Not just one foundation, not just one newsroom: How the Colorado Media Project is trying to rebuild a local news ecosystem

“This didn’t take a ton of capital. It just took a lot of willingness on the part of a lot of different folks to collectively figure out what we should do, where are the gaps, and how we can fill them.”

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Look at the local journalism scene of almost any metropolitan area in the U.S., and you’ll find a similar set of players facing a similar set of challenges. One remaining daily newspaper, facing still more cuts and cratering print advertising. A few TV stations, buttressed by advertising but facing mergers and uncertain investment in journalism. A public radio station, supported by residents but not immune to the industry’s crises. Maybe a startup or two trying to scope out a new vision. And it’s all darkened by a cloud of drip-dry revenue, broken trust in media, and important stories already going unreported.

It’s a lot of problems and not so many people trying to address them — mostly the journalists trying to keep their jobs in the first place.

But in Colorado, hundreds of people — journalists, professors, students, business folk, local foundations, and more — have stepped up to do something about it. And they have a few ideas for where to start.

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