Let’s start at the beginning. We’ve been talking about our owners within the Daily Camera editorial board for years. In their defense, my former colleagues on the board, publisher Al Manzi and executive editor Kevin Kaufman, are the people who have to downsize the operation every year to keep up with Digital First Media’s insatiable profit demands. Revenues are declining anyway, part of the secular industry trend, but the cuts required by DFM have accelerated the decline. Especially the cuts in circulation, where our service — delivering the print product on time, before people go to work — is now just horrendous. Frustrated subscribers increasingly resort to letters to the editor, getting no satisfaction from the business side of our operation.
Al would get upset when I published one of these complaints, saying it wasn’t appropriate as a letter to the editor. I would suggest that if he fixed the problem on his end, the business end, subscribers wouldn’t have to resort to letters to the editor and we wouldn’t have this issue. In more relaxed moments, Al would admit there’s nothing he can do. Circulation is run out of Denver, DFM’s headquarters, and local operations like ours can only pick up the pieces. Districts are enormous and the pay sucks so they can’t keep carriers. District managers can’t cover for carriers like they used to because the districts are just too big.
Anyway, the DFM people come in and announce what their take is going to be and Al and Kevin have to figure out a way to keep the lights on. They’ve been really resourceful, too. They created a design center in Boulder, first to consolidate page production for the rest of the Prairie Mountain Media publications, and then as a general contract operation that now builds pages for the Denver Post and St. Paul Pioneer Press as well. That’s how we saw the contents of the now-famous Denver Post Sunday editorial section of April 8 before almost anybody else knew about it. I’m a fairly paranoid sort, so I printed out the editorial just in case DFM killed the section.
I should interject here that when I say DFM I am talking about a front for Alden Global Capital, the New York private equity firm actually demanding these profits while strangling the businesses that produce them. “Digital First” is by now an Orwellian name for this outfit. It may once have aspired to digital innovation, but that went away as soon as they discovered digital innovation costs money. A member of our editorial advisory board who knows about such things documented more than a hundred dead scripts running on our website. Sometimes, it takes forever to load. Sometimes, that spinning wheel never stops spinning; the site never stops loading. This is not exactly digital innovation at work. DFM knows. They just don’t care.
Anyway, over time, Al and Kevin have gotten used to this process. It’s human nature. You adapt. They’ve laid off people who broke down and sobbed, who became enraged, who asked them what they should do now. They’ve moved with the business from the Camera’s longtime downtown headquarters to an office building in east Boulder, to today’s offices in a nondescript office park farther east. The way they see it, they have no choice. If they don’t do it, DFM will find somebody who will. The only difference will be that the two of them won’t have jobs. This is true as far as it goes, but it’s also the classic collaborator’s defense. We are allegedly serving the community with our newspaper. At what point do the community’s interests enter the equation? Ever?
This is where the division between the journalism side and the commercial side of the business is most obvious. On the journalism side, we wrestle with this. Historically, in good newspaper companies, there has been a recognition on the business side that they need to keep their nose out of what we publish for exactly this reason. This is the line that Al crossed in my view when he started making editorial decisions to please our corporate overlords. He’s an extremely capable publisher, but he is not a journalist and should not be making editorial decisions. He quite literally does not know what he’s doing.
Historically, he has not interfered. Kevin has done a good job defending editorial prerogatives — he backed me in every situation where Al objected to a letter criticizing us or an advertiser or some other business. This is a norm that is generally understood and respected in good journalism organizations. Our financial interests — the business side — cannot dictate or even influence what we publish on the editorial side. Until this month, the Camera respected that. Some Boulder activists routinely accused us of carrying water for our corporate overlords whenever we failed to support their causes, but until this month it was a figment of these ideologues’ imaginations. I had never gotten a call, not once, from anybody at DFM or Alden about anything I wrote or published. They care about cash, not content. Except, as it turns out, when the content is about them.
The Camera’s respect for the traditional wall between editorial and business crumbled with the publication of the Post’s April 8 editorial section. The Post has had no publisher since Mac Tully resigned in January. That’s how its editorial section slipped through. That wasn’t going to happen again. DFM lost its CEO last fall, and the publisher of the Pioneer Press, Guy Gilmore, a circulation guy, is now running the show as the chain’s chief operating officer. My guess is this metastasizing revolt — reflected in the Post section and expressions of solidarity of varying strengths at some of the chain’s California properties — became a test of Gilmore’s fitness for the job, fitness at DFM basically being synonymous with ruthlessness. Remember, DFM’s only job is to deliver the cash to Alden so it can invest in Greek debt or Fred’s Pharmacy or whatever. Content doesn’t matter, journalism doesn’t matter, digital doesn’t matter. Cash matters.
