Colorado journalism experts urge caution on proposed Longmont news outlet funded by library district

Times-Call (Longmont): Colorado news industry experts are recommending a cautious approach to Longmont-area residents who might be attracted to a news outlet funded by a proposed library district.

Scott Converse, co-founder of local news nonprofit the Longmont Observer, is among those pitching a news operation funded by a library district encompassing the city that would be supported by a new tax on those in its boundaries. The district, which would take over library services in Longmont, would be created only after garnering voter approval.

Longmont City Council’s agenda for Tuesday includes an update on the possibility of forming a library district.

Converse said he believes a news outlet funded by the library district government structure, should it be voted into existence, would fill a need in Longmont created by massive job cuts in the news industry over the past two decades that have impacted newsrooms across the country, including the Times-Call, Boulder Daily Camera and Denver Post.

But news industry experts are urging journalism consumers to consider the implications of relying on a government-funded news source — a library district is a form of government.

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