Focus: city and regional news; staff-generated stories/original content; staff journals; traditional newspaper features, such as sports, arts, business; multi-media components
Started: July 2009 [UPDATE 10/04/09: ORIGINAL CONTENT ENDED OCTOBER 2009, SUBSCRIBERS REIMBURSED FEES, see Westword story "Steve Foster on the death of the Rocky Mountain Independent"]
Staff/Writers: Former Rocky Mountain News daily newspaper staff started this site after the newspaper closed in February 2009; 14 names listed on staff page, mostly veteran newspeople from RMN. Rocky Mountain Independent editor and co-founder Cindy House also manages sister site iwantmyrocky.com, a site dedicated to researching the future of news in the wake of one of Denver’s major metro newspapers folding. Note, there is another independent start-up site in Denver, in response to RMN closure, see indenvertimes.com.
Funding: advertising, subscription service ($4 month, $24 year)
[From open letter to readers when site launched. Titled "An Independent's Day"] In so many ways, this is the worst time to do what we’re doing.
We admit it. Looking around, we see layoffs, closings and mass confusion in the news industry. No one has an answer to the future of journalism. Many have theories or snippets of ideas, and some have encouraging small-scale success, but no one has found the solution to losing a major metropolitan newspaper.
Which is why in so many more ways, this is the best time to do what we’re doing.
News coverage is shrinking at the very moment when the hunger for news is greater than ever. Technology lets us seek out the news we want in the way that we want it, but as newspapers close, contract and cut back, the focus of the journalism gets narrower and narrower. Stories are being left untold.
…The great myth of media today is that a single newspaper — should it survive — can cover a city as large and vibrant as Denver. Some of us came here a couple years ago, some of us arrived a decade ago, and some of us were here before the Broncos. But no one finds Denver to be the same now as it was when we arrived. It is changing every day, and the stories it produces are endless. No single news organization can cover them all, nor should it try.
Sample stories: From staff, “Denver’s trash trucks are auction treasures”; “Rocky-Post newspaper partnership officially ends, six months after Rocky closed”; “$38 million in Clunkers cash for Colorado”; “Denver Broncos fans offer forecast for season” a multi-media package.
Update story on start-up: http://blogs.westword.com/latestword/2009/08/checking_in_on_the_rocky_mount.php