We’re relaunching: The shutdown’s over

No, not that shutdown. We mean an end to the shutdown of the kind of Colorado journalism you want and deserve and expect to be delivered daily to you.I’m happy to announce that The Colorado Independent has been reborn. It’s a smarter, faster operation that aims to recharge reporting in Colorado, where journalism is in desperate need of new energy.

How are we different? We’ll be producing fully independent new-style journalism. That means we belong to no corporation. We run no advertising. And we’re not tied to any one space — we run across digital platforms, including all the main social media outlets, so that you may either come to us or we can come to you. The new Independent features established Colorado journalists and avoids 24/7-news-cycle clatter to focus on news that matters – reporting that affects your life and informs your thinking. We will strive to provide context. We will ask questions that other outlets don’t ask. We’ll post the kind of watchdog investigative reporting and analysis that used to be, and should still be, the standard for journalism.

Working with me is managing editor John Tomasic, a veteran of The Independent and longtime new-media news pioneer (@johntomasic). Mike Littwin (@mike_littwin), a Colorado institution, is our lead columnist. The site employs a growing staff of young reporters and is hosting work by more than two dozen expert correspondents who will write about politics and blog on the environment, economics, immigration, criminal justice, civil rights, LBGT issues, health care, mental health, reproductive rights, family matters, business, rural issues, sports and entertainment. You already know some of our contributors, such as longtime Colorado sports columnist Dave Krieger, theater critic John Moore, film critic Bob Denerstein and Pulitzer-winning political cartoonist Mike Keefe. Others, such as immigration organizer Julie Gonzales, fiscal policy guru Carol Hedges and environmental watchdog Becky Long, you will come to know.

And here’s the kicker. You get to be a part of it. We want your photos and tips. We want volunteers. We want conversation. And we want involvement. As we grow, we aim to host events where you can speak your mind, pick the brains of national newsmakers, authors and journalists and have coffee while Littwin expounds the way only Littwin can expound. Ultimately, we dream of doing in Colorado what The New Yorker and the Texas Tribune festivals have done in NYC and Austin – bringing together a community of readers and supporters who want more intellectual discussion here in our square state. We are a Colorado outfit, now run solely by Coloradans and for Coloradans, not for the purpose of making money, but working toward a smarter, better informed and tighter knit community.

We want your input, your pats on the back and your criticism. Of course, you can also donate. We can’t do this alone. We’re a nonprofit organization, and the only thing we’re looking to raise is the quality of journalism in Colorado. High quality, important, meaningful reporting that has an impact requires putting more reporters in the field. We urgently need to grow our staff to make a difference in Colorado. Everyone complains about the media. We want to do something about it. With your help, we can.

Over the last several weeks, we’ve been busy launching a more user-friendly and freshly designed website and expanding our coverage areas. We’ve also added  blogger contributions and lots of social media material. Starting literally in the first hours of our re-launched website, we broke stories on the historic state recall efforts with sharp analysis the night of and day after the elections. We’ve also recently broken far more investigative stories about human rights issues – including problems in Colorado nursing homes, prisons and a juvenile treatment center — than all local news outlets combined. We’re just getting started.

Click here to check us out in all our fabulous forms. Please join us as we breathe life back into Colorado journalism. We hope you’ll become an active part of the “small media, big news” movement we’re helping to build.

Susan Greene
Editor

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