Saturday, February 28, 2009


I spent a good part of my life in Denver and I often told friends it was probably one of the best news towns in the country. Lots of important stuff happened there. Rocky Flats, the crash of Continental flight 1713, the emergence of gang violence, corruption, killer storms. It was like New York without the parking hassles. Denver bustled with 43 radio stations and two vibrant daily newspapers, all nestled in the shadow of the snow-capped Rocky Mountains and glistening downtown skyscrapers.

Those newspapers have been the life blood of Denver and much of Colorado for over a century. Unfortunately, the Grand Daddy, the Rocky Mountain News never got to see it's 150th birthday. The economy has killed another big city newspaper. With the advent of the Internet , newspapers are going the way of the Model-T Ford. More and more places are becoming one newspaper towns.

"The Rocky" as we used to call it published its final edition on Friday. 25 or so years ago, I remember as a young journalist covering another newspaper funeral, the death of the Philadelphia Bulletin, the city's afternoon newspaper. Most towns don't have those P.M papers anymore. I remember standing in the printing room as the final edition rolled off the presses. I snatched three of them. One of them is still displayed in my apartment. Like the Bulletin, yet separated by hundreds of miles, I'll miss my Rocky.

I'll miss it because of it's impact on the community. I'll miss it because the old guard of journalism is a dying breed....and I'll miss it because my colleagues, often nameless faces, have lost jobs in a profession they love. This weekend, I surfed over to "The Rocky's" website to see what they had to say about themselves and stumbled across a front page video documentary on their own demise. Not only did they have to write about their own death, they put it on video. See it for yourself.

Final Edition from Matthew Roberts on Vimeo.

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