Atmosphere

No News is Bad News

Why I miss the Rocky.

February 2010

It's been a year since the Rocky Mountain News closed, and only now, with the distance a year brings, have we felt the true impact of the loss. Last year was tumultuous—the Great Recession hit its stride, budgets were cut, unemployment lines swelled—and without the Rocky's more than 200 journalists, I worry that Coloradans missed reading some of the important stories, big and small, that newspapers excel at covering.

The Denver Post has done an admirable job filling the void. The award-winning "Ian Fisher: American Soldier"—which covered the life of a Colorado soldier from recruitment to deployment—was an innovative, impressive piece of journalism and a forward-looking use of multimedia. And it was heartening to hear that the Post retained 86 percent of former Rocky subscribers.

But one big story and some business success won't fill the hole left by the Rocky, which excelled at covering the Statehouse, education, and business sectors with veteran beat reporters; was willing to experiment online; and served as a rival to the Post. And with that loss, the city, state, and entire region are the worse off.