What is CU News Corps all about?
CU News Corps is a class in Journalism & Mass Communication at the University of Colorado aimed at providing student-produced news stories, multimedia work and interactive information to Colorado and national media outlets. Just in the past year, News Corps students have won several awards for their reporting from organizations such as the Denver Press Club and the Society of Professional Journalists.
Most recently, the Colorado Springs Gazette published stories by CU News Corps reporter April Nowicki.
While searching through coroners’ reports for 2013, Nowicki found some interesting information in a report and on social media that led her to believe there may have been more to this gun death than the suicide initially reported by the El Paso County coroner, a report also accepted en toto by the Colorado Springs police. April contacted the victim’s mother and sister, who provided Nowicki with phone records that drew into question the coroner’s initial report.
Nowicki showed the records to the police, who — after months of cogitating — have decided to re-open their investigation into Jeremiah Mieir’s October 2013 death. That story was published Aug. 23, 2014.
In addition to that story, the Gazette ran an analysis written by Nowicki and Katharina Buchholz in which they point out the shortcomings in coroners’ reports discovered through the past 18 months of collecting and analyzing those reports.
CU News Corps launched as a class in Fall 2012 and found a way into Colorado media by focusing on political television ads aired on the top four Denver TV stations. During the previous summer, the corps originated providing coverage of the Aurora Shooting as well as wildfires across the state.
Who is CU News Corps?
The CU News Corps is made up of graduate students and advanced undergrads in the Journalism & Mass Communication program at the the University of Colorado. Former CU-Boulder journalism instructor Sandra Fish led the Corps in its first year.
Jeff Browne took over from Fish in August 2013. In addition to CU News Corps, Browne serves as co-coordinator of dLab for the Journalism & Mass Communication program. He has 24 years experience as a journalism teacher and administrator, most recently at the University of Kansas, where he was a lecturer in multimedia journalism for the School of Journalism and Mass Communications. He also served as the executive director of the Kansas Scholastic Press Association and as the director of the Kansas Journalism Institute. For 10 years, Browne worked in Student Media at Colorado State University, first as adviser to the daily student newspaper, then as director of Student Media. He also taught journalism and English at Smoky Hill High School in Aurora, Colo., and he worked as a reporter and columnist at daily newspapers in Florida.
Lars Gesing is a second-year master’s student in the JMC program and concentrates on professional newsgathering for online, print and broadcast news. He is originally from Germany and worked for various media and news outlets in his home country before coming to the U.S. in 2013. He earned his undergraduate degree in sports journalism.
Paul McDivitt is a second-year master’s student studying journalism and mass communication research. He’s also pursuing a graduate certificate in Environment, Policy, and Society.
Peri Duncan is a third-year undergraduate student at the University of Colorado at Boulder working toward a B.S. in News Editorial Journalism and Computer Science. She is also pursuing a Technology, Arts, and Media certificate through the ATLAS program. Along with writing for CU News Corps, she is currently working on a project to design a transmedia storyworld for the Western Wildfire Project, working alongside Michael Kodas and the Scripps Fellows with the Center for Environmental Journalism at CU.