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Opinion Columns

Ryckman: Five weeks in and going strong at The Colorado Sun, but about those tokens …

We’re just wrapping up our fifth week in full operation here at The Colorado Sun, and I hope you like what you’ve been seeing.

We’ve been thrilled by the vote of confidence from thousands of Coloradans who have stepped up to support us, read us and share our stories. We have broken news — on opioids, on money in politics, on opportunity zones, even on beer — and produced the fine journalism that we promised we would deliver.

Amid our good news, our financial backers at Civil had a setback this week when they fell short of the $8 million they had hoped to raise through a token sale to help get other news startups on their feet elsewhere around the country and around the world. You can read all about it here in a note from Civil founder Matthew Iles.

Larry Ryckman

We’re disappointed — as are they — because we believe in Civil’s vision and effort to create a new funding model to support local journalism. I remain confident that Civil will find success with a revamped token sale that it is already planning, aided by lessons learned the hard way through the first round.

An excerpt from Iles’ blog post notes that thousands of people did pledge to buy tokens: “They’re not buying CVL tokens because they want the latest, greatest cryptocurrency. They’re doing it because they believe it’s a new and worthwhile way to create, distribute and support journalism, at a time when alternatives are desperately needed.”

Here’s what I want to stress to you, our readers and supporters: We’re rooting for Civil, but The Colorado Sun is on firm ground no matter what happens with Civil’s token sale. Our finances are in good order, we’re building a strong community of local supporters that grows every day, and Civil remains steadfast in its commitment to The Sun.

Our success ultimately depends on our readers, not tokens. We have always viewed the tokens primarily as voting rights in the way Civil is governed. Our budget is based on revenue from members, grants, sponsors and other supporters.

I want to thank those of you who have already become Sun supporters, and I want to encourage those of you still getting to know us to consider becoming members (you can sign up here). Your dollars help ensure that we can continue providing the deep, meaningful stories that Colorado needs and deserves. And I’m always happy to talk to those of you interested in becoming sponsors of The Sun. I can be reached at larry@coloradosun.com.

It’s been a great start to our journey together. Thanks again, Colorado!

Larry Ryckman is the editor of The Colorado Sun.