The Newest in the News: Summer Flicks, Small Colleges & More

In the last three weeks news stories have been developing here in Colorado, across the nation and around the world. For those that have been avoiding their smartphones, their tablets and their laptops, Twitter’s hashtag #digitaljournos from the University of Denver’s Online & Visual Journalism students is here to keep you current.

Colleges & Their Cash Flow

The New York Times reported on small colleges and their ability, or inability, to afford the costs of keeping their doors open to students. Since the recession, small liberal arts colleges have been financially struggling, having to resort to cutting majors out of programs, firing professors and cutting programs all together.

Colorado’s Care Crisis

Recently, the New York Times explained to its audience the current debate in Colorado over health care with the mile-high state planning to institute universal coverage for all its residents. Annually, this would cost residents approximately $38 billion in taxes but would guarantee health care coverage for everyone in the state.

The NFL Draft Explained

This week, The Denver Post helped out football’s casual fans by explaining the NFL draft. By relieving the stress many part-time football fans have about which college players are really up-and-coming, how they’re picked and in what order the rounds are determined, this guide will allow anyone to keep up with even Mike Ditka this season.

UC Davis’ Chancellor Has Been Chopped

After Wednesday, UC Davis’ Chancellor Katehi has been put on administrative leave, as reported by The LA Times, sparking questions across the academic community. Katehi is now being investigated for misallocating funds, media coverups and even hiring family members improperly. Once a renowned educator, Katehi has shocked thousands in her missteps.

Spending Summer at the Movies

Much to the pleasure of digital journalists across the country, The LA Times published a list of all this summer’s flicks with trailers and digital supplements attached. With everything from Captain America: Civil War to Disney’s Finding Dory, everything you and everyone you know will want to see is covered here.

The End of the Importance of Endorsement

Recent polls and a report by USA Today has dismantled the importance of media endorsement in affecting voters’ choices in the upcoming presidential elections. Accordingly, if the amount and magnitude of media endorsements by newspapers and other news sources actually had an impact on how voters are voting, Kasich would be leading the election race.

 

Now you know. Stay tuned with #digitaljournos to find out everything you’re missing, three weeks at a time.

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Making It In Music

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DJ Wasay Nabi performing at Redford’s Tavern, accompanied by brother, Nafay Nabi and friend, Lee Pryor. Photograph by Paige Evans

In one of the world’s most competitive industries, musicians are faced with devastating odds of making it while experiencing the euphoric control of performing.

“I want my music to take me all around the world,” says Carley Scott, one of Denver‘s rising local DJ’s.

The 21-year old DJ and producer, Colson Steier says, “I just kind of feel the need to do it,” in reference to making music.

After reflecting on his passion for mixing beats and sounds, DJ Wasay Nabi said, “If there’s like a party or whatever that needs like a DJ, I’ll do it.”

Not a Good Market for Musicians

In a world where 93% of musicians, artists, DJ’s and producers are selling less than 1000 albums per year, becoming successful as a performer of music is really really really difficult, to say the least. But each local artist cites a trade-off in the pursuit of success: happiness. DJ Bad Gal aka Carley Scott, DJ Wasay Nabi and DJ and Producer Colson Steier have a passion for music that runs deeper than the deep house of the 1980’s, making their annual income of $500 and free drinks at local bars totally worth it.

“When I was 9 I started playing bass guitar in a band with like three of my friends from school and then when I was 13 I just started learning every instrument I could.” says Steier. 

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DJ’s Wasay Nabi and Colson Steier, performing at Redford’s Tavern.

“I just DJ and I just do it for fun” says Nabi, who has been performing at clubs since age 15.

Scott performs under an alias and cites her muse, saying, “my inspiration is Fleetwood Mac.” Scott and her group-mates traditionally play sets that fall back on music from the 1970s – 1990s.

Likewise, Steier says, “the biggest inspiration for me probably is Pink Floyd.”

