Elephant Diaries: Report from Colorado

Tom Yulsman, from the Center for Environmental Journalism in Boulder, bemoans a life without Rocky Mountain News and, potentialy, the Denver Post?

If Scripps cannot find a buyer for the Rocky Mountain News — and no one thinks it will — then the paper will go belly up,  leaving the Denver Post as the only daily in town. But there’s no guarantee that the Post will survive either, as Moody’s Investors Services reports MediaNews, owner of the Post, could default on its loans. Moreover, Dean Singleton, the Post’s publisher, said today that he must slash expenses by $20 million.  Maybe he’ll get the unions to cooperate. But will that be enough? I wouldn’t bet on it.

So we are faced with the rather alarming prospect of a major American city of some 2.1 million people lacking a daily newspaper to cover cops, crime, city council, education, zoning, politics, corruption, sports, entertainment, etc. — and the environment.

Tom suggests a non-profit model, but grasps the audience problem that would result:

But will a small group of hungry reporters aided perhaps by academics and student interns have the reach and influence currently enjoyed by the dailies? I doubt it.

One Comment

  1. At least to me, some team of web savvy journalists, salesmen, financiers, etc. possibly funded by Murdoch is looking at Denver as a test case for what the next generation of ‘newpapers’ will be.

    With 2.1 million people and soon no competing papers, there is room to try a lot of things until you find the one that works.

    This group might even need a former welder and his friends. 😉

    OK, where others see gloom, I see opportunity, often on the cheap.

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