Media roundup: Meet Partake, a new pot publication that popped up in Pueblo

Paige Filler


Yo Cannabist, I love you, bro. And I totally would never admit to reading one of your reviews about a certain product this week and immediately bolting over to its website and clicking “add to cart.” But you can’t be the only big name pot section in a newspaper forever. Not in Colorado. So welcome Partake, a “digital daily” cannabis publication created by PULP, the local monthly newsmagazine in Pueblo. Why? “Because of the void in cannabis coverage” in that part of the state, Kara Mason, PULP’s news editor, told me.

Also, Mason said this:

One of the major reasons we felt Partake was needed was advertisers and those in the industry have come to us saying they don’t trust the coverage in the Colorado Springs Gazette or Pueblo Chieftain. And that they feel the alternative press doesn’t treat marijuana reporting seriously.

The new pot pub in Southern Colorado is being led by Lisa Wheeler (she’s a medical cannabis card-holder, Mason says) who has over 30 years in radio, TV and PR.

PULP joined the publishing platform Medium in June— one of the smaller publishers to do so, Mason says, adding, “In July, we joined the Associated Press. In August we launched Partake. For 2016 and into 2017 we have more planned.” Good to see a print publication growing in Colorado. Growing like a wee—shut up.

This Colorado millennial quoted in a national story knows what’s up 

Jo Tongue, a 31-year-old Fort Collins resident, made it into the lede of a much-trafficked Washington Post story about national politics this week by summing up the 2016 presidential election, even earning herself quotes in the headline.

“We’re at a place where it all feels like a joke,” she told the Post’s Philip Rucker while he was in Colorado doing national election coverage. *Slow clap* for you, Jo. Nailed it.

Inside one of the Gannett chain’s Colorado ‘Newsrooms of the Future’

You might remember this month two years ago when Gannett, the nation’s largest newspaper publisher, launched its so-called Newsrooms of the Future after the company spun off its publishing business. At the time I interviewed Josh Awtry, Gannett’s top editor in the Carolinas, for CJR’s United States Project about what it would mean for his papers. (Spoiler: “excitement, some pain, and a full-time beer beat.”)

Now, two years into the transition, Eric Larsen, the content strategist for the Gannett-owned Coloradoan in Fort Collins— coincidentally it’s a paper where Awtry used to be editor— sat down with the Colorado Press Association’s Cheryl Ghrist for a Q-and-A of his own about what it’s like at a newsroom of the future.

Here’s what he said about The Coloradoan’s newsroom structure:

Our newsroom structure was born out of months of research and reflection on what Fort Collins-area readers told us they wanted. Folks who’ve heard about Gannett’s “Newsroom of the Future” reorganization will know that we clustered reporters around “passion topics,” or areas that readers tell us they’re interested in through their consumption of our digital and print products.

So instead of having a traditional city desk, features desk, sports desk structure, we try to center our people around areas of reader interest. In Fort Collins, where the population is expected to expand to 250,000 by around 2040, the consequences of that growth are an area of great reader interest. Part of my role is to lead a five-reporter team in providing coverage of government, business and other aspects of living in Northern Colorado through that lens.

Read more here about “VR goggles, or being able to determine what they want to see while a 360-degree video plays,” and how “anyone with a Ricoh Theta S or a GoPro Array is at the tip of the spear of another potentially interesting storytelling medium.”

Establishment Candidate Wins Race for Denver Press Club President

To follow up from last week’s newsletter coverage of the race for president of The Denver Press Club, here’s a statement from freelance financial journalist David Milstead, who won:

“I’m honored to have been elected to this position by the membership of the club. The attendance Thursday night — we figure nearly 100 members attended — demonstrates how much passion there is for this club and how important it is for us to find a way forward.”

Last week’s special election replaced five former board members.

“It’s a fresh, forward thinking board,” says member C.L. Harmer.

Sadie Gurman is vice president. The rest of the Press Club board includes Linda Spear, Donovan Cordova, Harmer, Roger Ogden, Daniel Petty, Joe Boven, Peter Banda, and Nathan Heffel.

