Robert Moore, editor of the Fort Collins Coloradoan, told a gathering yesterday that the newspaper industry is struggling and may never bounce back, adding that the situation is a “threat” to democracy because government will be less accountable without good watchdogs (via the Northern Colorado Business Report).

And Wendy Norris, managing editor of The Colorado Independent, a progressive-minded online publication, says the newspaper industry has failed to develop business models that cater to readers transitioning to news online.

The forum came as E.W. Scripps Co. president and chief executive officer Rich Boehne claimed that the closure of the Rocky Mountain News earlier this year “eliminated significant financial risk” to a company struggling with more than $220 million in losses, writes The Associated Press.

Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby, whose paper averted a shutdown this week thanks to union concessions, lamented the death of the Rocky and other newspapers, saying his conservative friends are wrong to blame the decline of the newspaper industry on “liberal bias.”

What’s happening is a business story, he writes: “Craigslist and its ilk have vaporized what used to be most papers’ greatest profit center: classified advertising.”