Show some love for public-interest journalism

The Colorado Independent team (Photo by Evan Semón)
The Colorado Independent team (Photo by Evan Semón)

Dear readers,

These people make Colorado better.

Colorado Independent reporters Alex Burness, Lars Gesing and Corey Hutchins do so by showing up, day after day, to ask questions where injustices are playing out, secrets are being kept, policies are failing, and smarter approaches are being discussed.

Columnist Mike Littwin and editorial cartoonist Mike Keefe do so by putting news in context, sometimes pointing out its absurdity, and telling it like it is.

Editors Tina Griego and Mary Winter do so by helping sculpt our work, making sure it’s fair, accurate and comprehensive – and taking care to turn “its” into “it’s” when necessary.

Interns Shannon Mullane, Rachel Lorenz, and Forest Wilson do so by putting fresh eyes on the news and assuring that our craft will be in good hands regardless of how technology and news consumption change in the decades to come.

The Independent’s tech guy Mark Castillo does so with all manner of digital magic to distribute our news and commentary via our website, email and social media. And Alison Cooper, our administrative director, does so by seeing to the details in our newsroom and with our partners, supporters, and readers, making the little we have in financial resources go very far.

Each of these smart, scrappy people puts in more than a regular 40-hour work week. A lot more. For all of us, The Indy is a labor of love.

Why? Because we live here. Because, like our readers, we’re raising kids here, waiting at bus stops here, trying to afford housing and health care and tuition. Because we hike and ski Colorado’s mountains and fish its rivers. Because we rely on its water supply and breathe its air. Because we count on its safety, expect integrity from the people elected to represent us, and think every Coloradan should be treated fairly. We work at The Indy for the same reasons you read it: because we want to understand our state and communities more deeply, and because we hope that understanding leads to impact.

We are an imperfect bunch. Some of us have deadline problems and tech phobias. We swear like sailors and split infinitives and sometimes misspell our sources’ names (though always correct them). One of us smokes when on a tough assignment. Another chomps her gum too loudly on deadline.

But we are a team with heart. And, despite some folks’ belief that journalism is an act of cynicism, we share an unmistakable sense of optimism and purpose. That commitment is stated in our mission: “The Colorado Independent strives to report the news with context, social conscience, and soul, and to give Coloradans the insight they need to promote conversation, understanding and progress in this square, swing state we call home.”

If our work has reached you, informed you or moved you this year, please support our nonprofit newsroom with a tax-deductible Colorado Gives Day donation today

Thank you.

Susan Greene, editor

A recovering newspaper journalist and Pulitzer finalist. Her criminal justice reporting includes “Trashing the Truth,” with Miles Moffeit, and “The Gray Box.”