May 21 2009, 1:01 PM
Don't think the decline of American newspapers is a matter of life and death? Think again.
Opponents of the death penalty looking to exonerate wrongly accused prisoners say their efforts have been hobbled by the dwindling size of America's newsrooms, and particularly the disappearance of investigative reporting at many regional papers. ... "It's extremely troubling, some of the leading investigative journalists in this country have been given golden parachutes or laid off," saidÂ Barry Scheck, the co-founder of the Innocence Project in New York, which is affiliated with the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. "When procedural mechanisms begin to fail, the press is the last resort for the public to find out the truth."Check back here next week, when the June issue of 5280 weighs in with Maximillian Potter's eye-opening look at the final days of the Rocky Mountain News. Max has uncovered critical new details regarding Scripps' decision to shut down Colorado's oldest newspaper just two months shy of its 150th anniversary. This is a story all of Denver will be talking about.