What if The Denver Post disappeared? In this era of news delivered via mobile phone apps and the internet, would it matter?
“Damn straight it would,” says Rick Edmonds, a media analyst for the prestigious Poynter Institute, a journalism school and think tank. “A lot.”
He notes the probable void in fact-finding, accountability style journalism that would be left if the Post were to be shuttered. He didn't have to look far for examples. Denver used to be a two-newspaper town, but in 2009, the Rocky Mountain News, which began in 1859, was closed by the Scripps Co. because the newspaper had no buyers. Though nonprofit media is helping fill the void, they’ve only filled a small portion. Two hundred news employees at that newspaper covered myriad beats -- from cops to courts to city councils.
Edmonds doesn't think The Denver Post will be shuttered, but “it is debatable," he says.
The Post's New York-based parent company, Digital First Media recently announced layoffs and is now exploring its options. One of them could be a sale -- if there are any buyers.
The Post's own media critic, Joanne Ostrow, recently wrote in her blog post, “So the Denver Post is for sale” that the paper could use a savior.
“I have no inside information on the sale, no idea what will happen or when,” she wrote. “But like many staffers, I hope a local buyer emerges, someone with deep pockets who cares about journalism and the importance of the media’s gatekeeper role in local government and politics. We need our own Jeff Bezos.”
Bezos, who founded Amazon.com, recently bought The Washington Post.
It’s not just the Post that could be put on the auction block. Digital First Media owns 76 dailies and 160 weeklies in 15 states. Its holdings in Colorado include Boulder’s Daily Camera, Longmont’s Times-Call, Estes Park’s Trail-Gazette, Loveland’s Reporter-Herald, Canon City’s Daily Record and several others.
Digital First Media is controlled by Alden Global Capital, a privately-owned hedge fund.
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