Welcome, Colorado. Or, perhaps, it’s great to see you again!
The Colorado Sun launches today, and we’re thrilled to begin sharing the excellent local journalism that we’ve been creating since we announced our plans back in June.
We’ve had a very busy summer building The Colorado Sun, a digital news publication that is already shaking up the state’s media landscape in some exciting ways. We are community-supported, journalist-owned and Colorado proud. We’ve been reporting, writing and working hard to make good on our promise to produce the great local journalism that Colorado needs and deserves.
We have been interviewed and profiled by local, state and national news organizations (including the New York Times, Washington Post and National Public Radio), and we appreciate the many calls, emails and invitations that have come our way seeking more information about The Sun and its mission.
Today is the day we’ve been working toward, fretting about and imagining. I hope you’ll be as pleased with the start of our journey as we are, but I would like to hear from you even if you’re not. We want to develop a strong community with our readers and supporters, and we genuinely want to hear feedback about what you like, what you don’t like and how we might improve. Of course we will always correct the record if we get something wrong, and we will be delighted to know when you appreciate our work. And please keep those news tips coming our way at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am pleased and proud to announce some Sun-related news here today: The Colorado Sun is now an associate member of The Associated Press, which means we will be sharing news from across the state and around the world when we feel it has resonance for readers in Colorado. It is also a huge vote of confidence and trust from our AP colleagues in the important journalism that we will be delivering to you. AP membership is something that no other online news organization in Colorado can claim.
We’ve all seen what’s been happening in Colorado and around the country as newspapers have slashed costs, laid off journalists, cut back their coverage and, in some cities, reduced the number of days they deliver print papers to readers.
The loss is far more than bad news for journalists. It’s a loss for communities and for the state. We’ll never know the many stories that haven’t been told, the bad guys who haven’t been exposed, the good people who haven’t been celebrated, the issues that haven’t been explored, the public officials who weren’t held accountable.
The Colorado Sun is not about saving journalists. It’s about serving our great state and preserving the extensive institutional memory, journalistic muscle and passion for storytelling and accountability that we bring to every assignment. And, by the way, I am not suggesting that other Colorado journalists aren’t doing great work — they are, under often trying circumstances — but they’re spread thin and not able to cover all of the stories worth covering.
We were fortunate to find great financial partners in Civil — and, actually, they found us. Civil is itself a startup born of the desire to create a new way to support local journalism through the use of blockchain technology, crowdfunding and crypto-economics. It’s a bold experiment, and one we are proud to help pioneer. You can read more about Civil and its mission at civil.co, but remember this: The Colorado Sun is locally owned by the journalists who run it, and its success depends on readers like you.
Unlike most news organizations, The Colorado Sun will be free of traditional advertising, and that means no annoying pop-up ads, auto-play videos and takeover ads that bother us all. That also means we will be counting on readers for financial support, so we’re asking you to consider contributing at one of these levels: $5 a month for access to most news content; $20 a month for additional access to our politics newsletter The Unaffiliated and occasional conference calls with our politics team; $30 a month for exclusive membership in private Facebook groups for discussion and other perks; $100 a month for access to everything as a Sun Champion, special recognition on our Booster wall and additional perks.
For now, we want readers to get to know us and the powerful journalism we will be producing. Our stories will be available without a subscription during an introductory period, but please know that this is expensive, important work we are doing for Colorado.
For those who can’t afford a contribution, you can help in your own way through reading our stories, sharing them with friends and spreading word about the work that we’re doing. Of course, we’d be delighted if individuals, companies or foundations want to provide more robust support, so long as their values and interests align with ours (and, hopefully, yours). We are asking large sponsors to acknowledge that their support does not guarantee that The Sun will write about them — or won’t write about them. We have asked Coloradans to help draft our ethics policy, and it is available at coloradosun.com/ethics.
Our mission at The Colorado Sun is to help bring greater understanding to our state through investigative, watchdog, explanatory and long-form narrative journalism that we are delivering online. We are non-partisan and beholden only to you, our readers. We aim to break news, but not chase daily breaking news that can be quickly forgotten.
Our journalism seeks to provide coverage you won’t find elsewhere, to produce stories that have impact and inform, expose, explain and even entertain. You won’t read sports coverage of the Broncos, Rockies or Avalanche — there are many other places where you can find that — but you will sometimes find stories about the intersection of sports and society. We’re not going to tell you how to think or whom to vote for, but we will create a lively marketplace of ideas (coming Sunday!) where you can find — clearly labeled as such — opinion columns that reflect the wide diversity of views that help make Colorado such an independent, vibrant state.
We’re also excited about the work by local editorial cartoonists that we will be sharing, also on Sundays.
We are introducing SunLit on Friday, an always-free forum for fiction from Colorado writers, because the arts help form the backbone of this state.
You will find fresh stories daily at ColoradoSun.com, and please consider signing up for our free Sunriser newsletter if you haven’t already to make sure you stay on top of state news from The Sun and others.
Our staff consists of some of Colorado’s most experienced, most accomplished journalists, and we also are building an impressive network of freelancers who will help supplement and extend our reach to the far corners of our state. We aim to cover all of Colorado and shed light on the people, places and policies that matter.
We are bringing a spirit of innovation and experimentation to The Colorado Sun, and we are looking forward to working with you — our readers and supporters — to build a vibrant Sun community. We believe The Sun will be stronger when we work together.
Thanks again, Colorado, for the tremendous support and trust you have already placed in us. We promise to work hard to earn it.
Here comes The Sun.