Rocky at Rest

The Rocky Mountain News has published its last paper, giving a somber—even funereal—resonance to the term “final edition.”

“It is with great sadness that we say goodbye to you today,” the Rocky’s editors write on the paper’s parting cover page.

Our time chronicling the life of Denver and Colorado, the nation and the world, is over….We will scatter. And all that will be left are the stories we have told, captured on microfilm or in digital archives, devices unimaginable in those first days. But what was present in the paper then and has remained to this day is a belief in this community and the people who make it what it has become and what it will be. We part in sorrow because we know so much lies ahead that will be worth telling, and we will not be there to do so. We have celebrated life in Colorado, praising its ways, but we have warned, too, against steps we thought were mistaken. We have always been a part of this special place, striving to reflect it accurately and with compassion. We hope Coloradans will remember this newspaper fondly from generation to generation, a reminder of Denver’s history – the ambitions, foibles and virtues of its settlers and those who followed. We are confident that you will build on their dreams and find new ways to tell your story. Farewell – and thank you for so many memorable years together.

Readers responded to the news. Below, some comments currently on the Rocky’s Web site:

Snapple writes:

I love you Rocky Mountain News.

I am sorry this has happened. You don’t deserve it at all.

Thank you for exposing Ward Churchill.

Maybe there could be some place where your writers could stay in touch with all of us.

JonBen writes:

My entire family and I are so sorry about this. This is one of the saddest days in Colorado history. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all your wonderful employees. God bless.

TheBigKlosowski writes:

I’m so sorry to hear the news. The RMN will be greatly missed. Scripps has made a huge mistake here. The RMN staff is full of wonderful and talented people. I wish the staff the best of luck in moving forward. Denver and Colorado will be worse off with the loss of the RMN.

Shadow writes:

A thankyou is do to the Rocky. For demonstrating how the market is suposed to run. When a company is mismanaged and refuses to keep up with inovation and the modernation of an industry. When a news outlet makes itself biased and slants stories from a loose dog to elections. Then the outlet goes out of business.

I have enjoyed the Rocky since I was a kid. It always had the better comic section in it. I could always count on many of the columnist to give me a laugh with their absurd observations.

It is a shame that the Rocky refused to get on board with the internet and market itself properly in this age of tech and immediate access to info.

If only it was not so biased in its reporting as well. There is a differance between op/eds and news.

Superstar writes:

What a sad day. It doesn’t seem fair - to the Rocky itself or to all of the Coloradans it served each day. How could this great institution fold up and go away? Perhaps we’re all a little guilty because we’re all a part of the greed and bottom line that has become our society. Did the Scripps folks come in and drop the bomb then go back to their cushy lives, big salaries, bonuses, whatever? If so, how pathetic. There could have been a way to save this paper. I had hoped someone would come in on a white horse and rescue it. But now, we are all just left in the dust in a one-paper, one-horse town. So long, Rocky, and to all of the great staff, you have a lot to be proud of. Thanks!

Update: Rocky staffers share their thoughts on their paper’s demise.

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Megan Garber is an assistant editor at the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard University. She was formerly a CJR staff writer.