Mike Littwin, my former colleague at the Rocky Mountain News and now a columnist for the Colorado Independent, wrote a column praising the Post’s rebellious editorial section and condemning Alden. The Independent shares Mike’s columns with local publications, including ours, and we run a fair number of them. I proposed to run this one. Normally, I didn’t need approval for the columns I chose for the Camera’s opinion pages, but in our chain of command I reported to Kevin, and I thought he should know. So I shipped him Mike’s column and asked if he had any problem with my running it. He said he didn’t, but he would need to check with Al. Al vetoed it.
This was the first time in my three and a half years at the Camera that management had censored content. It changed everything. If Al no longer respected editorial independence, then we were going to have big problems.
From Al’s point of view, I get it. I surmise that Gilmore, trying to show Alden he could be as ruthless as necessary to put down an insurrection, was bringing the hammer down. If Al was perceived to be weak, allowing the rebellion to bloom at properties he ran, he could be replaced. Al, Kevin and I are all in the same general age range. I’m the oldest at 63; Kevin’s a year or two younger than me, and Al’s a year or two younger than Kevin. Even in an era of full employment, there’s not much market demand for unemployed, white-collar 60-somethings whose work history is exclusively in an industry that’s perceived to be dying.
So I get it. Nevertheless. Some things are more important than one’s own personal interests. As a lifelong journalist, telling my readers the truth, as best I can divine it, is my reason for existence. Nothing matters more than that, and nothing would be a more shameful epitaph than, “He betrayed his readers so he could keep his job.”
So I began to look for a way to write something about Alden myself. In the news business, we need a peg, a hook, a reason to address a topic on the editorial page. Ironically, Al provided it. He’s our liaison to the Colorado Press Association, the industry trade group. When the CPA announced that Gov. John Hickenlooper would declare the first Colorado Journalism Week, Al forwarded the announcement to me and Kevin and suggested I write an editorial to commemorate it. That’s what I did.
Now, to me, as a lifelong news man, there is no way in the world to address the state of Colorado journalism in 2018 without addressing Alden’s massive influence as owner of the Denver Post, Daily Camera and all the other publications of Prairie Mountain Media. In fact, this is the single biggest threat to Colorado journalism today. So that’s what I said in the editorial.
I gave Al plenty of notice it was coming. Colorado Journalism Week was to begin April 16, so Sunday, April 15, was the appropriate day to run the editorial. At our weekly editorial board meeting the previous Monday, I told him what I had in mind. He called me later in the day to say he had checked with Gilmore and it was a non-starter. I told him I was going to do my job and submit it anyway and then he could do his, but I wasn’t going to be intimidated into wimping out.
I circulated an early draft to Al and Kevin around 9 a.m. that Friday, which is standard for a Sunday edit. Al never responded directly. For a long time, he didn’t respond indirectly, either. In his defense, he was on vacation in Scottsdale, but he was also attending to business and was in at least sporadic contact with Kevin. When I sent it out, I figured it had very little chance, based on my conversation with Al on Monday. But by late in the afternoon, when I still hadn’t heard back, I began to think Al might be considering restoring our editorial independence. By then it was in our publishing software, coded and ready to go, because it was getting to be that time. Our Sunday Insight section is a preprint that goes to press Friday night. It was about 4 when Kevin reported Al had killed it. The next day, at home, I published it on this blog.
The following week was apparently full of intrigue and corporate drama at a level higher than mine, but I was not a party to any of it. I did not hear from Al until last Friday morning, when he asked if I had time to meet with him at 9. I said sure. We talked for about an hour. Some of it was personal, private stuff I won’t go into. I think we both like to think we’re friends, even though our contact is limited to work. He and Kevin made the decision to hire me, which was not especially popular either in Boulder or the newsroom, where two very capable, younger, in-house candidates were passed over. But we’ve done a lot of things during my tenure that I think he’s proud of — long-form Q&As with major Colorado political figures (Gary Hart, Dick Lamm, Pat Schroeder, etc.), long editorials on local, state and national topics, a burgeoning roster of community columnists and a robust community discussion and debate in our letters and guest opinions. Even as he fired me, he was personally kind, thanking me for “raising the bar” of our opinion section.
