Bzdek: When newspapers wither, the cost of government goes up

The Gazette (Colorado Springs): For as long as we’ve had democracy in this country, we’ve had newspapers.

It’s worth arguing that one can’t really exist without the other, that the lifeblood of democracy is well-informed citizens. And well-informed citizens don’t exist without media outlets that provide accurate, reliable, local information.

Without good information sources and well-informed citizens, tyrants and bad politicians pushing their version of reality are left unchecked.

Without well-informed citizens, in other words, democracy starts to die.

So it was disturbing to hear last week that the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, where my father took his first newspapering job in the 1960s, has decided to stop publishing a print edition two days a week, Monday and Tuesday, because of increasing paper costs.

The city will be lesser for it, I fear, as are many cities that have lost or are losing their voices.

A new study has, for the first time, documented the real, tangible cost to a community when a newspaper folds or is gutted, as has happened too much in Colorado, especially in Denver, in the past 20 years.

Visit The Gazette for more.

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