The Atlantic

My Newspaper Died 10 Years Ago. I’m Worried the Worst Is Yet to Come.

I was the editor of the Rocky Mountain News when it folded in 2009. A decade later, I’m concerned that more local journalism will suffer the same fate.
Source: Marc Piscotty / Getty

I feel like a ghost. I have one foot in a world that no longer exists. When my students look at me, they know not the world whence I come, and it disappeared only 10 years ago. I’m a survivor of the waning days of metro newspapers with knowledgeable beat reporters, journalists who spent years developing expertise in the courts, or local government, or schools.

One of the perks of working in a newsroom is hearing stories from the journalists around you. I was lucky to work at the with one of the best storytellers, Gene Amole, a giant of Colorado journalism who as a young soldier had helped liberate Buchenwald. He used to tell me how he remembered the men who had died fighting alongside him in Europe in World War II. He almost sounded envious. While he’d had his ups and downs in life and was suffering the infirmities of age, in his mind the men had stayed forever young.

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