Ben Markus

Ben Markus is an investigative reporter for Colorado Public Radio.

Education:
Bachelor’s degree in history with a minor in English, University of California at Davis.

Professional background:
Ben joined Colorado Public Radio in April 2011 as a general assignment reporter. He was named business reporter in 2017 and became the investigative reporter in 2019. As a business reporter, he shaped CPR’s business and economics coverage creating dozens of databases to track the important drivers that define the Colorado economy.

Ben came to CPR after spending three years at Hawaii Public Radio where he produced award-winning coverage on a range of subjects, including health care, technology and education. He learned the ins and outs of public radio from his first job at Capital Public Radio in Sacramento, California. Following that, he served as a reporter and producer at KUAC-FM/Alaska One in Fairbanks, Alaska.

Awards:
In 2010, Ben won the top prize for general news and feature reporting in the Hawaii Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. He also served as senior fellow in NPR’s Economic Training Project.

Why I became a journalist:
I first realized I wanted to be a journalist after watching the movie “All The Presidents Men.” It was empowering to know that good journalism—exposing the truth—can shake the pillars of American society. I think members of the press still occupy a unique and revered role in our society as members of the fourth estate. I’m proud to call myself a journalist, and I take the job seriously.

Why I got into radio:
I came to radio because I wanted to tell stories that touched people’s lives, the way NPR so often touches mine. Like many listeners, I was glued to my radio following 9/11. Melissa Block’s reporting at that time was part of what inspired me to become a reporter.

How I ended up at CPR:
After living the island life in Hawaii for three years, I was ready to make a change. CPR stuck out to me because of the news team’s commitment to local issues, the state-of-the-art facilities, and the fact that there is a lot of support for CPR in the community. It was an added bonus that Colorado offers a lot of options for the leisure activities my wife and I enjoy, including traveling, listening to live music and attending sporting events. Denver seemed like an ideal place for us, and I’m really happy to being a part of CPR’s bright future.

  • One of the most beautiful drives in Colorado is through Glenwood Canyon on 1-70. But it’s also one of the most dangerous — think rockslides and tight turns. It’s not the kind of place you want to lose your cellphone signal. But coverage through the canyon is spotty at best. That may change soon.
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  • Gov. John Hickenlooper is asking Colorado public schools to absorb almost all the cuts needed to balance the state budget next year – but the reductions won’t be nearly as painful as in years past.  The governor released his spending proposal Tuesday afternoon.  It’s only the first step in the process, though.  The legislature has

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  • Twenty businesses in Fort Collins could soon be forced to shut down.  They’re not just any businesses, they’re medical marijuana dispensaries.  Voters there, as in six other counties or towns in the state, must choose whether or not to ban the retail sale of medical marijuana.  CPR’s Ben Markus has more.
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  • President Barack Obama made his second appearance at a Denver school in less than a month Wednesday.  This time he was at the University of Colorado, Denver.  And he used the occasion to announce new measures aimed at helping ease the burden of college loans.  Colorado Public Radio’s Ben Markus was there and has this

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  • You know the phrase “Keeping up with the Joneses”? Xcel Energy is flipping that on its head, and wants people to “Go as low as the Joneses.” Some Xcel bills in Denver now compare your energy use to that of your neighbors.
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  • The Colorado Symphony Orchestra is facing a serious financial crisis.  It’s led to huge pay cuts for musicians and a rash of board resignations.  And now, to the cancellation of half the shows in fall season.  Colorado Public Radio’s Ben Markus has this update.
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  • If a registered voter failed to vote in the last election he or she is counted as “inactive.”  There are tens of thousands of inactive voters in Denver.  And a battle is playing out over whether or not to mail them ballots for the upcoming election.  CPR’s Ben Markus has more.  Reporter Ben Markus: There

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  • Xcel Energy could lose more than 100,000 customers in Boulder next month.  Voters there will decide whether to create a city-owned electric utility and throw Xcel out.  Boulder Daily Camera reporter Laura Snider is covering the story. She joins host Ryan Warner to discuss the November ballot measure.
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  • President Barack Obama returned to Dener, the city where he accepted the Democratic nomination back in 2008.  The President was campaigning for his jobs bill.  Colorado Radio’s Ben Markus was there, and has this report.
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  • With Colorado Public Radio, I’m Mike Lamp.  Two years ago this month Xcel flipped the switch on Boulder’s Smart Grid City.  The project was sold as a way of giving customers greater control of their energy usage and limiting blackouts.  Eventually it would help facilitate a green energy future.  But some are now calling the

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  • The most popular beers in the world are lager beers, think Budweiser and Coors. Now, 500 years after German monks first brewed lager beer scientists have discovered the origin of a key ingredient. Researchers at the CU School of Medicine traced a strain of yeast, used in lager brewing, back to South America.
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  • 343 firefighters died on 9/11.  And firefighters here in Denver were the first to honor them by hiking up 110 stories — dressed in full gear.  Now, there are 55 similar climbs all over the world involving almost 15,000 firefighters. Colorado Public Radio’s Ben Markus was at the climb yesterday and filed this report.
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  • Story Produced by Lee Hill and Ben Markus Through our Public Insight Network, we’ve been asking how 9/11 affected you, then and now. Lee Hill is Colorado Public Radio’s Public Insight Analyst and Reporter.
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  • The U-S-A Pro Cycling Challenge ended in Denver Sunday. American Levi Leipheimer took the title.  The race was the first time Colorado’s hosted a premier tournament since the Coors Classic was shuttered more than two decades ago.  CPR’s Ben Markus was at the finish and has this report.
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  • The newsrooms of big city papers have either shrunk or disappeared altogether.  But it’s a different story for many small, often rural, papers. They continue to break stories and provide vital information to their communities. Journalism professor and part-time Coloradan Judy Muller has written a book about this.
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  • Work began  Friday on one of the state’s biggest and most expensive water projects.  The Southern Delivery System is a pipeline that will supply water from Pueblo to the fast-growing Colorado Springs area.  But it’s not been universally embraced.  A small group of officials and citizens have fought the project, saying it’s too big and

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