Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Recent Developments in Journalism I: I Want My Rocky

As media institutions around the country face increasingly sever economic challenges, the closing of Colorado's oldest newspaper, The Rocky Mountain News, sounded as loud an alarm bell as the NYT's freefalling profits.

But in an inspiring reaction to the close, the paper's journalists didn't stop reporting. Instead, a group of former editors, reporters and staffers started a new, professional-looking group blog called I Want My Rocky, with the tagline "Colorado’s oldest newspaper stopped publishing Feb. 27, 2009, but it didn’t die." They even stole the "R" web symbol from their deceased institution.

It's tragic that the increased emphasis on blogging has damaged the economic viability of quality media in this country. But it's possible – and I stress possible – that the Rocky's experiment will pave the way for creative solutions to the fundamental shift that is coming to the industry. If they can maintain the interest of the former Rocky's subscriber base while offering greater freedom (and perhaps personal recognition) to the reporters, then they might just end up with an even better product than before.

And at the very least, this represents another step in the continual blurring of the boundaries between blogging and traditional journalism.


  1. wow, I wonder if they'll find a way to make that commercially viable. Here's to hoping, anyway.

  2. Yeah seriously. That would be pretty phenomenal if it worked into something sustainable.