Much of the nation’s media have written about and praised the Denver Post’s editorial page effort to shout out to Colorado readers that they are losing their only statewide newspaper by steady and accelerating economic attrition. But even after the effort and some suggested remedies, there remains a sense of inevitability about it – the hidden hand of market, technology and out-of-town investors, which can’t really be stopped.
Most of us recognize the quality of political life in the Denver metro region, which represents 55 percent of the state’s population, and much of its economy, sports and cultural infrastructure was diminished by the loss of the Rocky Mountain News. Today, decline of the Denver Post’s finances and reporting reach and depth, often highlighted by the thinness of the Monday edition, are a common topic of the quarter of the population that actively engage in daily local news consumption.
A sketchy version of public policy aspects of good journalism, including accountability in government, coverage of political competition for office and policy differences, and providing the forums for discussion, is moving to digital platforms. Possibly, an Amazon Prime of politics and public policy will replace the print edition. But, we will still miss the connectivity of a well-written and edited newspaper and the public service of investigative journalism that requires exceptional levels of resources and talent.
The transition to digital is leaving gaps in coverage and in our public life that newspapers best filled, but are rapidly diminishing.
Read The New Republic: Finance is killing the news