Flooding Readers with Facts and Omissions

Spring flooding is the story du jour making the rounds in the Front Range media, although up in the Western Slope, it’s been a topic of interest for a long while – check out Colorado Confidential’s coverage here. In the Rocky Mountain News on Tuesday, one story listed all the major floods in Colorado for the past 100 years or so. That was a handy reference for readers except for one major drawback. One of Colorado’s worst disasters, the Big Thompson Flood of 1976, which killed nearly 150 people in the canyon between Estes Park and Loveland, was glaringly absent.

OK, all reporters make mistakes – including this writer. However, one has to wonder if omissions happen more often in the Rocky or the Denver Post because seasoned reporters and editors filled with institutional knowledge have been let go in cost-cutting measures. That’s great for the corporate bottom line; for readers, their bottom line is an incomplete record of history.

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