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Friday, December 05, 2008

In case you've been on Mars, our oldest local newspaper here in Denver is on the auction block.

I just sent this letter to the editor at the Rocky Mountain News after my repeated efforts to post the comment to their online forum failed:

RE: Sale of the Rocky

Since 1965, I made many trips into the newsroom of the Rocky with things it seemed to me readers would want to know about.

Those trips became much more difficult when the move was made to West Colfax, into the building that was torn down to make way for the Hickenlooper Justice Center. (Government wants us to save paper sacks and rubber bands, but they put up and tear down buildings like they are playing with Legos!)

Community Newspapers such as Life on Capitol Hill, the Washington Park Profile, and the Cherry Hills/ Greenwood Village newspaper The Villager, are doing better than ever. Free daily newspapers like the Denver Daily News are a national phenomena.

I think where the Rocky went wrong was when it opposed the local neighborhood precinct caucus as a way to get on the primary ballot. People in Colorado love this system.

Why did the Rocky oppose it? Consciously or unconsciously, I think it was because it boosts ad revenues to have candidates spend money on advertising rather than grassroots organizing, which is demanded by the caucus system. Ads alone just don't work in caucus-states, look what happened to Hillary Clinton. But caucus-states strengthen neighborhoods, that's why the neighborhood newspapers are doing well, especially here in Colorado.

Let's talk about this at Denver Speakers Corner Sunday. You're invited, John Temple and any other Rocky people who'd like a forum. We'll video the session and put it up on You Tube. More info and optional RSVP at

John Wren

We’ll brainstorm what opportunities the failure of the Rocky presents this afternoon at the Denver IDEA Café

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