” Gesing filed political dispatches nearly every day from the road. Other students worked on a variety of projects, including looking into the water quality of the Animas River in southwestern Colorado, and analyzing free speech codes in Colorado’s public school districts. Sam Schanfarber’s “Hardrock River Rising,” about the Gold King Mine Spill in Southwest Colorado, earned a seventh-place finish in the annual Hearst college journalism awards.
Another finished project took CU News Corps back to its beginnings. Three CU News Corps students and ABC producer Carol McKinley covered the 2015 trial of James Holmes, the Aurora theater killer. CU News Corps first formed three years earlier to help professional media in the aftermath of that mass shooting.
In the spring 2015 semester, CU News Corps students worked with documentary film producer Meg Moritz and News Corps Director Jeff Browne to help produce “Taking the Lede: Colorado Editing,” a 45-minute film that looks at student journalism in the Centennial State, showcasing heroic high school journalists who made a difference in their communities. “Taking the Lede” has been shown on Rocky Mountain PBS Channel 12 in Denver, and has been screened in Boulder, San Francisco, Minneapolis, Palo Alto, Fort Collins, and Bloomington and Franklin, Indiana. The film earned a 2016 Best of Competition Award at the BEA Festival of Media Arts.