By Bev Rich
When rumors began surfacing that the Silverton Standard & the Miner was going to be closed down, my first thought was: No! This is the oldest newspaper on the Western Slope of Colorado, and one of the oldest in the state, publishing every week since 1875! It can’t be closed! It is too important. And it is.
It is too important to have a newspaper — to publish legal ads, to publish community events, to cover government workings, to chronicle our tragedies and our triumphs. It is the job of a newspaper to report what is happening — with no bias either way. And it is your job as a citizen to be informed and make judgments. A good newspaper keeps us honest because, if it is doing its job, we will do the right thing because there will be scrutiny.
That brings me to the point of this one-time editorial: The Silverton Standard & the Miner will be the Fourth Estate the way it always has been, completely independent editorially.
When the Board of the Historical Society met to discuss taking on such a huge responsibility, the one thing that everyone agreed on was that we would act as trustees for the paper — we are the nonprofit umbrella for the paper to operate under.
In this digital age, for-profit papers are failing by the dozens. Great newspapers all over the country have shut their doors. They can’t make a profit.
That is where we can step in. As a nonprofit, we just have to make expenses. So the Silverton Standard & the Miner will have to make expenses to survive. The board of directors is optimistic that it will.
This time it is US making history.
Rich is president of the San Juan County Historical Society, which recently acquired the Silverton Standard & the Miner.