Opinion: Balance and Transparency: The Case for Enhanced Energy Journalism

Developing energy policy and providing regulatory oversight over energy companies in Colorado is a nuanced and complicated process. By design, it is influenced by business, political interests and advocacy organizations. To maintain some semblance of representative government, the system relies upon advocacy organizations to speak for segments of society and weigh-in on the potential impacts of policies and/or regulations. Many of these organizations work tirelessly on behalf of their members, constituents or target audiences and provide helpful input on legislation and regulatory matters. 

To many lawmakers, allowing laymen to actively participate in the process would gum up the works…This is where news media, comprised of experienced journalists, plays an important role. Aware of the issues at stake and the nuance involved in policy matters, reporters and editors know when important issues merit news coverage and the public’s attention.

A New Beginning for Energy Journalism in Colorado

Welcome to Empowering Colorado – a new addition to Colorado’s media landscape. Unlike many of the traditional media outlets you may be familiar with, Empowering Colorado is a 501(c)3 nonprofit news organization. We are mission-driven and part of a trend within journalism to encourage better and more comprehensive coverage of complicated topics – such as energy development.   

We will not only present on our own platforms, but we will also engage with local media around the state and offer resources to enhance their coverage of energy issues in their communities. Whether the issues we cover involve business, technology, public policy or environmental impacts, Empowering Colorado will act without fear or favor to build trust in accordance with the following principles: 

Independence: we are an unbiased voice in the energy media landscape not beholden to political parties, media conglomerates or big business interests. Transparency: we will be funded by donations, sponsorships, subscriptions, advertisements, events and partnerships. We will be clear about what is sponsored content and what is not and disclose our biggest funders on the website. A forum for discussion and education: we will improve the energy conversation in Colorado and provide citizens, public policy-makers, business executives and advocates with the information they need to make informed energy decisions. Filling a gap in local journalism: we will provide an avenue for talented journalists to promote their best work in energy reporting to an engaged and educated audience. We will also help local media outlets by allowing them to republish original Empowering Colorado content through partnership agreements.  

You can read more about the history, structure and mission of Empowering Colorado at our website empoweringco.org.  

Thank you for joining us on this exciting journey to provide citizens with enhance coverage around an important topic impacting all Coloradans. Our early efforts to build our news product may be simple and straightforward, but with your help, Empowering Colorado will provide the sophisticated, in-depth coverage of energy journalism you deserve. Here’s how you can help us ensure that Energy Examiner serves all Coloradans: 

If you believe in the value of quality journalism and the need for more and better coverage of energy development, please consider donating, subscribing or sharing this newsletter with your network.  

Energy touches us all. Thank you for supporting Empowering Colorado.  

Sincerely, Mark RobertsPublisher/Executive Director