The Colorado Independent,2020
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FreePress has come to Denver to hold its biennial National Conference on Media Reform. Denver is a great place to gather, a sunny square state ringed by jagged mountains and host to a major middle-continent airline hub. It's also a place suffering from a collapsed and consolidated media market, as alert citizens well know and as FreePress has highlighted for years.
The media is being revolutionized in the digital era, becoming more user friendly and interactive, distributing power and better serving the public interest... or maybe not so much. Maybe the "revolution" is already over and we're stuck with the same old "fair and balanced" stage show that has long been dominated by talking heads trained in prattling on and run by pinstriped executives who share almost none of our daily concerns.
The sprawling greater-Denver metro region is in news-media crisis. In the information age, when there seems to be more and more to know, there is less and less being reported by the diminishing number of local mainstream news outlets here. So it comes as little surprise that media watchdog organization FreePress this week is highlighting the Denver news market as a negative example for the nation. The organization reports that, on top of shrinking newspaper reporting, the local TV news market is host to a "severe" form of the kind of sly consolidation that media corporations have been effecting across the country for nearly a decade. FreePress says this "covert consolidation," where direct ownership is never transferred, is gaining momentum and that it skirts federal ownership laws and erodes market variety and competition.
Now that digital social networks are coming to provide the bulk of actionable information on important stories-- as has been the case with Boulder's...