Friday, February 27, 2009

Say it ain't so, Rocky!

By now I’m sure you’ve heard. I bought my last-ever copy of the Rocky Mountain News today. No I’m not going to have it framed. But this is definitely a very sad day.

Most people know that I am a voracious consumer of news. I’ve long been in the habit of reading an actual newspaper several times a week at the very least. Since I’ve been taking mass transit the past few years, the Rocky has been an indispensable companion on the way to work. Reading the paper is one of those little morning rituals that helps me wake and mentally gear up for my day.

I’ve lived in Colorado for 20 years now and though I sometimes read the Post, the Rocky has always been my favorite. I’m not sure why. Even though its editorial page was much more conservative than my general views, I think the reporting and overall quality of the paper was more consistent.

I do feel that the quality of the Rocky went steeply downhill the past 2 or 3 years though. The past few months, it seems they’ve been focusing on reporting on what the TV news stations are too – crime, puff personality pieces, sensationalism. I hate TV news and never watch it anymore so I was disappointed in this turn of events. I’ve barely even bought a paper in the last month. The sports section was still robust and they seemed to be pouring their limited resources into it, but I care nothing for professional sports. The rest was all national AP/wire stories that you can read anywhere online.

However they still did a great job of covering the state legislature, and though their business section was pretty stripped down, they still had some great journalists like David Milstead and good business reporting. Plus they have won several Pulitzers in the past 7 or 8 years. It wasn’t all bad, and will be sorely missed. It was the oldest operating business in Colorado… less than 2 months shy of being 150.

I am very sad today. I will remember the Rocky like an old friend with whom I didn’t always agree, but whose absence leaves me wondering what will fill the void.