Anyway, his main point during that Friday discussion was that “the company” — both Alden and DFM have such slimy reputations in our newsroom that “the company” seems like the least unflattering way to refer to them — has a right to prohibit its employees from disparaging it. He also argued that I had written the editorial “on company time” and therefore had no right to publish it on a non-company platform. I told him I had written the first draft starting around midnight on Thursday at home. Was that company time? As a manager, he said — the editorial page editor is a management position at the Camera even though it manages no one as a department of one — whatever time it takes to do my job is company time.
He broached the subject of a no-disparagement agreement going forward. I said I would not sign away my freedom of speech, but I offered to limit any criticism of DFM or Alden to my personal platforms. (Twitter is already full of DFM employees sounding off about Alden on their personal accounts.) Knowing by then that he would not approve such criticism for publication in the Camera, this offer seemed to me a simple recognition of reality. That was how we left it.
I heard nothing else until Kevin emailed late Tuesday afternoon to say he and Al needed me to come in for a meeting at 10 a.m. Wednesday. And yes, he said, I needed to bring my laptop. This is the equivalent of a football player being told to bring his playbook to a meeting with the coach. Not much suspense at that point.
I couldn’t sleep Tuesday night, so I drove to the office park about 5 a.m. to pack up. I had covered the walls of my office with cheap reproductions of various forms of impressionism to make it seem less office-parky, and I knew it would take a while to pack them all up and clear them out. (If you check out the long-form Q&As with Sam Assefa and Stan Garnett, you’ll see Claude Monet reproductions in the background.) I was done by about 6:30, so I went out to breakfast and then took a last stroll up and down the Pearl Street Mall on a brisk, blue-sky Colorado morning. The mountains that tower over the mall had a light dusting of snow or frost, the mall was just awakening, and I started to get sentimental, so I headed back.
The meeting was in our conference room, which was a little odd since there were just three of us and we each had an office. But Al was already there, set up to sit directly across the conference table from me, so I guess he wanted a certain formality. It took about two minutes. Al gave a short spiel in which he cited not my disparagement of the company but my outside use of material produced on company time as the violation that forced him to “terminate” me. When an employer is holding your final check in his hand, the time for discussion is past, so I asked if we were done, then shook their hands and thanked them for the opportunity to work there. Al came around the table to shake my hand, thank me for the quality of my work and wish me well. It was my impression that neither he nor Kevin were happy about having to do this, but, as I’ve mentioned, it was not the first time, nor probably the last, that they will have to do something like this.
In my view, Al picked the wrong reason to fire me, although, as a management employee, I’m not sure he even needed a reason. For many years, when I worked at the Cincinnati Enquirer, Rocky Mountain News and Denver Post, I was a member of my union and there were rules about how and why they could fire people represented by the bargaining unit. But the Camera is a non-union shop and anyway, these days in the newspaper business, you can call most anything a layoff for economic reasons.
But I find the idea that all my time is company time nonsensical on its face. Lots of writers free-lance on the side. The only limitation most publications impose is that staff writers not free-lance for direct competitors. Since this blog didn’t exist until that Saturday, it would be hard to define it as a competitor to the Camera. In any case, I offered the piece to the Camera first. Once it rejected it, to then have veto power over its publication elsewhere is a straight-up act of censorship. As an editor, I was constantly reminding readers whose submissions were rejected that they could submit them elsewhere.
The grounds for firing me I would have understood in the traditional sense was the claim that I disparaged my employer. I certainly did that, although it was in defense of my immediate employer, the Camera, that I disparaged its private equity owners. But this is one of those cases where the very essence of what we are about comes into play. When do we serve our readers, and our obligation to tell them what’s going on? When do we stand up for telling them the truth? When do we quit covering for the unaccountable hedge fund we work for?
If the answer is never, which I guess is Al’s answer, I think we lose our legitimacy. All that sanctimonious First Amendment stuff is worthless if we’re not willing to risk anything. I keep coming back to the impetus for the editorial in the first place: This is an important story, not just in Boulder, but in Denver, in San Jose, in Orange County, in St. Paul, and many other places where Alden is destroying papers to make its principals richer than they already are. Alden is now actively using these properties to suppress this story. If journalism is in your heart and in your blood, it’s your duty to tell that story. At least, that’s how I felt leaving that office park for the last time.
