Goodbye Rocky

by Matt Ball on February 26, 2009

Tomorrow will be the last day that I’ll receive the Rocky Mountain News, my trusted city paper. Still not sure what that means for my morning newspaper reading habits. I’ll miss the good local coverage and the convenient tabloid size. Fortunately, we’ll still have a local paper, and the Denver Post has committed to grabbing some of my favorite columnists.

I’ll miss the Rocky editor and publisher John Temple’s weekly Saturday column, with his pragmatic and clearly customer-focused outlook. And, I’m still not sure that I can forgive the Denver Post for their recent highly-biased coverage of Governor Ritter’s union moves (read an independent take here). They printed a front-page editorial that compared the governor to Jimmy Hoffa!

The slide shows of all the long faces in the newsroom on the Rocky website make me feel as if an era has passed. The recession is definitely largely to blame, but so too is the rise of the Internet and the importance of search. I’m considering the move to a Kindle e-reader and a daily subscription to the New York Times or Wall Street Journal. But I’d miss the local angle on news, and I don’t think I can deprive my kids of a newspaper at their fingertips.

Newspapers fulfill a very important civic role. I think it’s crucial for advertisers to allocate a portion of their advertising funds toward making a local connection and fulfilling a civic duty. Without adequate funding, we’ll lose hard-hitting investigative journalism that keeps our politicians honest, and we’ll see far too much celebrity drivel and even worse celebrity stalking.

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