Boulder stay-at-home mom Liz Payton saw a void.
And in the age of open source Internet publishing and "net-newsers" who can -- and do -- discriminate to find only the news they want to read, the retired civil engineer turned website manager and a group of four other civic-minded Boulderites have founded their own online liberal website: Boulderblueline.org.
With a name that pays homage to the 1959 voter initiative that capped the growth of tall buildings in what was then a much smaller Boulder (Payton admits the "blue" part also agrees with the Democratic nerve that binds the site's founders), The Blue Line plans to fill the gaps left by the town's predominant daily, the Boulder Daily Camera.
What gaps, you ask? The -- uh, well -- liberal gaps, particularly in regard to development and environmental issues, the city council or mobile-home owner's rights.
"After the last election, a group of us got together to just sort of debrief," Payton says from her home, which also serves as the newsroom for the non-profit venture. "We were disappointed in a lot of the coverage during the election" -- an election that she says was dominated by propaganda in the Camera, as well as in campaign literature.
"We want to offer this sort of in-depth news that you don't get with the Camera," she adds. "That's a really important part of this. There are a lot of people new in Boulder, and they aren't familiar with the how much community involvement came in." Click here for The Blue Line's shtick.
But she says the board of directors (Payton, Susan Peterson, Steve Pomerance, Pat Shanks and Mary Young -- all well-to-do Boulder liberals knee-deep in community activity) are not strictly a voice box for the left.
"I don't think any of our writers yet have been Republican," Payton admits, but as they hope to attract more than a hundred volunteer contributors before the state elections heat up, "we're open to both sides as long as it's factual, and not anonymous."
So far the site, which had its official launch party over the weekend at an event that attracted 75 residents, has solicited half a dozen contributors in addition to its five-member board. As for advertising, "We don't really know how that's going to go," Payton says. "We're trying to get donations."
Like virtually all local grassroots efforts these days, they do have a Facebook page, however.
"That's step one," Payton says.
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