Scripps endow CU Boulder student investigators with $2.5 million


The Scripps family

The College of Media, Communication and Information (CMCI) at the University of Colorado Boulder has announced a $2.5 million gift from Bill and Kathy Scripps. The endowment “establishes support for a specialized student news course, ‘CU News Corps,’ into perpetuity.”

In a release, CMCI Dean Lori Bergen noted: “Bill and Kathy recognize how essential it is for students to gain hands-on experience in addition to a broad liberal arts education. This gift establishes the Scripps CU News Corps Endowment, which supports the college’s mission to give students unique opportunities to develop and learn while creating a positive community impact.”

Said Bill Scripps: “In this rapidly changing media environment, CMCI offers a great opportunity for students to keep pace. We thought it would be appropriate to endow News Corps so that it will be around for perpetuity.” The Scripps’ son Willie and daughter Shelby both graduated from CMCI with degrees in communication, in 2015 and 2017, respectively.

The course operates as an investigative news outlet, providing package-driven, long-form journalism to media organizations in the state, including The Denver Post and 9News Denver, with students reporting on key Colorado issues. Previous topics include crime, immigration and political fact-checking during the 2016 election cycle, noted the release.

After an initial gift of $100,000 in 2012 for equipment, annual support from the Scripps family has been instrumental in the growth of the course. Said Bill: “We were introduced to the concept of News Corps in its early stages and liked the idea of students gaining hands-on experience for reporting and newsgathering. We started with a small gift, and increased that as we saw the success of the program.”

ACLU honors Greene with 2017 Civil Rights Award

Susan Greene

Susan Greene

Susan Greene, editor of The Colorado Independent news site, was recently honored with a 2017 Civil Rights Award from the ACLU of Colorado. Greene received the Larry Tajiri Media Award at the ACLU’s Bill of Rights Dinner Sept. 28 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Denver. It was the first time in a decade that the ACLU had given the award to a journalist.

According to the ACLU website ( the award is “in recognition of her outstanding media and journalism work to further civil rights and civil liberties in Colorado, including her investigative reporting on the trial, incarceration and eventual exoneration of Clarence Moses-EL, her video reporting on solitary confinement, and multiple other stories exposing corruption and injustice.”

Said former ACLU of Colorado board member Mari Newman: “As we all know, the fight for civil rights isn’t just around big stories, but the daily infringements that happen in our public institutions. In addition to her coverage of the Marvin Booker and Michael Marshall cases, Susan has spent years covering issues of mistaken identity, malfeasance, cronyism, mismanagement, excessive force, increasing violence, coverups and lies in the Denver Sheriff Department and the people in the safety department and mayor’s office who oversee it. No journalist has watchdogged Denver’s wayward jails better than Susan.”

Former Colorado newspaperman’s new company picks up three pubs


Rick Carpenter

The newly formed Graystone Media Group, LLC, has announced its purchase from Civitas Media of three newspapers in the southern part of Oklahoma: dailies in Altus and Durant, and a weekly in Frederick. Graystone is owned by Larry Miller, also CEO, and Rick Carpenter, who is president of the group and publisher/editor of The Altus Times in that state. Carpenter is well known in Colorado, having been owner, editor and publisher of The Signature Newspaper in the La Veta-Cuchara area, 1992-1998.

Carpenter also worked in Colorado as editor of the Post Independent in Glenwood Springs, and managing editor of the Reporter-Herald in Loveland, among other newspaper, academic and corporate positions in Washington, D.C., Texas, Hawaii, Nebraska, Idaho, New Mexico, Nevada and South Carolina. Graystone was formed in September of this year and is located in Altus, Okla. Miller and Carpenter previously owned newspapers in Colorado and South Carolina.

News Media Alliance throws celebration for International Newspaper Carrier Day


Jennifer Peters

Trends & Insights Reporter Jennifer Peters this month helped throw an online celebration of International Newspaper Carrier Day on behalf of the News Media Alliance. The Oct. 7 event marked “the hard work of these dedicated men and women” as part of the annual National Newspaper Week, which took place all week, culminating in Carrier Day.

Her article included several short stories of notable carriers, including the following:

Mari Schlegel was delivering the Lincoln (Neb.) Journal Star when, seeing a house on fire, she called 911, knocked on the door of the house and awoke the resident, who escaped her home along with her pets unharmed. Additionally, the fire department was able to put out the fire before it spread further through the house.

Debbie Brazell, who delivers The State in Columbia, S.C., noticed newspapers piling up in the box of a longtime subscriber. After completing her route one Monday, she went back to the home to check on the 93-year-old resident. Going to the door and finding that the resident had fallen, she called 911 and waited for responders, who took the woman – who had fallen and also blacked out the previous Friday – to the hospital. Brazell has since made it a habit to check in on other elderly subscribers on her route, and have their families’ contact info handy.

Josh Long was delivering The Columbian in Vancouver, Wash., when he saw the bright light of a house fire nearby. At the house, he called 911 and knocked on the door. The homeowner was able to grab a fire extinguisher and put out some of the fire while his wife escaped their home. Firefighters managed to put out the fire before it caused more damage.

A Vero Beach, Fla., carrier supervisor for the Press Journal called police to report one of his carriers had seen two men with guns running along his route. Working with police, the carrier helped identify suspects in five auto burglaries in the area. The suspects were later caught, “in large part because of the carrier’s tip.”

Jennifer Jackson was in an automobile crash while on her route for The Express in Lock Haven, Pa. Although severely injured, she called her supervisor at 4 a.m. from an ambulance, telling him what had happened and at what point she’d been forced to stop, so that another carrier could complete the route for her.

NNA ramps up advertising tax fight

The National Newspaper Association (NNA) is cranking up its fight against ad taxes. In a letter this month to NNA members, the association noted: “We are fighting an advertising tax. I know you couldn’t hear any worse words right now.”

The letter went on to describe how the U.S. House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee is “struggling mightily to find new federal revenues to pay for a corporate tax cut,” adding: “While NNA isn’t opposing the tax cut, the idea of trimming our advertisers’ expense deductions is a really bad one. Cutting back on advertising will hurt the whole economy and probably defeat the purpose of tax reform.”

NNA went on to urge members to call, not email, their congressmen and congresswomen, noting, “We need to put this bad idea to rest immediately.” It also asked members to report back on whom they called and what the response was. “If you talk to a staff member who cannot give you the congressman’s or congresswoman’s position, you are on solid ground if you ask for a call back with an answer when they have one. We need to count votes,” the letter stressed.