About Us | Denver Westword | The Leading Independent News Source in Denver, Colorado

Since its founding in 1977, Westword has carved out a place in the cultural firmament of the Mile High City.

Thanks to our early commitment to digital journalism, westword.com attracts more than 1.5 million monthly active users. They’re joined by more than 278,000 monthly print readers who consider the publication an unparalleled source of information and insight, from politics and business to music and the arts. Our annual Best of Denver issue is a must-read for residents and visitors alike and our Top 100 Restaurants and Top 100 Bars lists have become the definitive source for exploring the city’s dynamic dining and drinking scene. We also provide the city’s most reliable coverage of the cannabis industry.

Embracing change

In the late 1990s, we were among the first alt-weeklies to commit to digital journalism, restructuring our workflow to publish stories web-first. That decision turned us into something we'd never been: a daily newsroom. Another change occurred in 2013, when a group of longtime employees purchased Westword's parent company, Voice Media Group, from its previous owners, who'd acquired us in 1983 as the first step in building what became the nation's largest chain of alternative weekly publications.

One result of Westword's forward-looking approach was a growing number of readers who didn't necessarily live along the Front Range, but appreciated what we were doing. Whereas in the early days of print our distribution was limited to metro Denver — thanks to those eye-catching red-and-yellow newsracks! — our stories were now available to anyone with an internet connection.

Celebrating Denver culture

From the beginning Westword was about more than hard news. We also believe in celebrating Denver culture, covering our city's music, arts, dining and marijuana scenes with the same attention to detail that we devote to our news stories. We were the first publication in America to hire a pot critic, and have since locked in our position as the state's most authoritative source for marijuana news.

We've given you definitive stories about Bob Dylan's ill-fated summer in Denver; penned odes to Denver's most legendary bars; and inspired the Colorado Legislature to kill a bill that would have set THC-inebriation levels ridiculously low when our pot critic tested nearly three times over the proposed limit – sober. We believe a special kind of culture thrives in the mile-high atmosphere, and we want to keep helping you discover it.

Innovation stems from talent

Talent is one thing Westword has always had in abundance. Seven Westword writers have been finalists in the Livingston Awards, the country's most prestigious honor for young journalists, and Julie Jargon won the award in 2003 for her groundbreaking coverage of sexual assaults at the Air Force Academy. And our editor-in-chief, Patricia Calhoun, a true icon in the industry who's been at the helm since Westword's founding, is one of the nation's most prolific writing editors, having taken home dozens of national awards herself and in 2019, being named the inaugural recipient of the Association for Alternative Newsmedia's Lifetime Achievement Award.

We're the only Colorado media organization that revealed the secrets of the Rocky Flats grand jury, a story that won a Silver Gavel award from the American Bar Association and figuratively blew the lid off a troubled nuclear weapons plant that nearly gave Denver its own Chernobyl. We've provided the country's most in-depth coverage of the U.S. Penitentiary Administrative Maximum or ADX, the highest security pen in the federal prison system.

Giving back through live events

Westword further gives back to the city with live events such as Out to Brunch every June, where showcase Denver’s hottest brunch spots; Tacolandia every August, where we highlight Denver’s favorite food — tacos; and Feast every November, where we broaden the menu to shine the spotlight on Denver’s entire dining scene.

Helping business owners thrive

As part of Voice Media Group, V Digital Services serves as our in-house resource for business owners seeking success in the digital space. As a full-service media and marketing company, we make advertising simple for business owners by using practical thinking, effective strategies, and our wide portfolio of digital and traditional marketing options to help clients stand out in a competitive and changing environment. VDS is a Google Premier Partner, meaning it’s among the top 3 percent of Google Partners in the country. Its certified specialists excel in local and organic SEO, paid media, social media management, web development and pay-per-click advertising.

Also a part of the Voice Media group portfolio, V Audience Labs is our marketing technology solution that enables companies to better connect, control, and activate data to transform customer experiences and generate more valuable business outcomes.

Over the years, Westword has combined grassroots journalism and strong local relationships to become a key player in one of America’s greatest cities.

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