By Howard Kurtz,Washington Post

 


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Newspaper SCDenver Mayor John Hickenlooper recalls getting “a feeling in the pit of my stomach” when he learned that the Rocky Mountain News was shutting down.

“Even when they were uncovering corruption in the city, even when they were embarrassing us or causing us discomfort, they were making the city better,” he says. “It’s a huge loss.”

The grim echoes of the nearly 150-year-old paper’s demise Friday could be heard in newsrooms and communities across the country. Although the Denver Post will still cover Hickenlooper’s region, some cities — most notably San Francisco — are facing the prospect of life without a major newspaper. Others, from Philadelphia to Chicago to Minneapolis, have watched their papers slide into bankruptcy, while still others are being served by dailies with newsrooms that have shriveled by half.

Why a once-profitable industry suddenly seems as outmoded as America’s automakers is a tale that involves arrogance, mistakes, eroding trust and the rise of a digital world in which newspapers feel compelled to give away their content.


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