The Colorado Springs Independent/Colorado Spring Indy, as well as; the Colorado Springs Business Journal; the Southeast Express; and the Pikes Peak Bulletin will all be adopting nonprofit funding models in late October, converting from for-profit outlets to nonprofit news agencies. Moving forward the news outlet will be operated by a Colorado Springs-based group called Citizen-Powered Media. The change comes after decision makers witnessed the success of other publications, like the Colorado Sun and the Colorado Times Recorder once they switched to a nonprofit funding model. According to an article from Colorado Spring Indy, nonprofit status within the news industry has become a better alternative to for-profit entities since advertising has gone to known digital platforms like Facebook, Google and Twitter.
Longtime owner and local publisher John Weiss welcomes this new direction for the publication as he retires and remains as a non voting member of the new nonprofit’s board of directors. He states: “I’m confident this model, where we will supplement our income with community support, makes total sense, and I’m confident we have the team in place for success. The timing is right for me because after three decades, I’m ready for new challenges.”
The Colorado Springs Independent was established apparently by Weiss in 1993 to advocate against Amendment 2, a voter-approved constitutional amendment that denied LGBTQ+ people equal rights under Colorado law. In the nearly three decades since the publication’s establishment, it has been an alternative to The Gazette, and “gives voice to the voiceless and tackles issues other news outlets shy away from.”
Amy Gillentine, publisher and executive editor of the Colorado Springs Independent, will remain as CEO and has discussed with reporter Pam Zubeck the future of the news publication. Gillentine emphasized the inclusion of digital news while still adhering to a weekly print edition in order to support “our continued commitment to holding government accountable while also providing the best food and entertainment coverage in the region.”
Aside from no longer being able to endorse political candidates Gillentine stated not much else will change: “I really, really want to emphasize that the mission hasn’t changed, That includes standing up for people who are marginalized. We won’t stop shining a light where it needs to be directed.”