One final note, which I add for potential employers, since I’m now out of work. I realize that, as an employer, reading a screed like this in which an ex-employee offers a detailed, behind-the-scenes description of a previous employer, could be a disqualifying factor all by itself. And I understand why. Loyalty matters. I have competed vigorously for every paper I’ve worked for, including for years for the Rocky in one of the last great metropolitan newspaper wars. I believe if you ask my former colleagues there they will tell you no one was more competitive on the Rocky’s behalf. Every paper I have worked for — six, now — holds a place in my heart. I have never before felt required to give a public account such as this. It is my fondest hope that I never will again.
62 thoughts on “Say goodnight, Gracie”
Dave, this sucks. You were an inspiration to me and taught me a lot in the short time I submitted pieces for your consideration. You were a breath of fresh air for the Camera and you leave a vacuum in your absence. Hope our circles intersect at some point in the future. Toasting to you! Don
p.s. Boyles would like you to share some thoughts on his show
Manzi and Kaufman driving the Camera into the grave. Those two are as bad as Alden Capital. That hedge fund needs to wax those two. You’ll be better off for this whole ordeal Dave. Best of luck.
It is a disgrace what DFM and Alden are doing to such great journalism giants. The fact that a non-newsman killed your column because it reported the news and facts is absurd. I understand doing what you have to do to keep your job, but is it a job worth keeping if you have to sell your soul to the devil?
Dave you know you have been an inspiration to me since my days at the Rocky where we forged a weird friendship that I cherish. I hope that you find a place to do what you do best and they appreciate your work and ethics.
Dave, my Dad would be so proud of you! The deliberate death of newspapers in Colorado would have broken his heart.
Dave: As a former colleague, I’m proud of you and not at all surprised. And as Dylan Thomas wrote, “Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”
Wow. Your tenacity and competitiveness made me better. This is such a sad, sad commentary on the times we live in and breaks my heart for many reasons, not the least of which is one of the most fierce journalists I know, who I could always count on to tell me the truth and hold people accountable, is a man without a desk.
I think you’ll probably feel better getting out of that place anyway. Great account of an emotional, ethical battle. Good luck in the future!
Let’s hold the Daily Camera for ransom: I think we should tell the Alden Group they have 30 days to rehire Mr. Krieger, and if they don’t, Boulder’s citizens will cancel our subscriptions and our businesses will stop buying ads. Before we let them kill the Camera, we’ll perform a subscription-assisted suicide.
It is my hope that announcing this 30-day ransom period will attract sufficient publicity nationwide to incent the Alden Group to spit the Camera out to a local non-profit entity formed by local public and private supporters on or before the 30-day ransom period runs out. If they don’t blink, AG risks a rapid devaluation of the Camera’s value as subscriptions and ad revenue drop.
I’m open to other ideas, but I haven’t been able to come up with a better way to pressure the Alden Group to sell the Camera to something like a “Community Information District” – see http://www.infodistricts.org. Carpe Diem!
We only met once. It was during the 2017 city council campaign and I had an interview with you, Kevin, and Al. Your intensity was impressive and intimidating. When I received your endorsement (not sure how much Kevin and Al had to do with it…). I was honored. I proceeded to print that editorial on my home printer and hand it out as I knocked doors all over Boulder. Not sure if I violated some copyright laws in doing so but I was proud of the endorsement from you.
The reason I say this at all is that I took a bunch of heat and shade from opponents and their surrogates for being endorsed by the Camera which was owned by a venture capital fund and that you were doing their bidding, that you were in cahoots with your corporate overlords. Those same people our now your greatest supporters.
The world is an ironic place.
Often one reads a story about a “hero,” someone who does good in the face of great personal adversity. An honest person reads those accounts and wonders (never really knowing), “What would I do in that situation?” In this case you have shown yourself to be a stand up guy with enough courage and temerity to warrant the appreciation of our whole community.
I wish you only the best. May this episode result in something good for you.
With respect and appreciation,
My father, David Alter, was an old style newspaper man. He would have been proud of your actions as a newspaper man, and for taking the stand. (ok, he might have ended it with a very clear description of where management could go, and exactly how to get there, but that was the old WWII Marine in him). I know I am proud of you.
