Rocky Mountain PBS I-News

Rocky Mountain PBS I-News produces in-depth, research-based journalism that many newsrooms couldn’t do alone. We collaborate with the most respected news outlets to deliver this journalism to millions of Coloradans. Together with our media partners, we’re filling a void in serious public-service journalism, bringing more in-depth news to the places you already look for your news: your newspaper, radio, television, computer and digital device. We produce journalism that makes a difference. Here are some recent examples:

Communities take action
Community groups are seeking solutions and lawmakers want to root out inequities in response to the I-News Losing Ground special report, which showed growing ethnic and racial disparity in Colorado.

Lawmakers respond
I-News helped 9News and other media reveal hit-and-run epidemic. Within weeks, state lawmakers pass Medina Alert, pushing public to help solve cases. 

Tougher standards
Colorado board of education toughened standards for K-12 cyber schools after I-News showed schools get millions in tax dollars while failing students.

Tax law changed
Lawmakers closed loopholes when I-News helped The Denver Post reveal movie stars and developers got tax breaks meant for farmers and ranchers.

Doctors disclose
More doctors now disclose payments from drug companies after I-News helped Colorado Public Radio report many failed to report funds, as law requires.

Students protected
Officials do more to protect students after I-News reports some schools withheld information about sexual assaults on campus.

Neighbors help
Northern Colorado residents sought to help disabled neighbors live at home and save tax dollars after I-News showed how state policies trapped them in nursing homes.

Waste law changed
A new state law passed after I-News uncovered dangerous and illegal treatment of hazardous electronic waste unknown even to regulators.

Fire policy addressed Politicians and the public began discussing fire policies when an I-News report showed how those policies made dangers worse and that one in four homes is now in a fire danger zone.

I-News reports on issues of statewide importance and local impact. Our specialty is turning complex information into compelling multimedia stories – so citizens can make better-informed decisions. Our focus is high-impact, investigative journalism with an emphasis on data analysis, statistical analysis, data visualization and public records research. These are skills most newsrooms currently lack. However, these are skills that are urgently needed to produce public service journalism. Traditional news sources face tighter resources and more deadlines. They don’t always have the time or specialized skills to do it all. I-News is there to help.

I-News also is helping train the next generation of investigative reporters and create the future of news. We work with journalism students at the University of Colorado and train high school journalists at our summer Investigative Journalism Institute. You can join in, too. Share your insights through our Public Insight Network. Help sustain quality journalism with a donation to I-News. Suggest a story. Contact us with any questions, ideas or suggestions.

Participants of the 2011 Institute.
Participants of the 2011 Institute.

Laura Frank

Laura Frank is the President and General Manager of News at Rocky Mountain PBS. Laura is a Denver native who spent 20 years at newspapers, radio and public television around the country, specializing in in-depth reporting that requires data analysis and deep public records research. She has trained hundreds of journalists for more than a dozen media organizations, including the nation’s largest newspaper company (Gannett). Her work has been recognized in both broadcast and print, including a regional Emmy for documentary production in 1990 and as a top-10 finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2007 at the Rocky Mountain News.

Laura started her first business at age 16 and began syndicating reports to radio and newspapers that same year. She is a Knight Fellow at the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at the USC Marshall School of Business, and serves on the board of directors of the national Investigative News Network.

Jim Trotter

Jim Trotter is highly regarded in Colorado journalism and beyond. He was the senior editor for investigative and enterprise journalism at the Rocky Mountain News when it closed in 2009. Since then, he has been with the Associated Press, responsible for enterprise journalism in 13 western states.

Jim has edited Pulitzer Prize-winning articles and an Emmy-winning documentary. He has been a columnist at a major metropolitan newspaper and been editorial director for the public affairs show of a major metropolitan television station. He was winner of the Dart Society’s 2010 Mimi Award, recognizing both his compassion and leadership.

He is uniquely qualified to help I-News work with print, broadcast and digital news media across Colorado to produce important public-service journalism. Jim’s hiring is made possible through a generous grant from The Colorado Health Foundation.

Burt Hubbard

Burt Hubbard is the editorial director of Rocky Mountain PBS I-News. Burt is well-known in the journalism world for his data analysis skills. His numerous awards include two prestigious Best of The West awards, a national education award for investigative reporting, and Reporter of the Year in Colorado.

