The Colorado Independent
|The Colorado Independent|
Type of site
|Created by||David Bennahum|
|368,707 (April 2014[update])|
The Colorado Independent is a nonprofit, independent news site started in July 2006 and "born again" in September 2013 under new, Colorado-based management.
The Independent sees the role of journalism as a public trust. It strives to produce the most important, most informative, most intelligent, most compelling and fairest journalism in Colorado. It aims to serve readers and communities throughout the state with this simple idea: “The only bias we have is for good journalism." "The goal is to make impact, to inspire action by moving readers on important issues with stories that provide missing context, unearth buried facts, and amplify unheard voices,” according to its mission statement.
With monthly events and forums open to the public, the Independent has created a “small-media, big news movement” – a growing community of Coloradans who want in-depth, smart and soulful news coverage and conversation. Because the site is a nonprofit funded solely by foundation grants and individual donations, it’s not constrained by many of the forces that bridle big media. It invites readers and even other news outlets to “Steal our copy, please. Post it far and wide. Give us credit.”
The Independent, first called Colorado Confidential, was originally founded as part of a network of sites run out of the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Independent Media, later called the American Independent News Network. The network effectively shut down its sites in the spring of 2013, which spurred editor Susan Greene and managing editor John Tomasic to re-launch the Colorado Independent as an independent entity run in Colorado by Coloradans with broader reporting, a new design and a team of some of the state’s best journalists.
The newly independent Independent covers state politics and policy issues such as the economy, education, the environment, energy development, criminal justice, social justice, gay rights and reproductive rights. It features a twice weekly column by Mike Littwin, a major figure in Colorado journalism known for his work at the Rocky Mountain News and the Denver Post. Regular contributors include reporters Tessa Cheek and Bob Berwyn and Pulitzer-winning cartoonist Mike Keefe. Tomasic, a veteran web newsman, brings years of experience in helping shape the multi-media site in the evolving world of online journalism. Greene -– who was a longtime Denver Post reporter and metro columnist -- has tapped her investigative skills and statewide sources to reinvent the Independent.
The operation is headquartered at the Open Media Foundation building in Denver’s Santa Fe Art’s District. Members of the reporting team work out of the newsroom there, and from their communities in Boulder, Summit County, Eagle County and Colorado Springs.
As part of the Independent’s educational mission, veteran journalists train young staffers and interns the basics of shoe-leather reporting. The Millennials, in turn, teach the newspaper refugees how to broaden their craft through digital-information media. In February 2014, the Independent was granted a construction permit by the Federal Communications Commission for an FM radio broadcast station in Denver.