U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet discussed his proposed Future of Local News Commission Act during a Zoom call with Colorado journalists, saying he shudders to think about what the diminishment of local journalism is doing to American democracy.
This may come as a surprise to Coloradans who have been quoted hundreds or thousands of dollars by cities, state agencies, school districts and other government entities for “research and retrieval” in response to their public records requests: Not every state allows such charges.
Rachael Johnson was looking for a way to combine her career experiences as a journalist and a lawyer. Starting Sept. 14, she’ll get that opportunity in her home state of Colorado as a Local Legal Initiative attorney for the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.
Journalists know they may find themselves in harm’s way when they cover volatile events such as the demonstrations we have seen in Denver over the past several days. But it is inexcusable – and a violation of the journalists’ constitutional rights – for law enforcement officers to single them out for attack simply for doing their jobs in chronicling these events.
Colorado Press Association and Colorado Freedom of Information sent the following joint letter to Gov. Jared Polis on March 16 regarding news operations and COVID-19.
News organizations in Colorado will soon get some extra legal firepower to fight wrongful denials of access to government records and proceedings.
Fewer professional journalists in Colorado – the total dropped nearly 44 percent between 2010 and 2018 – means fewer reporters at government meetings where important civic issues are discussed and decided. But some help may be coming from a three-year-old program that trains and pays people to monitor public officials in Chicago and Detroit.
A free and independent press is fundamental — it is essential — to American democracy at all levels. But knowing that is precisely why Coloradans must begin a conversation about alternative ways to fund local journalism — even ways that involve public dollars.
Journalists in Colorado would have stronger, but not absolute, protections against being compelled to reveal confidential sources and unreported information under an amendment to a reporter’s shield measure proposed by the bill’s sponsor.
State Sen. Bernie Herpin quoted 18th-century English judge William Blackstone in explaining his reasons for introducing a bill to strengthen the Colorado law that protects a journalist’s confidential sources.