The Gazette held a roundtable discussion featuring local women in power

Sunday’s Gazette newspaper included a big story featuring five women the paper invited for a roundtable discussion about the landscape for women in local leadership in the Colorado Springs area. The panel included former El Paso County Commissioner Amy Lathan, Colorado College president Jill Tiefenthaler, Kathy Boe, the founder and CEO of defense contractor Boecore, Penrose-St. Francis Health Services CEO Margaret Sabin, and University of Colorado at Colorado Springs chancellor Pam Shockley-Zalabak.

“The women talked about their experiences as females in charge, what society needs to work on and advice they would give other women,” the report on The Gazette roundtable reads.

The story is notable because the newspaper orchestrated the event— an example perhaps of the ways papers around the country are trying to build relationships directly with the communities they cover. Alt-weeklies do these kinds of things sometimes, too, for cover stories. My favorite is the let’s-bring-a-handful-of-the-coolest-people-in-town-together-and-ask-them-why-they-still-stay-here story.

The National Center for Media Forensics is in Colorado. And it helps solve crimes. 

“After Denver police detectives left the interrogation room, the suspect they were questioning about a murder began to mumble to himself.” So begins the lede to a story this week by Chris Walker in Westword that, in the era of “The Jinx,” “Making a Murderer” and everything else, makes you go, “Yep, I’ll read the rest of that.”

But in case you don’t have time, here’s the run down: Walker’s’ story is about theNational Center for Media Forensics at the University of Colorado in Denver.  (Once the lab cleaned up the recording, they revealed that suspect in the lede had mumbled “I did it.” So “Jinx.”) It turns out the program is “the only college program in the United States designed to educate graduate students in how to analyze and interpret audio, video and image evidence obtained during investigations and for litigation,” according to Westword, and one that “had to earn a reputation to be trusted with sensitive evidence from government agencies and law enforcement.”

Speaking of Westword, one of its photographers had his car shot up in Denver

Yeah. A bad night for this alt-weekly photog. Apparently it wasn’t the first time Aaron Thackeray ended up on the wrong side of some action in a certain part of Denver, either. “And just over two years ago, he was the victim of a random attack that left him blind in one eye — a permanent injury that endangered his career and forced him to learn how to take photos in an entirely new way,” the story notes. Damn.

What you missed on the front pages across Colorado

Did you blow a whole day at the Colorado Gator Farm and UFO watchtower near Hooper, just to neglect all the news important enough for the Sunday front pages of Colorado’s newspapers? I’ve got you covered.

The Longmont Times-Call localized a story about a new state law affecting outstanding warrants for poor defendantsThe Greeley Tribune looked at lessons learned from local ballot measures to help fund schoolsThe Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reported on the need for quality teachers in the areaThe Pueblo Chieftain previewed an upcoming public meeting in which locals appear ready to rip a public utility over rate hikes (which has become a partisan issue over energy policy). Steamboat Today put a local former Olympic kayaker on its coverLoveland Reporter-Herald reporter Saja Hindi had two A1Sunday stories about local government: A local development project delay, and the city taking applications for a tourism boardThe Denver Post ran an enterprise story looking at why “water bills increased by 25-35 percent for the 5 percent of customers who use the least water.” The Fort Collins Coloradoan put parking problems for hikers on the coverThe Boulder Daily Camera reported on a county hospice in crisis (Print headline: “Locally, Dying a Tough Business”). Vail Daily asked if Vail could become an environmentally sustainable resortThe Durango Herald reported how Donald Trump is hurting down-ballot Republicans in ColoradoThe Gazette in Colorado Springs reported on women in local leadership positions (who said more work is needed for equity).

Meet this year’s Scripps Fellows for Environmental Journalism at CU Boulder

Colorado journalist Scott Carney is one of five fellows this year chosen for the gig. Check out the others here.


*This roundup appears a little differently as a published version of a weekly e-mailed newsletter about Colorado local news and media. If you’d like to add your e-mail address for the unabridged versions, please subscribe HERE


 Photo credit: Paige Filler, Creative Commons on Flickr.