Something Genius

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Something Genius

Introducing Something Genius, a collaborative effort between the CU Independent newsroom and some of the most creative professional minds in journalism.

We will be hosting journalists from around the world to give presentations regarding current issues and trends affecting media, followed by an open-forum discussion incorporating the various viewpoints represented by our student journalists. These conversations in their entirety will be live-streamed and later archived on our website, and fleshed out even further with blog posts by our staff and the guest speakers.

We hope that other student newsrooms, no matter where they’re located, will interact with Something Genius. The information presented by our esteemed guests can and should be applied to student media, which has become a stronger presence alongside the emergence of the digital-first mentality.

But we need your help. We currently do not have the funds to cover the travel costs of hosting multiple speakers.


The CU Independent newsroom is home to 15 editors, 32 reporters and 10 photographers. Budget meetings are held and breaking news is published from here. Stories are pitched, discussed and critiqued.

This is a space for collaboration. No one here has the same mindset or approach to news reporting or content production. We represent almost every major that can be studied on this campus, and we need that diversity. When we sit down as a group and talk, problems get solved. Something genius happens, always.

In 2012, a small group of CU Independent journalists gathered here on a Friday afternoon. They tossed aside the newsroom hierarchy and began to discuss the major issues plaguing the industry they would soon become a part of, scaled down to a level they could take on themselves within the confines of their student publication.

This was when our mission statement was written. It was when we decided we were not a newspaper, but a tech-savvy media organization that incorporates the varying talents of our staff in approaching the stories of our community that need to be told.

Two years later, we embody the ideals that were once just hypotheticals casually mentioned in those early days of Something Genius. We’ve decided that it’s time to take the meetings to the next level. By hosting some of the most renowned professionals in the industry to initiate and moderate discussions with our staff, we hope to bring new tools and concepts to our reporting and share these learning experiences with other student journalists through live streams and blog posts.

A student newsroom is still a newsroom. Our goals and ideas are just as legitimate as those of the professional organizations we will one day be working for. Please consider contributing to our CU Foundation account, seen below. Donations will be used to cover the travel costs of our guests.

In March 2014 we welcomed Jim Sheeler, a journalism professor at Case Western University and the Pulitzer-winning author of Final Salute. In April we hosted John Branch, a sports reporter for the New York Times and the Pulitzer-winning author of Snow Fall.

If you have any questions or comments, you can reach us at


If you are a student media organization that wants to get involved with Something Genius, please contact CU Independent Editor-in-Chief and Something Genius Director Annie Melton at We would love to include you in the project, and we’re even willing to help you launch your own chapter of Something Genius on your campus.