Unemployment project shows Rocky Mountain News is still slugging

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.

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.

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