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

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Monday, December 01, 2008

The Denver IDEA Cafe got a nice mention from Tina Griego in her Rocky Mountain News column this morning. She writes about her experience when she attended Friday’s meeting as an observer. In the comments I invite her to return to share her experience as she started her career in journalism. (click here to see it) Post your comments about turning lemons into lemonaid, OK?

Sunday, November 30, 2008

What we need today is more entrepreneurs, not more scientists!

“In the end, it comes down to individuals, and you don’t need to be a trained scientist or engineer for this broad swath of creatively productive work,” (Dr. Amar Bhide) observed.

“You need a somewhat more open mind, a willingness to experiment and to innovate in the use of technology, not create it.”

So instead of tilting policy toward the apex of the education system, Dr. Bhidé suggests, it may make more sense to invest scarce government resources further down — say, in upgrading community college programs. “The modern information technology economy is going to need a lot of foot soldiers,” he said.

“And our supply of high-level science and ideas in most fields far exceeds our capacity to use it.”

From an article in today’s (click here:New York Times) about Dr. Amar Bhide and his new book, The Venturesome Economy. Bhide will be with us here in Denver next January 17 to help celebrate Ben Franklin’s 303rd birthday.