Colorado’s oldest newspaper, The Rocky Mountain News, will publish it’s last edition tomorrow. It’s a sad passage that is being mirrored in cities all over the country as people increasingly turn to TV, the Web or their mobile phone for news. I must admit, I don’t read newspapers.
Who has time to read through a whole newspaper? And they leave your hands so dirty. And then you have to dispose of them, either by filling the landfills or letting them pile up for recycling. So why do I care? Because the Rocky has been around since 1859 and I hate to see it go. And because I was a print Journalism major in college and I worked as a daily newspaper reporter as my first “real” job. It turns out it wasn’t for me, but I have the highest regard for the Press. Our free press provides the checks and balances that our society sadly needs. Newspapers have the time to devote to digging out a story that a short news broadcast just can’t match. In a ideal world, every city would still have competing newspapers with different points of view, but that hasn’t been the case for a decade or more now.
I hope that the displaced staff will find new jobs that use their valuable talents and skills, even though it won’t be the same. Newspaper reporters certainly don’t go into it for the money and it will be a sad day in the newsroom tomorrow. And it will be a sad day for all of those used to reading the Rocky with their morning coffee when it’s no longer there.