Finding Their Forte

In reminiscing on their beginnings, the community these artists were a part of was the most important.

“We would host raves in Pakistan and I would just DJ there, a lot of weekends for a couple months” says international student, Wasay Nabi.

“Me and two of my friends were really unhappy about the local music and so we decided to take it into our own hands and try out DJing,” says Scott, referring to her friends Grace Murray and Liza Scott who now perform with her regularly.

Steier, a student in the University of Denver’s Lamont School of Music is working toward and Bachelor of Music and said, “a lot of kids needed bass players so I would just get shuffled in with bands all the time and I’d be in like four different bands at a time playing bass. I produce, I’m releasing an album hopefully this summer. It’s just me and it’s all original stuff.”

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Friends and DJ’s Carley Scott, Grace Murray and Liza Scott headline at Merchant’s Mile High Saloon. Photograph by Paige Evans

No Treble in Paradise

Local musicians, like DJ Bad Gal and Colson Steier feel connected to the sounds they make and the people they make them with. The camaraderie that comes with their careers in music helps to define their passion and inspire them. However, finding your soul sister or brother is no easy feat for artists.

I like working with groups but it’s really hard to find people who work creatively well together. In high school and middle school I just didn’t really have anybody that I was that similar with, that I worked well with, but I like working in groups and I like DJing with Wasay. It’s comforting to have somebody else with you. -DJ Colson Steier

 

Wasay Nabi is an international student from Pakistan and is known by Redford’s regulars as one of Denver’s most EDC-worthy, in reference to Las Vegas’ annual Electric Daisy Carnival rave rat DJ’s and a lover house music, techno and other electronic sounds. 

Nabi says, “over here in the states I do it with Colson and at home I just do it individually, but then there’s other people as well, but they’re doing their own thing.” 

DJ Bad Gal is in a group consisting of three female DJ’s who came together, developed a set list and play at Merchant’s Mile High Saloon regularly.

“I wouldn’t be able to split up with them. We all bring a certain aspect to the group dynamic,” says Scott of her bond with her friends and co-DJ’s.

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DJ Wasay Nabi lets fan, Rosie Cook, join him in his DJ booth at a local house party. Photograph by Paige Evans

Keepin’ It Trill

Like collaborating with other artists, Denver’s local DJ’s and producers feature their audience’s happiness in every track, feeling exhilarated while in control over the crowd’s dance moves and delight.

When I’m on the stage looking out at the audience I feel like I’m in control of everyone’s happiness. – Carley Scott

 

Likewise, Steier says, “I feel like I’m in control and you just appreciate that people are there with you. It’s a weird, really cool feeling. It feels good.”

“I just feel good. It’s just a good experience to make people vibe off your music and stuff.” says Nabi, feeling proud of his sets.

While getting paid by local bars like Redford’s, Crimson and Gold and Merchant’s Mile High Saloon is nice, Colson Steier, the 21-year old with 12 years of music experience, knows he needs a back-up plan: “I don’t really necessarily expect to be successful. I don’t think it’s gonna take me anywhere really. I’m not really putting all my eggs in that basket.”

Prelude to Passion

With the po

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DJ Carley Scott loves performing and all the hard-work it entails. Photograph by Paige Evans

pularity of free streaming sites like Spotify, Soundcloud and Youtube increasing, the chance of financial stability in the world of synchronized sound is decreasing along with Apple iTunes and Amazon MP3’s downloads. Some artists will still relentlessly pursue record labels, sold-out tours and rockstar lives. 

“I’m really excited for the future and I hope everything goes up from here. For sure I would give up my other dreams to pursue music,” says Scott.

Nabi says, “it feels like an accomplishment and I feel like there’s value to what I’m doing.”

“I just do it because it’s something I really enjoy doing and I just kind of feel the need to do it. I mean deep down it’s what I’d like to do,” says Steier.