Dave, we’ve never met, but I’m a loyal reader of your work and spent 25 years as a journalist. You have provided a much-needed breath of fresh air as well as a large dose of common sense to this oft-myopic community. Not only do I wish you, personally, the best, but I also wish the best for the Camera and its readers. Thanks for this frank account, and please keep us informed of your future efforts.
Dave, I’ve greatly admired your work over the past years. I’ve “terminated” my subscription in protest of your firing and have spread the word on social media. What has happened is despicable and I can no longer support the greedy hedge fund. To hell with them! Censorship has no place in journalism.
Oh, I wrote to Al and Kevin letting them know I was done and would spread the word for others to cancel!
Dave, Jay Koelzer wishes he was there to have your back — like you had his at the Rocky. He is a sentimental guy and cried when I read this blog post. We both applaud your bravery and wish you the best. The death of journalism is a frequent topic in the Koelzer household. Kudos to you for your honesty. We wish you the very best.
Rock on, DK. There’s nothing else I can add. Rock on.
No clouds can dull the Sun. Your brilliance to power the new kind of honest journalism that is today’s mandate cannot be curtained. You represent high integrity, well researched, curiosity driven, and relevant journalism. Launch a new news and commentary startup. Charge forward and set a new path. Tap into the network of giants like you who yearn to tell the truth for the public good and have been muted by corporate masters. Reconnect with mentors who invested in you. Seek insights from your trusted companions. Stay focused on your core: purity and service. Look ahead not back. Frame your path and march on.
Life throws us in oceans we are not prepared to swim in. But you have survived many fires and you will emerge stronger here too. You have it within you to create a new reality in honest storytelling. Lead the pack for all who need an intrepid and wise leader that you are.
I agree totally w/ Rajeev! Readers: Don’t push for a Camera buyout. Support a new daily paper in Boulder,let the Camera go bankrupt and let theAlden people rot in hell!
For as long as I can remember and that’s nearly four decades I have admired if not worshipped your efforts to tell true stuff. Thanks for your lessons on truth and journalism – one of them came in a most pointed Facebook comment just two years back – and thanks for your commitment to a free and unfettered press.
Dave, All in one day – the Camera revealed as a fraud, Bill Cosby revealed as a fraud and the teachers reveal our hypocrisy. Thank you for living on the side of truth, and gratitude for your ability to tell the story. You are an inspiration,
I’m sorry to see you go and also sorry to see the CAMERA, apparently, go. I came to Boulder to attend C.U. on a journalism scholarship, intending to have a career as a journalist. As Fate would have it, I got sidetracked, and I earned a B.A. in English literature instead, but continued to write all my life, publishing three books, various short stories, a great number of movie reviews and numerous articles and opinion pieces. Once I even applied to be the features editor at the CAMERA, but was turned down.
Newspapers can’t compete with the instant news outlets on the Internet and on cable-TV, but they can compete as a publisher of in-depth stories “behind” the news and informative opinion pieces such as you write. When I came to Boulder, both the CAMERA and THE DENVER POST were afternoon publications. If the CAMERA is to survive as a printed publication, perhaps it could go back to being an afternoon publication, so that the audience can have more time to read the pieces at their leisure. I will keep my subscription for the time being, but now I am also following your blog.
Dave – We’ve never met, and to tell it straight, I’ve been opposed to you as often as I’ve been with you in regards to your perceptions of local events. Nevertheless, it’s you and yours capacities to incite thinking and discussion that remains the lifeblood of our democratic society. A way to re-create the services provided by a local newspaper, un-beholding to a philosophy of hyper-profitability, is essential to the long-term survival of a free and democratic society, the Camera and Boulder included.
I’m with Ed Byrne: I’ve unsubscribed the Denver Post and will do the same with the Camera and to whatever degree possible I’ll try to abet the creation of a 3LC (low profit limited liability) local newspaper. Sign me up.
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And the proof in the pudding is the sound coming from today’s Daily Camera: crickets. Best of luck, Dave. I didn’t always agree with your editorials but I always appreciated the thought that went into them. BTW, I saw much the same thing happen in my many years doing work for KBCO. Corporate bottom-liners using slash-and-burn tactics to gut what was once a vital and creative radio station.
Dave: What occurred is not a big surprise but is a major disappointment. You brought so much that was fresh and genuine to an otherwise failing newspaper.
Your stand is appreciated and the end of the story is yet untold. We will miss your forthrightness.
I think the only way to stop Alden is to cut off the cash, and the possibility of doing that with most success was before the last round of cuts.
It’s obvious what the game plan is at Alden, and current staff are all short timers.
If staff had united and locked stopped publishing in a place with a significant footprint such as Colorado where would Alden find replacement workers to get the paper back up without a revenue crisis arising?
In Southern California, the cuts have been draconian. Former SCNG flagship LA Daily News has three reporters covering news. What next?
This is a new game, and to beat ugly, sometimes you have to get ugly.
Tj here—-fighting the good fight; that’s the guy i remember…give me a contact number via email
Not sure if this is the T.J. I’m thinking of, the famous former L.A. Timesman, but I don’t have an email for him and no email shows up on these comments. If you’d rather confirm privately you can use the direct message feature on Twitter.
The reason to cancel your subscription is because the paper’s not as good now that Dave’s gone, nor can it be trusted as a credible news source.
Knowing you as well as I do, I wouldn’t expect anything less from you. This paragraph from your piece says it all in my view:
“Some things are more important than one’s own personal interests. As a lifelong journalist, telling my readers the truth, as best I can divine it, is my reason for existence. Nothing matters more than that, and nothing would be a more shameful epitaph than, ‘He betrayed his readers so he could keep his job.’”
I’ve read your editorial, and I call it “intelligent and restrained.” I think you wrote a terrific piece, an absolute bulls-eye.
Here’s what I’ve told others: “Dave stood on his principles, which shouldn’t be a surprise.”
If you need a reference, have them call me.
Krieger, I recently read that the new model for newspaper journalism could only occur after the industry had totally imploded and burst into flames, then and only then, it might be rebuilt in someone’s garage, built on dedication, integrity, ethics and community duty that molds every successful journalist. The lunatics are running the asylum and they are shitting in their beds. They’ll soon be moving on. What’s in your garage?
I don’t know you nor have I read your work before this blog. But, I admire your candor and your guts. Perhaps this is the impetus to writing a book or a movie script.
Thanks for a most stimulating series of editorials during your tenure. I know that many in Boulder did not always appreciate your take on the muni and on growth policy, but I sure did.
What’s happening to daily newspapers is devastating; respect to you for speaking truth to power.
Hat’s off to you Dave.
The dilemma is whether abandoning the Camera sends a message or wounds the corporate toadies, or simply hurts the few remaining employees, and only accelerates the imminent demise of an historic Boulder symbol. I fail to grasp where all the mega-lottery winners go, when any one could easily fund an endowment to run a truly independent paper in perpetuity. Our clueless, self-congratulatory city officials keep wasting money and energy on issues we have no legal powers to change, staffing with millennials with no concern for Boulder’s actual history or natural uniqueness, only cheap housing forever, for the squalid millions expected over the next 50 years. The chill of authoritarianism runs down our backs as we witness how it began in Germany – first you silence the press.
Dave… Since my sons were little, I have told them that when you do the right thing it will cost you. You did the right thing. And it cost you. This moment on your path to new adventures is not the end of what you began when you published the editorial on your blog. It is the beginning. There is more work that needs our attention. I will work with you to start something big, something right.
Your work as a sports writer/columnist is second to none. So… who owns the Green Bay Packers? Let’s start a grassroots campaign and ask every Colorado resident, men, women and children, for $5 so the citizens of this state own the Denver Newspaper Agency and all the newspapers in it. Let’s do it. I will commit the first $1,000.
Professor of Photojournalism and Social Documentary
Metropolitan State University
Email me so we can exchange mobile numbers.
And finally… remember this… editors are only editors because they can’t park cars.
Your suggestion reminds me of how Josie Heath started the Millennium Fund for the Community Foundation. It’s an interesting idea.
Dave, you remain a most principled man, and simply the best writer in our region . The state of the newspaper industry is both sad and reflective of the assault on journalistic integrity beginning on Pennsylvania Avenue.
I was about to give up on the Daily Camera when Dave Krieger came on board and reinvigorated the editorial page while writing some of the best editorials the Camera had seen in years. ‘Comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable,’ Mr. Krieger often challenged the inbred group-think Boulder (myself included!), and it’s representatives often suffer from. I am at a loss; should I continue to subscribe to a paper I’ve faithfully read since 1969 in the face of such cowardice by the Publisher and the leeches at Alden Captital or throw in the towel in disgust. I pray that some local investor(s) with a fervent faith in the fourth estate will emerge to provide honorable employment for the likes of Dave Krieger and Mike Littwin who are to be treasured, not scorned.
Democracy is so ill-served by these terrible Alden people. No sense of decency, and no understanding of citizenship or public responsibility. A commentary on our system gone awry. So how to respond? Many have offered to buy the Post and the Camera, but so far no response from Alden that I know of. Of all the strange developments, apparently the Colorado Springs Gazette-Telegraph is now the most robust daily in the state; maybe they will watch the Denver area papers simply die, and then they will expand north.
As a regular letter writer and an occasional op-ed contributor (i.e., free content provider) to the Camera’s editorial page, I have been consistently impressed with Dave Krieger’s editorials and general work since he took the helm.
As I wrote at the end of my June 18, 2016 letter to the editor, critical of the Camera’s generally worthless website:
“Wake me when there’s an enjoyable, kind, comment-moderated, ad-free, Facebook-free, privacy-respecting, nonprofit, foundation-endowed, non-paywalled, local news and opinion website to inform Boulder’s citizenry.”
Everyone should cut the economic chord to the DFM/Alden overlords, and unsubscribe in protest, as suggested by Ed Byrne in an earlier comment in the original blog posting. Make the Camera’s business worthless, so it can be sold at a decent price to a new local owner that gives a damn, and who can restart with integrity.
I mean really, the front section of the paper Daily Camera every day is a set of half-page ads designed as fake news stories selling questionable medicinal cures to an imagined ignorant readership. It’s pathetic.
Thank you for standing up and speaking out.
Dave, Thank you for your courage. Boulder and our democracy needs an independent, vetted, edited source of the news, Sadly, the Camera is no longer this. After 40 plus years I am ending my subscription to the Camera. While I will miss an actual paper newspaper, it is my hope that there can be an online Boulder daily newspaper meeting the above requirements that I can subscribe to.
I agree with Ed Byrne! Dave, we’ve had some disagreements in the past but I have come to respect you more as time went on. I hope you land some place where they appreciate your guts. I, like others, would happily join in a movement to screw Alden and create a new local. Laurie Paddock is spinning in his grave!
I’m sad that this happened to you, Dave. We always enjoyed your commentaries, although sometimes we disagreed. Nonetheless, you provided great food for thought. I’m hopeful that this bodes ill for the Camera, but out of the ashes will come a new publication that tells the truth. Thanks for the editorials!
Dave, I have enjoyed reading your editorials for years. You have provided a very reasoned and thoughtful approach to everything you have written, which doesn’t always happen in Boulder. Thank you for taking the ultimate stand and letting our community know what has happened to journalistic freedom. When one door closes another opens-may it be fantastic!
Dave…I was astonished to hear of your termination but I certainly agree with all of the comments offered by others here! You were an inspiration to those of us who love and respect local journalism and seeking the truth…best wishes to you on whatever may come next!
Dave, I still remember the first time I heard you on the KOA afternoon sports talk. It was very clear that you had a command of the English language rarely heard outside of Public Radio. Listening to you was fun and interesting. And then one day you arrived on the Boulder scene and I was delighted. Your contribution to the editorial page of the Camera was immediate and appreciated. I’ll miss you…we’ll miss you. We can only hope our paths will cross again and soon. May the wind be ever at your back.
Dave this is terrible. I love reading the local paper every day. Helps me to know what is going on here in my back yard and gives me a sense of community. And the lack of any mention of this in the Camera reveals how deep this censorship has gone. We all need local news, because once the paper covers too large an area and too large a populace, it is directly relevant to no one and becomes entertainment.
You are in the right, they are in the wrong. Some good will come from this pain. Thank you and damn them. I will honor you tonight at city council…then continue to reveal the truth about the Muni. Thanks for making the Camera so good. I pray the talent that remains has your courage and can carry on.
I write from the grave where I am quietly rolling over.
Thanks Dave for your principled stand. I agree with other comments about making Alden investments perform poorly. When the revenues decline they will then be interested in selling- at a nice low price. This goes for the Post as well. How can we gauge the amount of support for subscription cancellations?
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