June 10, 2015
The Colorado Independent found the perfect motto: “Small Media, Big News.” This tiny team of recent newspaper refugees continues to break the big news stories impacting Colorado. Over the past two years the Independent’s veteran journalists have been learning to navigate the ever-changing landscape of digital-information media and realizing the power of online platforms.
The choice to make all their content free and available for public distribution has resulted in broad readership and visibility on multiple media platforms throughout the state and country. Traditional and established media outlets often pick up their stories, and similar organizations see them as a model of how nonprofit, online publications can produce regular, quality news content.
With the help of Voqal Fund, the Colorado Independent is capitalizing on its renewed success with creative ideas like crowd-funding to hire award-winning Colorado political cartoonist, Mike Keefe. Their readers responded with enough individual donations to ensure once-a-week Keefe cartoons for an entire year. Colorado Independent Editor, Susan Greene, says the overwhelmingly positive response “shows that Coloradans are willing, when asked, to pay for excellent journalism.” She hopes this burst of journalistic populism signals a viable way to sustain the Independent’s “small-media-big-news” model for years to come.