The decision by E.W. Scripps to put the Rocky Mountain News up for sale this past December was interpreted by most observers, including this one, as a the equivalent of a fatal diagnosis. But instead of slipping away peacefully, the Rocky is raging against the dying of the light.
Today, the paper published "Unemployment: The Colorado Job Search," a sprawling special section that includes a number of timely features, including a profile of a 64-year-old man still looking for work after submitting 300 job applications and a look at the downturn from the perspective of staffers at the overwhelmed Colorado Department of Labor and Employment. The online presentation adds slide shows like this one and behind-the-scenes video footage from the state's unemployment office.
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This is the kind of package that's becoming increasingly rare in newspapering -- and those that do appear almost never run on Fridays, when a lot of a publication's resources go toward entertainment and event coverage. If the naysayers are right, however, the Rocky may not have many days left -- and while it's still operational, its reporters and editors are taking full advantage of their media megaphone. Their effort and pluck is admirable.