The Rocky Mountain News closed its doors today, two months shy of its 150th birthday. Essentially, it died because it couldn’t afford to compete with its stablemate, The Denver Post, in an economy which saw a 6.2% decrease in GDP over 2008.
How are people reacting? Most seem sad, shocked that this turn of events is coming to pass. Governor Ritter actually went to the newsroom to pay his respects, much like a funeral. And then there was this:
Huh, blame the joint operating agreement? Yeah, surely that was the problem. It didn’t have anything to do with the crappy reporting.
That came from my friend John at squarestate.net.
Look, I won’t deny that there were multiple occasions when the Rocky didn’t cover itself with glory. You win some, you lose some. That said, it’s not like there’s hordes of people flocking over to SquareState, and I mean that in the best possible way.
If you’re a political blogger — hell, if you’re a blogger of any kind, where are you getting your news? That’s right — the dreaded mainstream media. You’re reading CNN, you’re surfing MSNBC, and you’re checking out, yes, the Rocky.
Or you were until the Rocky closes its doors at the end of today.
For all the good that SquareState does — and it’s done a fair amount, in giving liberal & progressive Coloradans an unabashed soapbox on which to stand over the last three years — it’s not going to replace the Rocky. SquareState doesn’t do much basic newsgathering, if any, at all.
Given that so many bloggers & writers — including myself — depend on mainstream media sources for the basic newsgathering function, the loss of a basic source of information isn’t something to be celebrated. It’s something to be mourned.