I have much to celebrate—the end of my ARC proofing for Leaden Skies (take that you dastardly em-dashes, ellipses, apostrophes, and fragments!), more work projects on the horizon (yay! money in the checking account!), a chance to focus to a short story I've been working on haphazardly, re-connecting with an old friend ... but right now, I wanted to pause a moment, and say farewell to the Rocky Mountain News.
Everything, everyone, has a time and a season, true, but it's particularly sad to see this newspaper come to an end. As a child visiting my grandparents in Denver (and, later, as a young adult visiting my aunt in Arvada), I recall paging through the newspaper, being intrigued by news (and certainly, when I was a wee one, by the comics) that were so different from the California Bay Area newspapers of "home."
Only much later did I come to appreciate the history held within its pages as I scrolled through frames of microfiche at the Denver Public Library and, more recently, perused back issues on the Colorado Historical Newspapers website. You can read a bit about the newspaper's beginnings here. I'm particularly intrigued by the fact that the original site was the second-floor attic of a saloon near the Market St. bridge in Auraria (Auraria being one of the three towns that would eventually form "Denver").
In a larger context, though, this all makes me consider the ethereal nature of information in today's world compared to the past. The internet is all well and good, but, 150 years from now, what will remain of blogs (for instance), websites, twitters, internet-only-news-venues? In 2159, will historians looking back at 2009 have as wide a window as we do right now for 1859? To view life in 1859, we can turn to old newspapers, handwritten letters, journals, diaries and more. What will future historians have?
Something to think about, as yet another newspaper with a rich and varied history closes its doors.
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