Estes Park Trail-Gazette: Earlier this month the Denver Post announced a significant staff reduction. Since then many people have come out remarking on how much this will negatively affect Denver. Less news will be produced. Fewer journalists will be there to act as watchdogs on our state government. It will be a loss for the city and the state. The owners of the newspaper are not at fault either — it is after all a business.
Consider what would happen if local newspapers cease to exist. Consider what it is like for the governed in other countries where the freedom of the press to report on the government does not exist. Consider, where our country would be without a local beat writer stumbling on Watergate or the Pentagon Papers. Consider Estes Park without the local newspaper being here to make Colorado Open Records Act requests for information about spending at Visit Estes Park, or to report on the severance package of the CEO. Who would cover the town hall meetings, the school board meetings, the planning commission meetings with all the details you need to know? Big or small, all of these stories came out as a result of the 1st amendment, which is best exemplified by a local newspaper.
It may seem like these types of cuts happening in newsrooms across the country are inevitable. They aren’t.
It is true that papers in general have seen their subscriber bases shrink due to more and more people getting their news for free online. However, subscribers are not what has traditionally paid for the journalists or the investigative work in covering the news. Most funding for newsrooms has and continues to come from one source – advertising. Also know that a newspaper like any other business is not a non-profit or funded by the state. It is a business and with less advertising, comes less resources that our community and country rely on.
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