A new statewide nonprofit digital news outlet with robust but undisclosed funding will launch in the coming months to cover public affairs in Colorado.
An editor and a trio of yet-to-be-hired reporters will make up a newsroom that’s so nascent it doesn’t yet have a name. Quentin Young, who just left his position as opinion page editor of The Boulder Daily Camera, will lead this latest journalistic endeavor.
Funded by and linked to the national States Newsroom, the new site will become the latest local news startup in Colorado to set up shop amid several years of traditional newspaper retrenchment. It comes as the state’s media scene enters a notably new phase of collaboration. Indeed, it was part of this new transformational period, specifically for The Colorado Independent where this newsletter appears as a column, that made way for this new outlet to launch.
The States Newsroom, an apparently well-funded national network whose spread into a dozen states hasn’t received much national attention, helped fund The Indy for about two years as a partner but not a fully-funded affiliate. But as The Indy moves away from daily coverage and joins a partnership with the Colorado Press Association and Colorado Media Project to produce more collaborative journalism, the move offered an opening for the States Newsroom “to go ahead and create an outlet that does what we do for Colorado,” says Andrea Verykoukis, deputy director of the States Newsroom. A standalone Colorado presence will add to the network’s affiliates in states from Arizona to Maine, Louisiana to Maryland. Its latest, the Tennessee Lookout, launched this week.
How a new newsroom focusing on politics and policy will find a lane that sets it apart in Colorado where politics is heavily covered will be left to Young to figure out — after he decides on a name. Since at least February, Verykoukis has been calling Colorado journalists to pick their brains about the state’s media landscape. She heard multiple times (at least once from me) that our legislature is covered enough already.
“We want to find the areas elsewhere in state government and throughout the state that aren’t getting coverage,” Young told me over the phone this week, adding he expects they’ll dig into certain state agencies, look for enterprising stories from Colorado courts, and explain how federal policy is affecting state residents. The newsroom will benefit from a correspondent in Washington, D.C. who reports for newsrooms across the network. They’ll also have a freelance budget for photographers and correspondents in far-flung parts of Colorado.
With a staff of four, the new site without a paywall will have to balance feeding the beast with daily churn while producing long-form, impactful work that takes time. I…