What is this newsletter?

Each week, this newsletter reports on, comments on, and analyzes the goings on in Colorado’s media scene, connecting local developments to what’s happening nationally and exploring what makes the state’s local news ecosystem unique.

  • It pokes and prods, critiques, and uplifts, and seeks to spark debate and a better understanding about the practice of local journalism.

Colorado is a compelling place to do so. Plenty of the challenges facing the local news industry nationwide are exacerbated here, and many of the potential solutions are taking root in Colorado as well. Colorado is “a test tube, and people keep shaking it,” the state’s former governor, John Hickenlooper, once said. And that’s certainly true about its media world.

This newsletter started on TinyLetter in 2015 and migrated to Substack in 2020.

Who am I?

I’m Corey Hutchins, the co-director of Colorado College’s Journalism Institute, the Colorado-based contributor for Columbia Journalism Review’s United States Project, a member of The Washington Post’s Talent Network, an advisor to Colorado Media Project, and a journalist for multiple news outlets. My background is in alternative weeklies, long-form accountability journalism projects, political reporting, and writing about local media. The Colorado Media Project, where I write case studies, is underwriting this newsletter, and my “Inside the News” column appears at COLab, both of which I sometimes write about here. (If you, too, would like to underwrite this newsletter, hit me up.) Follow me on Twitter, reply or subscribe to this weekly newsletter here, or e-mail me at CoreyHutchins [at] gmail [dot] com.

For the past four years, I’ve published a year-end column at The Colorado Sun about all that happened in Colorado’s media world, breaking it down by month. Here are those in-depth recaps for 2020, 2021, 2022, and 2023.

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You’ll get full access to the newsletter and website. Never miss an update.

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Readers find it valuable:

“Colorado has lots of interesting experiments in local journalism. No one covers them better.” — 9NEWS anchor Kyle Clark.

Stay up-to-date

You won’t have to worry about missing anything. Every new edition of the newsletter goes directly to your inbox. Usually on Fridays. Sometimes on Thursdays if I’m finished by then. Sometimes you might get a special edition if something big happens.

How do I decide what to write about each week?

I’m interested in the business models for local news and how they’re changing, news innovations, accountability reporting, different ways local news outlets interact with their audiences, personnel changes, ownership issues, government influence in news gathering, the life-work balance of reporters, media literacy, journalism ethics, how newsrooms make decisions, press freedom, the First Amendment, news values, industry trends, and more.

I’m also always interested in the different ways citizens are getting their news and information, whether it’s from an unfiltered YouTube livestream during a mass shooting or from your Ring security system.

There are enough Colorado news aggregators and daily newsletters that link to individual stories from our various outlets, so I’ve developed a beat out of the news behind the news each week. 

It’s expanding…

In special editions each month or so, I’ll try to take a look at the local media scene outside Colorado to offer a more regional perspective.

  • Are these the Rocky Mountain states? Is it the Mountain West? Beats me. In the first one we checked in from Idaho to Oklahoma, so maybe the region is unclassifiable.

  • The latest one carried items from South Dakota to Nevada.

Who pays for this newsletter?

This newsletter began in 2015 as part of my work for Columbia Journalism Review’s United States Project. Later, The Colorado Independent, a statewide nonprofit news site, paid me to write it each week. (The Indy transformed into COLab.)

Want to sponsor this newsletter?

If you or your organization would like to sponsor the newsletter and get your message in front of what Denver marketing agency SE2 co-founder Eric Anderson calls a “uniquely influential audience,” get in touch.

From SE2:

Like a lot of journalists, Corey is better at reporting than promoting himself. But he’s built an audience of roughly 2,000 subscribers, and his metrics show that well over half of subscribers open his newsletter each week. In other words, he’s created something of great value.

Now he just needs to keep monetizing it so it can continue and grow — and hopefully become a model for other journalism organizations like his!

The subscriber count has roughly doubled since then. 👆

If you would like to be a part of that model, let’s talk: coreyhutchins [at] gmail [dot] com.

Other financial disclosures

Since getting out of daily political journalism around 2019 I started investing more in the stock market. My holdings include QQQ, which tracks the Nasdaq-100 Index with a collection of tech companies that I might have to write about in this newsletter from time to time including Facebook, Google, or others. I also own stock in individual entities like Visa, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Nvidia, Microsoft, two cannabis companies, a psychedelic medicine company, and others ranging from booze to global shipping, banking, software, 3D printing, REITs, electric vehicles, ETFs, and more.

Join the crew

Be part of a community of people who share your interests.

To find out more about the company that provides the tech for this newsletter, visit Substack.com.

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A weekly newsletter about the news behind the news in Colorado


Journalist and educator in Colorado