A Sad Day For Journalism…And For Us All

LOS ANGELES — The Rocky Mountain News (RMN) in Denver, Colorado, ceased operations on Friday, ending a nearly 150-year tradition of covering the news in Denver, throughout Colorado, the nation and the world—their first edition was published on April 23, 1859.

The disastrous state of our economy and the increasingly rapid decline of newspapers across the United States led to shuttering of the paper.

Why mention this on a blog covering the Los Angeles Kings? Two reasons…

Looking at the larger issues involved, Denver is now left with just one major newspaper, the Denver Post, and whenever a big newspaper has no serious competition in the same market, that is bad news (pardon the pun) for the paper, its readers and the community it serves. Indeed, without competition, complacency tends to set in and coverage suffers. One look at what has happened to the Los Angeles Times since the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner shut down its presses for good on November 2, 1989 is a perfect example.

Indeed, the steady decline in the quality of the content printed on the pages of the Los Angeles Times is not solely caused by recent budget cuts or the state of the economy. Rather, without competition at the same level that the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner provided, the quality of journalism in the Los Angeles Times has been on the decline for twenty years and that is a direct correlation to the loss of competition from the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner.

More Kings-related…Rick Sadowski, one of the beat writers covering the Colorado Avalanche for the RMN, used to cover the Kings, going as far back as 1981 with the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner and later for the Daily News. He also wrote the book, Los Angeles Kings: Hockeywood, which chronicled the Kings’ 1992-93 season, the year they went to the Stanley Cup Finals.

Sadowski covered his final Avalanche game for the RMN on February 26 at New Jersey. Knowing of the fate of the paper, he wrote in the RMN’s Colorado Avalanche blog that the game was “…probably the final one of his career.”

In the Denver Post, Avalanche beat writer Adrian Dater wrote about his feelings about the loss of his direct competition from Sadowski and the RMN in a story entitled, “A Sad Night.”

A sad night and a sad day, indeed.

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