 

Now’s News: Pluto, Game of Thrones, Microhotels and More

In the realm of online, visual and digital journalism, each day brings news, change and an updates to everyday life. March 28th to April 8th was no exception. From Pluto to vertical harvesting to the release of an illustrated guide outlining all the deaths in Game of Thrones, the past three weeks have been stalked with cyber stories.

Praising Pluto

Pluto, the farthest not-planet from the Sun, has been all the rage since July 14, 2015, when NASA’s New Horizons flew by Pluto and took the closest and best images of the dwarf planet to date. Since then, as summarized and illustrated by Kenneth Change via the New York Times article, ‘What We’ve Learned About Pluto,’ more on the dwarf’s sideways moons, methane ice and ice volcanoes has surfaced, enchanting Pluto enthusiasts.

Humble Hotels

A new phenomenon in travel was written on by the New York Times on March 21, exploring the concept of “microhotels”. These miniature rooms are gaining traction and becoming increasingly popular, according to Amy Zipkin’s article. With rooms as small as 65 square feet, microhotels are being used to save money, by both customers and businesses. Companies like CitizenM and Yotel first popularized the tiny concept, hoping to capitalize on appeals to save money, curb the booming hotel market and even increase more environmentally friendly travel.

Leveling Local

On March 26, the New York Times engaged an article on how Verticle Harvest developed a way to supply local produce in Jackson, Wyoming. In a place where green and soil are frozen over for the majority of the year, finding local produce is difficult for Jacksonites. By using hydroponic methodology, this “patient capital” company grows produce in a three-story, 4,500 square foot greenhouse no matter the season. Next, Vertical Harvest has plans to open restaurants and markets inside the greenhouse, using the fresh and local produce.

Water Wealth

On March 30th, Denver, Colorado experienced a snow storm ending the mild March the usually-snowy city had. Helping to alleviate stress on water supplies, the Denver Post’s article on the benefits of the flurry, highlighted the ways the snow may save the 303’s summer. While the city’s population and Gov. Hickenlooper have been exploring ways to accommodate shrinking supplies of H2O with growing demands for an increasing populace, this storm came as a pleasant surprise. Now, the Denver area will have a relatively substantial amount of water through late July.

Monday’s Minutes

Each week, the New York Times published a compilation of short news updates. The April 4th debrief detailed the presidential election, the Panama Papers, drug wars and crime and more. With a general news section, a business section, a section on events having happened over the weekend and other notable news, the NYT Now offers a theSkimm-like production of the latest happenings to give its readers just enough to stay updated without spending myriad time consuming news.

Deadly Drawings

Last week’s April 4th, digital production by the Washington Post, brought an illustrated and interactive guide to all 704 deaths in Game of Thrones, separated by season and relevance of characters. Despite spoilers (for those who haven’t caught up), this depiction of death tells viewers the number of deaths per season (S1: 59, S2: 130, S3: 87, S4: 182 and S5: 246), how they died and the context surrounding their death. Fans of the show can now easily reflect and remember the specificities of Game of Thrones‘ twisted and complex storyline in anticipation for the season 6 premier on April 24th.

Financing Femininity

On April 6th, Glamour released a video comparing the costs of getting ready between men and women. This digitization of the cost of being a woman shows the gender bias present in production and consumption as well as in importance placed on looks. For men, getting ready costs significantly more than it does for women. Now we know, being a woman costs more while women still get paid less.

 

No matter your time allowance, your interests or your ability to stay up-to-date, #digitaljournos will have your back in tweeting the latest and greatest news, near and far (at least for the next 7 weeks).

 

 

 

Transfer Students: Changing a Fool’s Paradise to a School’s Paradise

DENVER, CO: Every year thousands of high schoolers choose between thousands of colleges and universities, banking on their intuition, hoping they’ll be happy with the higher education institution they choose. They go on tours, click around on the internet, ask their friends, counselors, parents, brothers, sisters and anyone that will listen question after question, aspiring to make their lives from ages 18 to 22 the best yet. Sorry kids, it turns out one in every three college students transfers from one college to another.

