The Coloradoan's pathetic coverage of Congress is a real disservice to the community
I've never been a huge fan of the Fort Collins Coloradoan, but when I want local news it's the place to go. Unfortunately, it seems that after the departure of Editor Bob Moore, the paper has decided to go in the direction of not discussing anything related to politics at all. With the recent GOP tax-hike dominating the news, I thought it was interesting that the Coloradoan was neglecting the issue entirely. And I wondered what they were actually writing about. Apparently beer, football, and cats.
The Coloradoan's hard hitting journalism is well illustrated by a few quick searches of www.coloradoan.com
Visiting www.coloradoan.com, I decided to search the site for actual news, then noted how many results were returned. Using quotes, I knew that a search for "cory gardner" would not give me information on Cory Smith, who is a gardener. The results seem to be all articles on the topic in the last 2 months. Not exactly a scientific study here, but still interesting.
81 articles about beer, 168 articles about football (left off my chart because it made it look funny), 67 articles about Steve Fairchild (the former CSU football coach), and 40 articles related to "cat." Even cats had more than double the number of results as Cory Gardner, with 18.
If you exclude blog articles by Bob Moore that still are returned and exclude opinion pieces on Cory, the Coloradoan has written a whopping 6 articles mentioning Gardner in the last 2 months. Exclude "In brief" blurbs and that number drops to 3, which is the total number of times his opponent in the upcoming election has been mentioned in the same time. That's pretty pathetic coverage of local politics.
In the one article on the 20th about the current GOP payroll tax hike, the Coloradoan merely reprinted an AP article, which did not mention any Colorado elected officials.
Jared Polis has been mentioned 10 times, 6 if you exclude opinion pieces, etc. With the recent redistricting, Polis will be the area's new representative, but he doesn't currently represent the area. Polis also was not mentioned in the article on the tax hike.
The Denver Post has been doing a good job with its coverage, but it is a shame that Northern Colorado's own local paper can't bother to inform its readers about what our elected officials are doing and saying. I think it is relevant that our current Congressman joined forces with the Tea Party to block consideration of the bill. I think it is relevant to our community to know that Gardner's primary concern with the original bill was about a pipeline, not about our taxes and not about protecting Medicare from severe cuts.
When the National Defense Authorization Act went through, there was not a single article about it in the Coloradoan. There was one tiny blurb about some planned protests, but no a single mention of the bill itself when it passed. I think people like to know that Gardner supported a bill that would allow indefinite detention of terrorists and potentially American citizens. That seems newsworthy to me. Not to the Coloradoan though.
I don't begrudge them for not reprinting every press release that politicians send out. If they did that, the entire paper would be full of propaganda pieces about how Cory Gardner petted a cat or Cory Gardner visited a local nail salon. We don't need that. But informing the readers of how they vote and what they say is important.
Instead, we have a paper that has 81 different articles about beer in the past 2 months. It seems every day I open the paper to see a story about a brewery or a new beer. I love those articles, please do no stop printing them. Just use some resources to cover the things that are maybe a little more important in the grand scheme of things. It doesn't have to be one kind of article or the other.
Write about beer AND politics. We need the beer to feel better after reading about the politics.
Afterthought: I just realized I hadn't typed "Tebow" into the Coloradoan search. How silly of me. Tebow returns 46 Coloradoan results, just barely edging out "cat" in importance to the Coloradoan. Still far more vital news than "detainees" or "Cory Gardner."
UPDATE, Dec. 22, 1:35 pm: As if the Coloradoan is trying to prove my point for me, the following is the latest top news story tweeted by the Coloradoan: