Former Denver Post reporters, editors launch new Colorado news publication

(Courthouse News) Former Denver Post reporters and editors have launched a new publication after the newspaper’s hedge fund owner rocked the newsroom with layoffs.

The Colorado Sun will experiment with an ad-free model that editors say will support the community it serves. The Sun is expected to launch in July or August.

“Local news is in crisis. In an era when hedge funds and billionaires are too often calling the shots, there is a new opportunity for people to help keep fact-based local news coverage alive,” the Sun said in a statement.

The plans come more than two months after Denver Post staff blasted their hedge fund owner, Alden Global Capital, for mismanaging the daily newspaper.

In April, the Post’s editorial board decried Alden’s “vulture capitalism” and devastating layoffs. The board implored the community to help save the publication, and showed a photo illustrating the 75 percent staff cuts the paper has taken since 2013.

The Colorado Sun’s team includes former Denver Post editors Larry Ryckman and Dana Coffield, and several former Post reporters.

The publication will be backed by Civil, a platform based in blockchain, the technology behind cryptocurrencies.

The blockchain algorithm provides both a platform to transmit journalism with a permanent archive, and an avenue for the public to fund and contribute.

“We were fortunate to find partners interested in creating a new model for local journalism,” the Sun said in its statement. “Civil is getting us started with some financial and technical backing, but the news will be sourced, reported, edited and published right here in Colorado.”

Civil has provided the Colorado Sun with enough seed money for two years.

Running on Civil software will support a “decentralized marketplace for sustainable journalism, founded on the principle that a free and open press is essential to the preservation of a free, fair, and just society,” the statement said.

Eventually the Sun will operate on a subscription model, but there are no plans for a paywall or ads.

The Colorado Sun launched a Kickstarter campaign aiming to raise $75,000 for seed money. More than 700 backers had pledged $49,000 by Monday afternoon.

Civil also supports Block Club Chicago and the podcast FAQ New York.