My glimpse into the future of journalism

They say journalism is dead. I beg to differ.

A little more than a month ago I learned that I had been chosen to travel to Washington D.C. for the inauguration. The project was being called the “PBS NewsHour Multimedia Short Course” and eventually adopted the much more simpler title: the Inaug Blog.

The premise was to take 15 talented college journalists, put them in a room together, let them cover the inauguration and see what happens. The result was a marvelous compilation of stories from around D.C., Maryland and Virginia that may not have been told otherwise. We really strived to take an approach that traditional media would avoid. In other words, we covered it from a college perspective.

We were able to deliver more than 40 stories that consisted of photos, video, text, infographics, interactives and a few combinations of the above. In addition to the stories, we had an amazing design crew that created an astonishing web platform to work off of and an amazing social media presence that helped to tell the story.

This was not simply, go to the inauguration and cover the speakers. We came at it from the perspective of: what is traditional media not doing, that we, as college students can do well. In the end there was coverage of special events and social issues.

We were at the Yoga Ball and the Inaugural Ball; took on marijuana legalization and gay marriage; attended the inauguration (in several formats) and covered protests.

As you can imagine, the three days were exciting and exhausting. Many of the participants and editors worked 20-plus hour days. While there was stress and somber moments, there was also a lot of laughter and joy.

Please, if you have not, explore the website. Each story is an interesting and important snapshot into the inauguration in some way or another.

I would like to express my most heartfelt thanks to Dr. Imani M. Cheers, our managing editor, and all of the section editors. In addition I would like to thank all of my peers who made the Inaug Blog what it is.

I hope that this program can continue four years from now. It truly shows how bright the future of journalism is and what is possible when great minds come together for a special event.

They say journalism is dead, don’t believe it for a single moment.

Note: Rob spoke with Joe Oria of Radio 1190 News Underground Wednesday night concerning his work with Inaug Blog.

Contact CU Independent Managing Editor Rob Denton at Robert.denton@colorado.edu.

About Robert R. Denton

Rob is a senior news-editorial major at the University of Colorado - Boulder in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication and is a managing editor for the CU Independent. He has previously worked with Rich Clarkson & Associates, a multimedia firm in Denver, The Greeley Tribune, PBS NewsHour's InaugBlog and the Scripps Howard Foundation Wire. While not taking photos for the CUI, Rob enjoys taking photos of just about everything else, being joyful and watching The Dark Knight. Follow him on Twitter at @robertrdenton.

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