Colorado's media landscape is changing rapidly, as the role of familiar news outlets evolves and new, digital-first sources emerge. What will the future of local news look like, and what can we do to help ensure that more Coloradans have access to the information we need to participate in civil society?
The challenge – and the opportunity – is before us:
- Disinterested media ownership in Colorado has led to a rapid decline in the amount of original daily reporting, deep coverage of important issues, and investigative journalism that is vital in driving civic awareness and engagement, particularly in local communities.
- A variety of independent sources are emerging to fill Colorado's widening news gap with issue-specific coverage, hyperlocal news, and investigative reporting. These outlets are experimenting in exciting ways and attracting specialized audiences, but have yet to achieve broad reach and financial sustainability.
- Given the fractured media landscape, Coloradans – particularly younger audiences and the large influx of new residents to our state – lack a clear “home” or compelling pathway to access high-quality, reliable Colorado news and participate in important community conversations.
This summer, the Colorado Media Project is researching and testing new ideas and digital tools to strengthen the civic fabric of Colorado. The project is designed to be additive, building on the learning and assets of Colorado’s existing news ecosystem, leveraging cooperation instead of competition.