He also was a top-10 finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in local reporting for the Rocky Mountain News and is enshrined in the Scripps Howard Journalism Hall of Fame. Burt has taught computer-assisted reporting and internet research to graduate students for 11 years at the University of Colorado School of Journalism and Mass Communication. For the past three years he has led research symposiums for journalists and citizens throughout Colorado on behalf of the university. Burt recently left the Denver Post to join I-News.

Joe Mahoney

Joe Mahoney was a staff photographer and then Assistant Director of Multimedia for the Rocky Mountain News from 1999 until the paper closed in 2009. He also teaches photojournalism and social documentary as an adjunct faculty member at Metro State College in Denver and has been a coach at the National Press Photographers Association’s “Multimedia Immersion” and the “NewsVideo” workshops.

Mahoney won an Emmy in 2010 in the Topical Documentary category for his work as associate producer on “Final Edition.” He was part of photo teams that won the Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Photography in 2000 and 2003 covering the Columbine school shootings and wildfires in Colorado. During his time with the News, Mahoney covered a wide range of stories from the Columbia space shuttle crash, presidential campaigns and both national political conventions of 2008, Stanley Cup championships, World Series as well as many local issues. Before joining the News, Mahoney spent nine years with The Associated Press.


Cynthia Hessin host and executive producer of the Colorado State of Mind, the weekly news discussion series on Rocky Mountain PBS, where I-News’ original reporting appears regularly. She wrote and narrated the recent I-News documentary, "Losing Ground: The Cliff Effect," about a little-known trap in Colorado public assistance law which ensnares many single parents.
Hessin is a Denver area native and previously worked as a reporter in two other local television newsrooms, KCNC and KMGH. Her honors include regional and national recognition from the Society of Professional Journalists, the Association for Women in Communications, and the Colorado Broadcasters Association, as well as six regional Emmy awards from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) for writing, producing and performance. She has been active in related professional organizations, including a term as the first female president of the Denver Press Club (1996-97).


Kristin Jones joined Rocky Mountain PBS  I-News as health reporter in September 2013. Kristin's investigative reporting on health and justice has won national awards, including the Robert F. Kennedy Award for public service journalism and the Dart Center Award for reporting on trauma. Before joining I-News, Kristin covered business for the real-time news desk of The Wall Street Journal. Kristin has a master’s degree in broadcast journalism from Columbia University, where she was a fellow at the Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism. She grew up in Colorado.

National Network


I-News is a founding member of the national Investigative News Network.

This national group includes nonprofit investigative journalism organizations from across the nation — from Voice of San Diego to the Center for Public Integrity, from NPR and PBS to the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism.

Collaborating on both reporting and the business of operating a nonprofit, network members are able to leverage resources and make their dollars — and their reporting — go farther.


Major Funders of I-News


Learn more about our major funders here.

Click here to make your donation. or to learn more about I-News, contact executive director Laura Frank.


Rocky Mountain Public Broadcasting Network, Inc. recognizes that the public trust is our most important asset. To maintain it, we adhere to the highest ethical standards, including The Public Media Code of Integrity.

This code was created by a collaborative of public media leaders, called Editorial Integrity for Public Media, who said:

Trust is perhaps the most important asset public broadcasting carries forward into its evolving public media future. Audiences rely on our information and perspectives as they make decisions in their public and personal lives. The public tells pollsters that public television and radio news is their most trusted source among many mass media choices.

We have built that trust by rigorous attention to editorial integrity — how we govern our organizations, raise funds for our programming, and produce our daily work.

Read The Public Media Code of Integrity and more about the organization at

Rocky Mountain PBS I-News

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I-News Receives Knight Local Media Initiative Grant

I-News Receives Knight Local Media Initiative Grant

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation gives $75,000 grant supporting I-News.

9 NEWS and Rocky Mountain PBS Investigative News Partnership

9NEWS and I-News at Rocky Mountain PBS sign multi-year cooperative agreement joining 9Wants to Know with I-News, creating Colorado’s premier broadcast investigative news unit.

New Collaborative Journalism Center: Inside Energy

Inside Energy, a national hub for energy reporting, is a collaboration of seven public radio and television stations from the nation’s energy epicenter.

Public Inspection File:

For additional information or assistance with the public file, please contact:

Marissa Johnson
1089 Bannock Street
Denver, CO 80204


For archived Issues and Programming Lists and EEO files, please visit our Archived Public Inspection File section here.

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