Alan Prendergast's "All the News That Fits," in the April 10 issue, was both amusing and informative. Having worked in the editorial department at the Rocky Mountain News for three years, I saw firsthand the carnage that Prendergast describes so well.
It is both depressing and sad to see the number of fine journalists who were reduced to eight-inch column writers and tabloid reporters by the newspaper's policies to attract readers. Anyone who cares about good journalistic reporting would be ashamed at what our dailies have become. Sease may adamantly defend her Front Range Plus, but she knows and cares little about the community that her paper is supposed to serve. I think her Front Range Plus will be the death of the Rocky Mountain News.
I'm also sure I'm not the only one who feels this way. Just look at the string of fine, hardworking journalists who have left the paper: Joe Rassenfoss, Linda Castrone, Don Knox and Steve Campbell. I won't put words into their mouths, but I can't help but feel they left for the same reasons I did.
As for the Denver Post, I feel embarrassed for Britton and Green. Britton seems naive about the Denver market, and Green is making an ass of himself with the JonBenet Ramsey story. His articles are an exercise in writing about nothing.
The only point on which I differ with Prendergast is his opinion of Norm Clarke. Clarke is a remarkably approachable guy who writes excellent stories when given the opportunity. He does a good job with the assignment and space he is given.
The Denver newspaper war has done a lot toward public opinion of newspaper reporting, none of which is very good. We'll all be better off when it's over and the winning paper can go back to doing what it's supposed to do: report the news.
Name withheld on request
The article concerning Denver's newspaper war was very interesting. However, one point was omitted--the fact that the Front Range Shopper, aka the Rocky Mountain News, jacked up the per-copy price by 40 percent several years ago.
That's pretty arrogant.
I haven't bought the paper since, and I'm glad I made the switch to the Post.
I just finished reading Alan Prendergast's article on the Denver newspapers. I was relieved that someone shares my view that the important news in Denver is largely ignored by both papers. There are real issues, particularly around the recent growth, that should be addressed. I feel frustrated that so much coverage is given to articles about only terrible tragedies or fluff. Thank you for the concern that there is more news and that it is noticed.
My only disagreement is the lack of recognition for Bill Johnson's column in the News. I think he has addressed important local issues and done some provocative, interesting stories.
In regard to Alan Prendergast's insinuation that I am the loser in the battle between the News and the Post, allow me to invite him to live in a one-paper town for a while! I believe the first thing he'll notice is the unusually high newsstand price: 50 cents for a daily and between $1.50 and $2 for a Sunday edition. For that price, he could hear both Denver papers' points of view, with a Westword thrown in the bag!
Alan infers that I suffer because both papers probably lie about circulation rates. If he means me as a reader, let me reassure him it concerns me not! If he means me as an advertiser, perhaps he should send for a rate card from a one-paper town. True, they probably don't lie about circulation, but they also can charge exorbitant per-reader rates and get away with it.
As for Alan's worries about newsroom cutbacks, I suppose those skeleton staffs will have to work harder with less or risk getting fired. But such are the pratfalls of capitalism!
If Alan's so gung-ho on monopolies, he should move out of this multifaceted town and find a nice place with one newspaper, one used-car dealership and one restaurant...and really get the quality he deserves at a price he deserves!
All Stalk, No Action
Regarding Steve Jackson's "Loved to Death," in the April 3 issue:
Thank God for the amendment to the gun control act that proposes to take guns out of the hands of domestic-violence perpetrators. Ten percent of the United States police force is comprised of cops convicted of domestic violence. Sounds like a few of them may have been on the Jim and Dana Garner case.
P.S.: By the way--camping in the backyard with a stun gun? Who is hysterical?
I commend Steve Jackson on the Dana Garner story. It pointed out some of the basic flaws in human nature, the police system and the judicial system that I hope readers picked up on.
First of all, real-life observation of human relationships strongly indicates that many of the nicest and most sincere women end up with the sickest men. It works in reverse, too: The nicest and most sincere men also seem to become involved with the most dangerous women. Unfortunately, some mistakes turn out to be worse than others. I hope Dana and her children can overcome the trauma induced by this crime that wasn't taken seriously by the authorities.
The second point concerns the authorities and the way they commonly deal with complaints, regardless of the gender of the person reporting them (they are equally lousy in their empathy of a male reporting a crime). As Jackson illustrated, it is practically impossible to sue a government agency like a police department. Isn't it time that law enforcement agencies start teaching their employees how to act like they really care? Don't get me wrong: Police officers do exist who will admit there isn't much they can do; others seem concerned and a few will go the distance. They are few and far between, though. Makes you wonder what "to protect and to serve" really means.
And the final point: Dana Garner survived by a miracle. Some force was definitely on her side. Let's not forget that she was a victim. She could have died. She had no rights, and she and her children still don't. The life that she has clung to and heroically deserves may have been irrevocably destroyed by a madman the police couldn't do anything about. One lady who is no longer with us once said, "He is going to kill me, and he is going to get away with it." Dana Garner summed it up when she said, "He's smarter than your entire department put together." Thus we are all potential victims.
Think about it.
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