The shrinking Denver media just got even smaller. Last week, the Denver Post announced that 20 journalists took buyouts, and it was followed by an unknown number of additional layoffs.
This brings the total number of newspaper reporters working for Denver’s only metropolitan daily to less than 100. In perspective, 10 years ago, there were an estimated 400 journalists working for either the Post or the now-closed Rocky Mountain News.
Without getting into the critical role the media plays in our community, here are a couple points to consider as we work on behalf of our clients to navigate the Denver media landscape:
Build relationships: It will be nearly impossible to catch the attention of a journalist, let alone build ongoing relationships with the new crop of reporters. Just think, there are 90 journalists, half of which work behind the scenes, covering a metro area with 2 million people.
Strong pitches: Getting a client’s news in the newspaper will be even more of a challenge, and only the best pitches will succeed. Strong news hooks and trends remain important.
Web hits rule: Stories that play well online will continue to rise to the top; this includes those with good digital assets, such as video and photos.
Online outlets: Several new online news outlets are trying to fill the gap, and we need to be comfortable that news coverage may be online only.
Community papers, paid media on the rise: Smaller newspapers will continue to maintain their role as go to outlets for covering community news, and some newer outlets will let you run your content for a fee.
Last week’s news is not necessarily surprising, but it continues to be discouraging for the state of journalism. And while other outlets are filling the gap, they are not bound by the rules of the Fourth Estate and that is a loss for everyone.