The fourth estate goes gangsta

In the face of rapidly shrinking turf, the embattled members of the press corps at the Colorado Capitol have finally decided to represent, flashing a four-fingered sign upon entering chambers or committee hearing rooms, apparently marking turf. For those in the know, the four-finger salute references the fourth estate.

Upon entering Hearing Room 0112 Tuesday, Colorado Springs Gazette reporter John Schroyer thumped his chest with his right hand, four fingers clearly on display. A reporter for the Denver Post shot four fingers in the air, a clear response.

No colors have yet been adopted by the gang members, none of the usual street red or blue bandannas or team-affiliated cockeyed hats. But there is a distinct fourth-estate style: Look for distracted people in comfortable shoes and ill-fitting department store off-color suits, pockets burdened with recording devices and pens.

In related news, the AP reports that Arianna Huffington, co-founder of the outrageously popular semi-journalism news aggregator site Huffington Post, plans to do what she can try to take some of the growing ranks of unemployed journalists off the streets.

The AP writes that the site is “following a trend of foundation-backed journalism that is attempting to keep investigative reporters working at a time of retrenchment in the news industry.” HuffPo is collaborating with The Atlantic Philanthropies and other donors to set up a $1.75 million fund to pay staff journalists and freelancers.

That ought to do it!

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