Editorial: At risk: Journalism in Colorado
This is an exciting time for journalism. We know what’s often heard nowadays is that news media of all kinds are in trouble, but the reality is a little more complex than that. Yes, we’ve seen a turbulent few years as a slumping economy, a housing bust and a movement to more digital delivery methods has hurt the newspaper industry and even caused some high-profile demises such as the Rocky Mountain News. On the other hand, community newspapers such as the Summit Daily have weathered the storm and continue to provide local news not available anywhere else while offering employment to journalists who still earnestly believe in the power of the printed – and digital – word. We also believe newspapers are uniquely poised to take advantage of new digital formats to disseminate the news we know is vital to any community. In other words, regardless of the format, the journalism is still essential, and the excitement comes from being a part of this fast-changing media landscape.
So it’s a concern to us, as well as newspaper publishers and editors across the state, that the main institution for training journalists in Colorado is looking to make sweeping changes to its school of journalism and mass communications. At the Daily, we stand with the Colorado Press Association, which recently offered this resolution:
“It is hereby resolved to encourage the continuation of the school of journalism at the University of Colorado, Boulder campus. It is further resolved that this continued program should adhere to the principles of journalism we have come to expect that include training in fair, accurate, objective, timely and complete journalism.
“It is further resolved that the Board of Directors of the Colorado Press Association should work with the University of Colorado in the effort to reach the goal of delivering the continuance of this vital program to the citizens of Colorado.”
We also agree with statements made by CPA to the CU Board of Regents, which stress the distinction between journalism and technology, as well as the difference between traditional, responsible reporting and the work of bloggers, special interest websites and other forms of electronic communication with content written by those who either don’t know or don’t practice those principles of ethical journalism.
In the wild west of the web, where it’s difficult if not impossible to determine if information is true, unscrupulously altered or even stolen from another source, journalists trained in the core basics and gaining their experience in newspaper newsrooms are more important than ever. We encourage the University of Colorado to maintain its journalism program so that new journalists will continue to enter the field possessing a solid education in media principles and ethics and who will form the basis for the next generation of Colorado and American journalists charged with the upkeep of the free press and an informed public.
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