The man behind a high impact editorial page package that took on The Denver Post’s hedge fund owner and kick started a national conversation on the future of journalism has a new gig.
Former editorial page editor Chuck Plunkett will join the University of Colorado Boulder in the fall as the new director of CU News Corps, a student investigative news project of the College of Media, Communication and Information.
Plunkett resigned from the Post in April after management rejected another editorial that not only mentioned the paper’s owner and new financial data on the company’s profitability, but also addressed the firing of editorial page editor Dave Krieger of sister publication The Daily Camera. Krieger was fired from the Boulder paper after attempting to publish an editorial in defense of the Camera in the same vein of Plunkett’s “As vultures circle, The Denver Post must be saved.”
Krieger’s column was rejected by the Camera’s publisher and he published it online independently, which led to his dismissal.
Lori Bergen, the dean of the College of Media, Communication and Information, said in a statement that Chuck Plunkett is a known “thought leader and champion for journalistic excellence and tackling difficult issues.”
As the leader of CU News Corps, Plunkett will coordinate the work of students of the investigative news project. CU News Corps has provided long-form work to several of the state’s professional media outlets covering public interest topics like crime, immigration and political fact-checking.
Former Denver Post owner and editorial chair Dean Singleton, who also resigned from the broadsheet, said that students in the program are “incredibly lucky to have access to his vast experience and knowledge as they prepare for an exciting future in covering news.”
This won’t be Plunkett’s first foray into the classroom. In 2014 he was involved in a pilot program at the University of Denver. Like CU News Corps, that project also published student journalism with a professional partner, in that case with the Post.
“I loved working in newsrooms, and I didn't want to leave them,” Plunkett said in a statement. “But it is also true that, before I started my career in journalism, I hoped to find myself teaching in university classrooms. Over the years I've often thought longingly about returning to the academy and its mission. The CU News Corps program offers incredible opportunities to help train the next generation of journalists and maintain that connection to the profession that has defined my adult life.”