Digital startup Colorado Sun plans to cover the whole state in greater depth

Poynter: Colorado is “a big lab for media,” Dana Coffield believes.

New publications across the state have experimented with funding and content to fill coverage gaps left by shrinking legacy newspapers. A staff of departed Denver Post employees, including Coffield, are getting ready to launch the next new outlet: The Colorado Sun.

Coffield and editor Larry Ryckman, both former Post editors, announced their plans in June for a digital newsroom focusing on in-depth journalism across the entire state.

They’re working with eight other Post veterans to launch the Sun in early September. The goal: quality investigative, explanatory and narrative reporting on issues facing the whole state, not just Denver.

“That sort of journalism helps bring understanding to readers,” Ryckman said. “It’s not about breaking news for us, but we intend to break news.”

The journalists launching the Sun resigned from the Post this spring after layoffs from its hedge fund owners had pared down its staff over and over. Shrinking newsrooms aren’t new for the state’s capital — Denver had two daily newspapers until 2009, when the Rocky Mountain News closed.

The journalists know a startup and a new business model are risky, Ryckman said, but they believe the risks are worth it. The journalists want to use their experience and institutional knowledge to bring deeper coverage and more collaboration to the Colorado news landscape.

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