Lifestyles of the Switch and Famous

The University of Denver enrolls nearly 200 transfer students, meaning they have some secondary education credit, after receiving an average of 700 applications. Approximately 4% of DU’s Pioneer Nation is made up of students having transferred in while no data is currently available on the statistics of students leaving DU.

According to Niche, a website that ranks colleges and universities on everything from academics and looks to athletics and public transportation, DU received an overall grade of an A-, based on an average ranking of academics, athletics, campus quality, diversity, local area, professors, safety, student life and overall experiences.

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Source: https://colleges.niche.com/university-of-denver/rankings/ . Published 2016

 

The University of Denver, as voted on by students currently enrolled or Pioneer alumni,

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Hannah Gouin (left) with sister Elizabeth Gouin (right) disliked Clemson’s culture and wanted to be closer to family. Photo by Paige Evans

received its lowest grades, at C- and C+, in drug safety and campus health and safety, respectively. While the local area and party scene around the University, both earning an A+, were considered the most successful attributes DU has to offer.

Meanwhile, College Transfer reports the the top 20 reasons college students transfer:

  1. Financial Circumstances
  2. Social Circumstances
  3. Sports Transfer
  4. Military Transfer
  5. To Move Away From Home
  6. Switch Majors
  7. Restart/Return To College
  8. Desire To Be Close To Home/Family
  9. Current College Is Not A Good Fit
  10. Academic Challenge

 

Go Pios

DU boasts statistics that show 81% of Pioneers would make the same choice in choosing a college if they could do it over again. Hannah Gouin, a Hospitality Management senior, said, “I love everything about DU. I love living in Denver, I love my major and all my classes and professors and I love all the friends I’ve made here,” as compared to  Clemson University, where she transferred from after her sophomore year.

“My school was in the south. [Clemson’s] culture was one really big reason that I transferred.” -Hannah Gouin

Another University of Denver student, Jessie Burke, 21, transferred from Villanova University because she “didn’t really make any meaningful connections with people up there. I already knew people at DU, like my ex-boyfriend.” Majoring in Engineering and the founder and president of DU’s Engineers Without Borders chapter, Burke switched schools to establish better friendships that would enhance her college experience all-around.

“When I got to DU I joined Alpha Phi. Without those friendships I would never have felt empowered enough to wholeheartedly pursue a career in STEM or to start EWB. The people I met at Denver gave me the confidence I needed to excel in my male-dominated classes. Transferring here made me a better person in every sense.” -Jessie Burke

DU’s Todd Rinehart, Associate Vice Chancellor for Enrollment and Director of Admission, advocates preparing high school students not for getting admitted to the university of their choice, but for achieving all that gaining higher education can offer students as world citizens.

No Pios

No statistics are made available by the University of Denver concerning students transferring out. Alia Miller, 22, transferred to DU from Gettysburg College then transferred again to the University of Connecticut. Miller said, “I just hadn’t found my fit at Gettysburg or DU. I didn’t like DU because I didn’t feel like it was a worthwhile education for me.” As a Hospitality major, Miller transferred first after her freshman year, then again after her junior year and will be graduating this spring.

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Dylan Snover commutes from Denver to Boulder every day for class. Photo by Paige Evans

Meanwhile, Dylan Snover, another senior, transferred from DU to the University of Colorado at Boulder because of his major but still lives around the DU campus. “It’s definitely not convenient, but I love my major and I love my friends at DU, so I didn’t want to have to give up one to have the other, you know?” says Snover, an Environmental Studies major.

Another DU to CU transfer student is Chad Verdi, 21, who switched schools because he “hated the way DU is run in terms of student conduct and discipline.” Verdi was suspended after his first quarter at DU and chose to transfer so as not to fall behind in school.

When choosing a college to attend, there’s no way to predict whether you’ll love it or hate it. With what seems like unlimited universities to choose from and such a high national transfer rate, students are able to explore their options and find their fit.