CU News Corps is an explanatory and investigative news project offered through the Journalism Department in the College of Media, Communication and Information at the University of Colorado Boulder. News Corps also provides daily and breaking coverage of significant news events.
CU News Corps distributes student-produced news stories, multimedia work and interactive information to Colorado and national media outlets. Recently, CU News Corps students have won several awards for their reporting from organizations such as the Denver Press Club and the Society of Professional Journalists.
For the fall 2016 semester, 11 students will be producing fact-checks of political speech surrounding the election in Colorado. News Corps will be working with the Denver Post to publish these stories to a wider audience and to help Coloradans make informed decisions in the voting booth on Nov. 8.
News Corps is also in post-production of its documentary “¿Cómo Fue? A Cuban Journey.” The film follows former Denver Mayor Guillermo “Bill” Vidal as he returns to Cuba in an attempt to determine how he can help the country of his birth move into the 21st century.
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.
In the fall 2014 semester, CU News Corps conducted a series of fact checks during the 2014 Colorado and national election cycle. This project culminated in a larger piece on the efficacy of political fact checking, which involved an extensive survey of Denver metro area voters conducted by Aspen Research on behalf of CU News Corps. This story was featured on the front page of politifact.org.
During the spring semester of 2014, CU News Corps focused on inequality with its Work and Wages project. Two articles from this project were published in the Denver Post. The first, by Lars Gesing, investigated the relationship between the national unemployment rate and congressional incumbents’ reelection prospects. The second, by Paul McDivitt and Jake Kincaid, explored the debate among economists about whether or not to raise the federal minimum wage.
Other projects include the Colorado Gun Dialog project, launched in the spring 2013 semester and still ongoing, and “36 Stories,” about the Colorado floods of 2013.