Should state tax dollars fund journalism as a public good?

Posted by rmpbs rmpbs on

Former rival newspaper editors Greg Moore, who led The Denver Post, and John Temple, who led the Rocky Mountain News and was a former board member of Rocky Mountain Public Media, are now encouraging Coloradans to consider whether tax dollars should support local journalism. 

Their joint op-ed below references a newly released white paper by the Public Policy Working Group of the Colorado Media Project (CMP) a grant-funded group of local foundations, business leaders, academics, students and journalists. Rocky Mountain Public Media participates in the CMP.


Colorado Journalism Needs Public Support

By John Temple and Greg Moore

There was a time, not so long ago, when the two of us were foes in a "newspaper war."

We thought that the winner would be in a position to thrive as the sole surviving major newspaper in the Denver metropolitan area.

Were we ever wrong.

John's Rocky Mountain News died 10 years ago.

Greg's Denver Post lives on, with about 70 journalists in a newsroom that once had 275.

The journalism world in Colorado — and nationally — has been turned upside down in ways we never anticipated.

As a result, instead of going head to head every day, the two of us are putting our heads together working on the Colorado Media Project, a concerted effort to sound the alarm about the decline of journalism and how we might build a brighter, more sustainable future.

Today, the project is releasing a report ( we think deserves the attention of anyone who cares about the state’s future.

It starts with a premise we both share: that quality journalism is essential to our democracy, and that without it, the state and country risk not having vibrant, engaged and informed communities.

The report sounds many alarms. Since 2010, the number of reporters or correspondents working in all media in Colorado has plummeted from roughly 1,000 to fewer than 600, a trend that shows no sign of abating, even while the state’s population is booming.

Since 2004, the state has lost 21 newspapers – almost one out of every five. And there’s good reason to think more will suffer the same fate. Television and radio news

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