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This is the rare entreaty from a journalist this time of year not asking for financial contributions to continue my reporting. Instead, I’m asking loyal RealVail.com readers to give to other media outlets I trust and partner with across the state.
The reason I’m tapping the fundraising brakes is because I’ll be working feverishly in 2023 to at long last finish two book projects I’ve had in the works for way too long, meaning RealVail.com will be placed on the backburner for the time being.
I’ll keep it as real as possible with some original reporting on topics I care deeply about – immigration, energy, the environment, politics, transportation and the ski industry – but for the most part I’ll be relying on other trusted outlets for articles they provide free of charge.
The two sites I work with the most — selling them some of my own freelance stories occasionally, but mostly reposting their critical reporting on a wide range of topics – are Colorado Newsline and the Colorado Times Recorder. Donate to them here and here.
To see critical work produced by the Colorado Times Recorder and picked up on by national and statewide media during the 2022 election — including articles reported and written by RealVail.com — go to CTR’s year-end roundups of state legislative races (I covered mountain districts) and federal races such as the battle for U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert’s CD3.
I also highly recommend the Colorado Sun, which I do not work with on a freelance basis, but is a site comprised primarily of former Denver Post reporters who have an enormous amount of experience covering the state on issues we should all care deeply about. Unfortunately, they do not allow full reposts of stories, but they’re still very worthy of your support.
The Sun’s Jason Blevins, who lives in Eagle, is the best ski industry and mountain-town reporter in the state, and his Outsider newsletter delves deeply into the issues that matter the most for those of us living in the Colorado high country.
Similarly, former Vail Trail editor Allen Best is a must-read for people concerned about climate change and hoping for commonsense policy in the shift to renewable energy. His Big Pivots newsletter does offer free content to websites like mine, and you can donate to his reporting here.
Aspen Journalism is another website worth support that I’ve worked with in the past on critical water stories. They do not offer full reposting to sites like mine, but they do support longtime, experienced journalists and well-connected freelancers. Donate to them here.
I also highly recommend Writers on the Range, which offers up free opinion articles, mostly on environmental issues and public lands, to dozens of print publications across the West. I’ve worked with WOTR in the past, and they do what they can to support freelance journalists. Support them here.
Finally, if you’re interested in the ever-shifting Colorado media landscape and who can best tell your story or dig into a hot topic you feel is being underreported by the struggling mainstream media, subscribe to the Substack newsletter of Corey Hutchins, “Inside the News in Colorado.”
All of these media models are part of a growing trend of experienced, longtime journalists forging out on their own or teaming up with others to provider alternative news platforms that then – in various ways – offer their articles for publication in struggling print outlets or online.
I shudder to think where we’d be as a state without the invaluable reporting these nontraditional media platforms provide. I know there are other good journalists out there doing their all to keep the public informed and speak truth to power. Please let me know of others I should add to my list of suggested donations. I also implore readers to seek out and research reporters they can trust on topics they care about and support them directly if they can.
And RealVail.com will be back with a vengeance in 2024, just in time for the most critical presidential election of our collective lifetimes (aren’t they all?). I’m proud of some of my reporting in 2022 on state legislative races, congressional races, railroad issues and more.
RealVail.com asked tough questions and got some tough answers in pivotal political races that helped shape the overall narrative of the 2022 midterm election in Colorado, and I’ll dig in even deeper in 2024. Thanks, as always, for your support and readership.