Pressed

CU student journalists feel they were kept in the dark about changes at their publication. Talk about a real-world lesson.

Once Press staffers went public with their disapproval, the prospect of a new appellation was dropped. "It was a lightning bolt that went over very poorly," Voakes says, "and I blame myself for that." There's been no open warfare since then, but tension remained -- although it's dissipated of late due to impending turnover. Fulcher recently informed her students that she'll be leaving the university to take a production position at Colorado Matters, Colorado Public Radio's signature program; her departure was motivated by the great job, she emphasizes, and not Press-related frustration. (The publication's new overseer will be Sandra Fish, a journalism instructor who also advises the blog Colorado Confidential.) Moreover, Schreier and Clary are among a number of staffers who've decided not to return in 2007. As a result, this year's final issue, scheduled for December 15, will mark their Press swan song -- and Clary is more than ready for it. "I think a good majority of us are burned out," she maintains.

Even so, both editors will take away positives from their time at the Press. "I still love journalism," Schreier says, "and I'm going to do my best to make sure nobody pushes me around and tells me how to do it -- at least not without pushing back. So in that way, it's been rewarding, oddly enough."

As for Clary, she believes she's passed an important initiation rite. "This summer I had an internship at the Gannett News Service," she says, "and when I would talk to people there about all our problems, they'd tell me, 'Welcome to the business.'"

Double shift: On December 4, Channel 9 introduced its new morning program, whose resemblance to the station's old morning program is strictly intentional. The same personalities who deliver updates from 5 to 7 a.m. on 9News's usual dial position are now doing the same thing on sister station Channel 20 from 7 to 9 a.m. That means Gary Shapiro, Kyle Dyer and company now have to be perky for four hours straight -- an assignment capable of driving them to drink, if it hasn't done so already.

The Channel 20 broadcast on December 6 was technically smooth, but the assembly-line repetition that's built into the format would be maddening to deal with on a daily basis. Traffic and weather were updated six times an hour (that translates to 24 times per morning), and if traffic reporter Taunia Hottman at least got to describe different accidents, weatherman Nick O'Kelly was stuck bantering about the same eventless forecast again and again. Shapiro and Dyer had things just as tough. Some of the airtime was filled by taped segments, including clips of Gregg Moss recorded an hour or two earlier and a report from the Today show, which was airing simultaneously on the main channel. But for the most part, they read (and reread) a fairly static mix of stories using pretty much the same scripts they'd been handed before sunrise. No wonder they sounded so gleeful at the broadcast's conclusion. "Okay, day three down the tubes!" Shapiro exulted, to which Dyer proclaimed, "We did it!"

Yeah, and you'll have to do it again tomorrow, and the next day and the next. And when you're done? Straight to the liquor store. CU student journalists feel they were kept in the dark about changes at their publication. Talk about a real-world lesson.

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