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I'm sixty years old and twenty of those years were lived in Colorado where I began my journalism and photography career (part-time, freelance, stringer, activist) so I do know the Rocky Mountain News well.  With two major papers out of Denver, the competition kept them both working hard for readers and advertisers.  The Rocky Mountain News will be missed.

For the past fifteen years, I've lived in Alaska, rural Alaska, where the only newspaper that is timely is the weekly rag.  The internet and public radio have risen to the surface as a major news sources for me.  

I've always thought the better part of most newspapers was the section for commentary and the letters to the editor.  This is the place where citizens communicate directly with each other.  The Daily Kos is basically one major "letters to the editor/commentary" forum and, as such, provides a terrific service.

So as the Rocky Mountain News dives, the Daily Kos thrives.  Trees will be spared.  Corporate and certain business advertisers will not be catered to.  Times change.

Even though my pay as a contributor to the Kos is zilch--a little less than my pay as a stringer or freelancer--there is a certain kind of reward in a well-managed site that allows freedom of expression (within reasonable limits) and encourages feedback.

To keep a level playing field, broadband internet access needs to be made available to all and needs also to beaffordable.  Internet neutrality must remain a priority.

So, here's a glass raised to the Rocky Mountain News for its many years of well-done news reporting and providing a good forum for exchange of information and ideas.  

And here's to the Daily Kos for using the tools available, along with its designers intelligence and creativity, for this new kind of forum for reporting, commenting, and sharing information, inspiration, and ideas.

Originally posted to akmk on Sat Feb 28, 2009 at 12:34 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I am worried (10+ / 0-)

    about the trend against newspapers. Good, effective local journalist is necessary for a healthy democracy. The Times and the WAPO can't keep the heat on your local school board, the Town council, the county executive etc. In some cases, sure, this stuff will still be available on the internet version of these "newspapers" but it isn't always the case and not everyone can afford the internet.

    •  And unless Dailykos and the (11+ / 0-)

      blogosphere start hiring reporters, we may not thrive either. Those are our sources.

      ... the prophet is a fool, the spiritual man is mad, for the multitude of thine iniquity, and the great hatred.

      by Tirge Caps on Sat Feb 28, 2009 at 01:00:59 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thankfully, most medium-sized and small (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      akmk

      newspapers continue to thrive, although they're facing many of the challenges that are sinking the large dailies.

      Cities and towns with limited local television news outlets will continue to support daily newspapers, which really are their only outlets for local news and events.  While the Internet has decimated the classified business, and cable television has made inroads in terms of capturing market share of ad revenues, small newspapers offer highly competitive ad rates that small businesses can afford.

      When you look at the large dailies, few small businesses advertise.  The New York Times, for instance, has relied heavily upon financial services firms, auto manufacturers, and major retail chains to fill their coffers.  A restaurant catering to the Upper West side of Manhattan above 72nd Street and below 86th Street can't afford to advertise in any of New York's major dailies. Nor can small retailers, or providers of services.

      I believe the real opportunity for the future of newspapers is to carve up major metro areas into several distinct regions, with a newspaper devoted to each. Also crucial will be integrating the news with other features that can be effectively marketed on the Internet.  

      I'm not so concerned about the future of the industry, although the large media conglomerates are effectively dinosaurs.

      "If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich." JFK - January 20, 1961

      by rontun on Sat Feb 28, 2009 at 01:45:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  i didn't always like them (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lava20, akmk

    but read it regularly anyway. now i'll remove the rmn link from my homepage and replace it with another tv news link.

    it seems ak is one of the places people go to when colorado becomes too crowded for them. i know a hermit who thought he could overwinter in a tent at one off those lakes outside of haines. he snowshoed into town for supplies during a late december blizzard and didn't return until may to get his things and return to leadville.

    Whatever we cannot easily understand we call God; this saves much wear and tear on the brain tissues. -Edward Abbey (-7.75 -5.79)

    by elkhunter on Sat Feb 28, 2009 at 01:01:50 PM PST

  •  opinion pages (0+ / 0-)

    The Daily Kos is basically one major "letters to the editor/commentary" forum and, as such, provides a terrific service.

    Well, sort of -- it's one big commentary forum that hides your comments if they don't tow a strict ideological orthodoxy.  There's certainly a purpose served by such a thing; but we shouldn't pretend that we're being exposed to a range of viewpoints across the American spectrum.

    And, as others have mentioned, if newspapers fold, then what the heck would we link to and discuss?  

    The moral arc of the universe just had one hell of a bend.

    by cardinal on Sat Feb 28, 2009 at 02:10:14 PM PST

  •  I for one mourn the passing of the newspaper. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    akmk

    Print journalists have been the ones that have always done the first investigations and the most in-depth analysis of news events.  Television and the internets cater far to much to popular tastes, which dumbs them down (except for DKos of course, there are arguably no dumb people here catering to the People Magazine crowd).  Newspapers offer a comprehensive overview of the news of the day, whereas other electronic media are tailored to the interests of the individual consumer of that news, which I find a disturbing trend...

    No politician ever lost an election by underestimating the intelligence of the American public. PT Barnum, paraphrased...

    by jarhead5536 on Sat Feb 28, 2009 at 02:20:34 PM PST

  •  The Rocky had the most awesomest weekday comic (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    doinaheckuvanutjob, akmk

    section.  4 pages!  Granted, it was not in color, and The Boondocks was over in the Post, but still, a massive selection.  I can't imagine too many dailies across the nation could compete.

  •  hey I am busting my butt liveblogging NNiyN (0+ / 0-)

    here in CO.

    please show me some love

    http://www.dailykos.com/...

    (-9.00,-7.59) Non Illegitimi Carborundum. Hope and change can be magical things.

    by Irish Patti on Sat Feb 28, 2009 at 03:29:15 PM PST

  •  Thanks for the comments. Speaking as a rural.. (0+ / 0-)

    Alaskan who used to live in Colorado.  Yes, I think I did escape north--away from hatchery fish toward wild fish.  Away from all earnings barely paying the bills.  

    I traveled north, seeking a wolf encounter in my wildest dreams--and finally, after over a decade, have been rewarded with a handful of the dream encounters with an opportunity for a photo or two.  Also, there is nothing quite like watching an Alaska Coastal Brown Bear catch a wild salmon within ten miles of one's small town.

    All media tends to cater to its advertisers.  I notice this even, or especially, living in a small town.  

    Taking on the System--less so.  

    Not advocating trashing newspapers or reporters, however.  Reporters do their best within the constraints of their respective editors/owners.  The bigger the conglomerate, the more difficult the honest reporting appears to be.

    My raising a glass to the Rocky Mountain News was meant as a tribute to them and a good-bye to the passing of an era.  Sorry if that part was misunderstood. (poorly written?)

    Don't know how to respond to KOS hidden comments comment--as these comments are hidden and, as such, hard to evaluate.  My current guess is that the managers of KOS do their best to allow disagreeing positions within the realm of respectful dialogue.  

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