Our work is not done yet

Tina Griego
Tina Griego

Dear readers,

I have this story I tell people when they ask about how I came to work at The Colorado Independent as the managing editor nearly two and a half years ago. I never intended to be here this long, I say. I was going to help out only through the 2016 general election becauseThe Indy needed an editor and I needed work upon my return to Colorado from Virginia. I had decided I was ready for a new adventure along a new path.

But I had not accounted for the way in which The Indy can get beneath the skin. It is a nonprofit endeavor with the mission of educating people through solid, in-depth reporting, analysis and good storytelling. It is the smallest of newsrooms run by a passionate award-winning journalist in Susan Greene and staffed by people who love what they do and who work tirelessly. It is an underdog, competing against organizations with more money, more people, more resources. And who does not love an underdog?

It also turns out that more than 25-odd years into this business, I am still a journalist. I have come to understand in a way I could not in my younger years that what I do, what I am able to do, is a gift and a privilege and it is no easy thing to walk away from stories that need to be told and told well.This may not be the most financially sound course for a woman on the downside of a career in an industry that is frequently in upheaval. But this is the choice that feeds my spirit. It is the one that teaches me humility. It is the one that fills me with gratitude for the grace I regularly witness in the people we cover.

Susan calls this path, this call to journalism, our religion.

The job of managing the news operation allows me to shape an organization, to decide, with my colleagues and with your feedback — because this band of idealists includes you, our readers, who understand the role of a free press and who are willing to put money intoits continuity — what and how and why something should be covered. It allows me to mentor younger up-and-comers and to be renewed by the shared thrill that comes with a scoop, with one more dot connected, with a sentence crafted just so. As Susan told you inthis morning’s newsletter, Colorado is better for our staff’s tenacity, its hunger, its light upon the people, the policy and the politics of this state. We want to hire more reporters. We need a photographer. We have plans.

You’ve received multiple asks for donations from us as Colorado Gives Day approached and you have responded, so many of you. Thank you. We cannot tell you how encouraging your support is. But the day is not yet done. The work is not yet done. From now until the year’s end, your donation will be matched twice. Your $50 becomes $150, your $100 becomes $300. And that makes a huge a difference for us.

It is the daily practice here to ask ourselves how we can be smarter, scrappier, more strategic.  It is a constant challenge to resist the siren call of trying to be all things to all people and to instead focus and refine what we do best. The Indy is a work in progress, always seeking to improve. Sometimes we succeed. Sometimes we fall short. Always we aspire. Please help us realize our vision and strengthen our future.  

Thank you,

Tina Griego

Tina was a city columnist for the late great Rocky Mountain News and The Denver Post. She left Denver for Richmond, Virginia in 2012 and learned the joys of news editing at the city’s alternative newspaper, Style Weekly, and its premiere city mag, Richmond Magazine. She was also a staff writer for the Washington Post and its Storyline public policy/narrative journalism project. She has national recognition for her reporting on immigration, education and urban poverty. Tina lives in Fort Collins with her husband and two kids. She’s a native New Mexican and prefers red over green.