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Rocky Mountain PBS journalism staff plans end-of-year publishing pause

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Following an exciting 2023 where we expanded our newsroom and increased our reporting, our journalism staff is taking a one-week publishing pause to rest and recharge for the new year. We hope the time away from deadlines and screens allows us all to approach our work with renewed energy and focus. Between December 24 and January 1, our readers and viewers can still watch their favorite PBS programs — including local productions — on broadcast and online during this pause.

We invite readers to revisit some of our staff’s standout pieces from the last year:

Amanda Horvath, the managing producer at RMPBS, reported extensively on the return of the buffalo to the prairies of Colorado following near-extinction as part of “Colorado Experience: Return of the Buffalo.” Her piece, “Bison conservation efforts ramp up in Colorado,” details the century-old effort led by American Indian tribes and conservationists to return the animal to its natural ecosystem.

Colorado Springs-based multimedia journalist, Chase McCleary, chronicled a fundraiser for the city’s LGBTQ+ community on the one-year anniversary of a deadly shooting in “Drag, donations, and donuts: Sunday brunch at the Pikes Peak Metropolitan Community Church.” The brunch celebrated new, up-and-coming performers and veterans of the drag scene in a show of solidarity.

In “Dia de los Muertos makeup is anything but skin-deep,” journalism intern Carly Rose shadowed students at the Emily Griffith Technical College as they designed and applied calavera makeup to participants of the holiday festival.

Over the course of several stories, reporter Alison Berg investigated the realities of homelessness in Colorado Springs. Their story, “Colorado Springs touts itself as a national leader on homelessness. Unhoused people beg to differ.” examined the lived experiences of unhoused people in the city over a period of three months.

Taking a deep look at the myths around water availability that led to the settlement of Colorado and the West, Kate Perdoni, journalism director at Rocky Mountain PBS, presented "Cheap Land: The Series." The multi-part documentary reckons clashes over land and water rights and the ensuing environmental and legal reckonings.

Kyle Cooke, digital media manager at Rocky Mountain PBS, fulfilled a lifelong dream of interviewing Ken Burns about his legendary documentary career in "Ken Burns on buffalo, storytelling and American exceptionalism."

Few things have inspired more mythology about Denver than the murals at Denver International Airport. Multimedia producer Elle Naef investigated the murals and the lore they have inspired in "The true story behind the conspiracy-ridden murals at DIA."

Photojournalist Peter Vo profiled the life after immigrating to the United States of Tai Nguyen and Phil Le and their re-planting of family roots in Aurora in "A Vietnamese family grows a new garden in America."

Senior photojournalist Julio Sandoval recorded the three-day Outdoor Native Youth Wilderness Camp at Tall Bull Memorial Park in "Native youth connect to the land, each other and their histories at summer camp." 

Gabriela Resto-Montero, managing editor at Rocky Mountain PBS, sat in on the Chávez Huerta Preparatory Academy’s Mariachi Águila rehearsal and learned about how the students connect to their heritage through music in “Mariachi Águilale echa las ganas at holiday concert.”

Lizzie Mulvey, executive producer of investigations, and Andrea Kramar, investigative multimedia journalist, caught up with Dr. Barbara Zind following her return from a pediatric mission to Gaza in "Grand Junction doctor returns from Gaza on a mission to share what she witnessed." Zind has regularly volunteered in Gaza with the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund (PCRF) and became stranded in the region after the Israel-Hamas war broke out October 7.

Multimedia journalist Lindsey Ford interviewed Colorado's State Historian, Claire Garcia, about her path to history and her plans on centering Black stories rooted in joy, rather than trauma in "Meet Claire Garcia, Colorado's new State Historian."

We are grateful for your readership and continued patronage and wish you and your loved ones a happy new year. We’ll be back with a daily story January 2. See you in 2024!

Gabriela Resto-Montero is the managing editor at Rocky Mountain PBS.

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