Colorado Journalism Week recognizes hard work at local papers (editorial)
April 17, 2018
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper at last weekend's Colorado Press Association convention proclaimed Monday, April 16, to Sunday, April 22, as Colorado Journalism Week. It was a good venue for the proclamation, but it's also a good time to think about the benefits of a free press.
As you may have read, the state's biggest newspaper, The Denver Post, continues to endure rounds of layoffs that endanger the paper's ability to gather news and, ultimately, its profitability. Hopefully, the paper's current owners, Alden Global Capital, will sell the paper while there's something left to save.
But while the work done in Denver gets most of the attention — and most of the criticism — there's a lot of good work being done away from the Interstate 25 corridor.
Across the rest of the state, people are working at newspapers that tell their communities' stories — for good or bad — as honestly as possible. It's hard work, and no one is getting rich at these small papers.
What is happening at smaller papers is people being tarred with the same "fake news" brush used — with some justification — by critics of big-city papers and national news outlets.
Some critics will always and forever view established news outlets as hopelessly biased and willfully inaccurate.
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Still, if the journalism business vanished overnight, then finding reliable information would become far more difficult. Google "FBI malfeasance," and in the blink of an eye, you'll find 165,000 results.
The first results go to sites with some credibility — RealClearPolitics, the Washington Examiner, CNN and the New York Post.
But what do you think you'll get from powercorruptsagain.com or counterpunch.org?
While people today have access to a universe of information, it's also become far more difficult to separate wheat from chaff.
No matter what you think of MSNBC, or Fox News, or The Denver Post or the Vail Daily, you know who we are. That's important. It's especially important in places where people in the news business are easy to spot in the grocery store, church or a kid's soccer game.
This week, that work is something to be celebrated and honored. It's important work, and we take it seriously.
The Vail Daily Editorial Board is Publisher Mark Wurzer, Editor Krista Driscoll and Business Editor Scott Miller.