Published: Dec. 9, 2019

The College of Media, Communication and Information is developing a new student multimedia enterprise set to roll out next fall.

On Monday, CMCI Dean Lori Bergen said the enterprise’s primary goal is to offer current and incoming students an academic experience featuring a strong faculty mentorship component to prepare students for an increasingly competitive and evolving media landscape.

“We want to establish an innovative student learning laboratory that will, in turn, create an even more vibrant student media presence on campus and in the community,” said Bergen, the college’s founding dean. “The new enterprise, which our students will help us develop this spring, will also create new media products and build revenue streams to support growth.”

The college’s decision to move toward a more academic and faculty-led student learning enterprise means its relationship with the CU Independent will evolve, too, allowing the student-led online newspaper to become fully independent by summer.

As part of the transition, CMCI will provide the newspaper with funding through the end of May as well as guidance as students explore an independent funding model. CU Independent student editors and writers are being encouraged to participate in the design and development of the new enterprise, and to be a part of it next fall should they choose to do so.

“We view the CUI as a strong, independent voice in the evolving ecosystem of student media opportunities that provide learning experiences for our students and excellent news and content to serve the campus, Boulder and beyond,” Bergen said.

CMCI students who participate in the new enterprise will become better prepared to work for independent media organizations, including the CU Independent, the dean said.

The idea for the new enterprise arose from an assessment on how to enhance student learning, which included the input of alumni, students, faculty and college leaders. Students involved in the new enterprise will receive mentoring from faculty who have worked in local and national media markets, collaborate with working journalists in the Denver area, and cover stories for multiple audiences.

Starting in August, the new home for the new student learning laboratory and the existing News Corps will be in the CASE building and will feature a large, open newsroom for news meetings and student-faculty brainstorming and mentoring sessions.

“Students and faculty from various college media operations will be able to collaborate in a single location in ways that will benefit everyone,” said Elizabeth Skewes, chair of the college’s journalism department. “We are excited and anticipate exceptional new opportunities for students to learn.”