Don’t accept loss of local news

Amy Gillentine Sweet

Information is power.

As our 142,000 loyal readers already know, every week the Indy provides timely, accurate news and arts and entertainment coverage for free — to anyone who’s shopping at the local grocery store, visiting a coffee shop, getting a haircut or swimming at the YMCA.

For more than a quarter century our award-winning newsweekly has been available at local King Soopers, Safeway stores and nearly 900 other high-traffic locations around the Pikes Peak region.

It’s free on purpose — so everyone, regardless of finances — has access to the information needed to make their own informed civic decisions.

That free source of information and the power it brings is at risk.

Cincinnati-based Kroger Co., the parent company of the region’s largest grocer, King Soopers, issued an edict that free publications distributed at its 2,800 grocery stores in 35 states will be banned beginning Oct. 1. That’s without considering the individual communities that might be affected. They apparently believe that their customers no longer want free papers.

They are wrong.

Every month, more than 17,000 locals pick up the Independent while shopping at King Soopers’ 14 area stores. Their decision took us by surprise — and we’re sure our readers are as dismayed as we are.

[pullquote-1] When news is freely available, people make better choices; they’ll know more about government, taxes, businesses and the work done by local nonprofits. They’ll connect and participate with their community’s arts and entertainment scene. Without newspapers, studies show that there’s less government accountability and the cost of doing business rises due to a lack of oversight.  

Local King Soopers employees say the only way their corporate decision-makers will allow the Indy to remain is if they hear from enough customers asking them to keep it in their stores.

So we’re asking for your help. If you value picking up the Indy along with your groceries, please let store managers know.

Tell them that the Indy provides much-needed information about local government; tell them the paper helps you stay engaged in the civic life of our community; explain that you rely on the arts and entertainment coverage to plan your weekend.

[content-1] And remind them that the Independent supports the community. Through our philanthropic Give! Campaign, we’ve helped local nonprofits raise more than $11 million during the past decade.

Talk about your favorite columns, such as “Queer & There” and “Reverb” and “Dine & Dash.” Mention our “In Good Faith” feature, where local liberal and conservative clergy, including Muslims, Jews and Christians — from Focus on the Family to the Unitarians — civilly debate issues. 

Tell them you want our in-depth, award-winning investigative reporting and our superb food and music coverage.

Let our local King Soopers stores know that you appreciate access to a free, independent press — a rarity in today’s media landscape.

Thank you for your support of the Independent. Thank you for believing in local journalism.

— Amy Gillentine Sweet, publisher