Media

Colorado Confidential: A Survivor Story

Shortly after the Colorado Confidential website launched a year ago, David Bennahum, the author and onetime Wired muckraker who co-founded the project, told Westword that he wanted "to build an infrastructure to support promising individuals who could function as journalists -- people who could adhere to the standards of journalism, but who had a commitment to writing about their state."

A tall order -- but a year down the line, the site is doing a good job of adhering to this mission.

As noted on its one-year recap page, which includes links to many of its best efforts, Colorado Confidential has posted more than 2,300 stories, attracted the eyeballs of approximately 430,000 unique visitors and won a handful of awards from organizations such as the Society of Professional Journalists. More to the point, bloggers such as Jason Bane and Cara DeGette have consistently mingled their openly progressive point of view with journalistic rudiments, thereby giving their work much more credibility than the typical opinion-based Internet screed.

Better yet, fine, intriguing work continues to be done by the CC crew. Take "Colorado Publishers Ante Up For Candidates," a June 26 piece by University of Colorado-Boulder journalism instructor Sandra Fish, who uses public records to document political donations made by a slew of Colorado publishers. Among her discoveries: Denver Post head man Dean Singleton, a personal pal of President George W. Bush, gave $1,000 to the presidential campaign of New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, a Democrat. As Dean goes, so goes the nation?

Cynics may have scoffed at Bennahum's goals at this time last year. But thus far, Colorado Confidential is more than living up to the standards he set. -- Michael Roberts

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts