I find that I straddle two eras. I grew up in the print era and entered the digital era when I started college. Growing up, I fondly remember coming downstairs in the morning and finding that one of my parents had brought in our two newspapers and I loved reading them as I ate my breakfast. I, of course, always headed for the sports section first, checking box scores, reading the columns, and always looking for Drew Litton’s sports cartoons. The two papers were the Boulder Daily Camera and the Denver Rocky Mountain News. I especially loved the News as it was a “tabloid” style paper and was more like reading an oversize magazine than the big fold-out newspaper that most dailies are.
And so it was with sadness that I read today (online of course) that tomorrow will be the last issue of the RMN to be published. This will leave Denver with only one daily instead of the two (the RMN and the Denver Post) that were so much a part of my growing up. I remember the first time that the Broncos went to the Super Bowl with John Elway. They beat Cleveland in OT when Elway led the Broncos on The Drive and Rich Karlis kicked the game winner to send the Broncos to the Super Bowl against the New York Giants. The next morning, I handled that newspaper with careful hands as I felt like I was reading a collector’s item. Other sports moments and world moments gave the same feeling and sense.
And so, there was a strong feeling of bittersweetness when I read the news today that the RMN was going to stop publishing. I confess that I have probably bought only a handful of newspapers over the last 4-5 years, mostly to get coupons from the Sunday paper or to clip a apecific article I could not find online to share. I also haven’t subscribed to a newspaper since I was in college and got the Camera when I was living in a house a few miles from the CU campus. But the bittersweet feeling is still there.
It is very much a tangible end of an era, not just for me and my own personal expeirence with the RMN, but also as we will see many other newspapers likely face the same ending as the RMN (some have already gone that way in recent months). We are seeing the clear shift in the ways that people gather their news and information – it is instantaneous, customizable, portable, and does not get fingers inky from reading the newspaper. I wonder what my conversations with my kids will be like in 5-7 years when I was at the age of bounding downstairs and picking up the newspaper. Will my kids pick up their e-readers (maybe the Kindle8 or something like that) and check the scores from the previous night, check their messages from friends, and so forth. Will it even be something that resembles anything we have today?
In closing, I post two copies of RMN front pages that have been residing in my iPhoto library for a few years. Thank you RMN…