The irony of this post isn't lost on me: I'm a blogger passing on a video about the final days of the Rocky Mountain News, which published its final edition today. Bloggers come in for some gentle criticism in the film. Sportswriter Jeff Legwold remembers the old newspaperman's admonition If your mother says she loves you, check it out, and adds: "I still follow that rule. I don't think everybody blogging is following that rule. And until we tell people that's the difference, a lot more people like us are going to be sitting here telling this story." Other factors are noted as well: The rise of the Internet as a whole, the leaching away of classified ads to sites like craigslist, the downturn in the economy. Those are the hard facts behind the Rocky's death. What "Final Edition," by rockymountainnews.com Multimedia Producer Matthew Roberts, shows is something more ineffable: The human cost to the employees and the loss to the community.
It's impossible to imagine a newspaper covering its own funeral in such a visceral and immediate way twenty years ago. The tools of new media made it possible for Roberts to shoot, cut and distribute the story of the Rocky's closing in something very close to real time. Editor/Publisher John Temple talks in the film about the paper's openness over the years to new ways of telling stories. In Roberts' lovely, heartbreaking video the Rocky showed that openness to the very last minutes of its life.