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Colorado Confidential: A Survivor Story

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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

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

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Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.