4

Rocky Mountain News: The voices still echo a year after the paper's death

^
Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

On the last Thursday of February 2009, I was sitting with the state's newspaper publishers and editors at the annual Colorado Press Association luncheon, waiting for a speech by Governor Bill Ritter, when phones around the room started vibrating: Word had just come down that the Rocky Mountain News would publish its last issue the next day.

News staffers were conspicuously absent from that lunch. And after distributing its final edition the next day, the physical paper disappeared, too, leaving behind empty offices and hundreds of employees whose calendars were suddenly blank.

In the 364 days since the News ceased publication, many of those employees have found jobs (and all too many have not). The nonprofits that relied on the paper to push their arts events and benefits have found other ways to promote themselves (or died trying). And the longtime readers have found ways to otherwise occupy the fifteen minutes they used to spend thumbing through the tabloid over breakfast. But the paper's demise still leaves a huge hole in the heart of Denver, one that resounds with the ghostly echoes of the voices that spoke to us every morning.

The February 27, 2009 edition of the News lives on, seemingly frozen, at www.rockymountainnews.com on the web -- the prime culprit in the demise of the daily newspaper industry.

Take a few minutes today to look back at that final issue, published just 55 days shy of the News's 150th anniversary, and remember what we all lost a year ago.

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.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

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

 

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