The Denver Post benefited from an extraordinary outpouring of support last week that was as humbling as it was gratifying.
Readers and well-wishers lit up social media and flooded us with letters to the editor in response to our special Perspective edition highlighting concern about the hollowing out of newsrooms across the country, including our own.
Supporters were aghast that we lost almost two-dozen of our talented, hard-working colleagues last week, and that more will be gone by July.
And no, the response wasn’t uniform. Critics made the case we deserve the decline we’re facing, arguing that we’re too liberal or too slow to adapt or too dependent on a print product.
But on the whole, the takeaway for us is that most folks — and even most critics — understand deep in their bones the great need for serious, objective local newsrooms intent on serving the community.
The huge, good-hearted and massive expression of support for local journalism — and The Denver Post — was a big shot of adrenaline for the newsroom at a time it badly needed hope.
Among the letters and calls and postings were questions about what could be done to help.
“The Denver Post editorial board’s latest editorial states: ‘It’s time for those Coloradans who care most about their civic future to get involved and see to it that Denver gets the newsroom it deserves,’ ” wrote Stephanie Deguzman, of Highlands Ranch. “As I am one who wants to do what I can to achieve this, I would welcome some specific actions we can all take to save The Denver Post?”
Normally, this one’s an easy answer. The very best thing you can do is to subscribe. And if you need advertising, please place ads with us.
But some writers question whether a boycott in either of these areas would send a clearer message.
Subscribe to The Denver Post for 99 cents.
You can feel the anguish in the question.
“What am I to do?” wrote Daniel Eisenberg, of Evergreen. “Cancel my subscription? Write my congressman? I agree that life would be awful without The Denver Post. I subscribe to seven days a week of The Post, six days of The Wall Street Journal and the Sunday New York Times. It costs me a fortune, equal to my cable TV subscription, but without people like me, how would reporters get paid?”
After all, a central focus of the editorial mentioned was to call out our hedge fund owner, Alden Global Capital, and demand that they either invest in our newsroom again or sell us to someone who will.
The problem with boycotts is that they would hurt the newsroom, the advertising agents, the press workers and so many others all the way down to those sturdy souls who deliver the papers in the morning.
Also, the more people subscribe during a time like this one, the clearer the message becomes that The Denver Post has value and support; that there is a real hunger for what it is we do.
A spike in subscriptions would also send a message to any potential future owners that this is a community that means business about keeping and maintaining a strong local paper.
Some writers note they already subscribe, and want to do more.
One extra step would be to, as you do business with one of our advertisers, let them know you saw their message in our pages and thank them for their support.
Reaching out to elected officials is always a healthy thing to do.
So is engaging friends and neighbors in discussions about the importance of local journalism.
Most of all, we hope you keep reading us. Keep sharing our stories on social media and posting your support. Keep demanding that your voices be heard for deeper investment in local newsrooms.
And again, deepest thanks.
I wish you could see how much your support has meant to this organization this week. There have been so many hugs and so many tears and so many high-fives, even as we mourned those who had to leave us.
With your support, maybe we’ll be able to hire them back.