In Fall 2018, CU News Corps staff strived to help students produce solid, publishable, quality long-form print and multimedia pieces of investigative or explanatory journalism that meet profession ethical standards. Students were tasked with significant individual work and asked to report in teams. A key focus was a focus on developing an ability to interest professional newsrooms in your work. Students also began helping NewsCorp develop fact-checker, a powerful tool for the public in which we will take on the critical service of testing the reliability of political claims and arguments made at the Colorado legislature, in state government and in large and small cities and towns.

Former Denver Post editorial page editor Chuck Plunkett joined the University of Colorado Boulder this fall as director of CU News Corps in the spring of 2018. In partnership with Professor Mei-Ling McNamara and Ph.D. student Tammy Rae Matthews, the team of three guided the students as they focused their efforts on exploring gentrification in the Denver area. Many students published work in the Colorado Sun.

In this course, the students produced stories and multimedia focused in two key areas, as well as do work of their own design, which could, if desired, also take up another angle within one of the two prime subjects. A big focus for us will be the opportunity to team with The Colorado Sun to do a deep dive into issues of gentrification. We looked at funding models and practices for new and newer outlets, like The Sun, and more traditional outlets. We will use the skills and resources available to produce multimedia content for the CU News Corps website, as well as for other media outlets in Colorado and elsewhere. The students were charged with the following initiatives:

  • Become conversant in the facts and debate around state and local issues
  • Understand the in-depth reporting processes required to produce professional-level content
  • Through investigative journalism practices, synthesize available data and use information from credible expert sources to more fully understand the issues we target
  • Use those practices and analytical techniques to produce stories for professional media in the Denver metro market or other Colorado markets
  • Analyze existent stories to judge their completeness and effectiveness
  • Produce stories that reflect the hard work required to track down information that paints a complete and truthful picture of the issue at hand