Meet the 2021 #newsCOneeds Matching Challenge Grantees

Mark Your Calendars: Your Contribution to 26 Newsrooms is Doubled Starting Nov. 30
  • COLab is an independent, nonprofit, statewide journalism coalition, media resource hub, and ideas lab. We serve all Coloradans by strengthening high-quality local journalism, supporting civic engagement, and ensuring public accountability.

  • CMP's mission is to better meet the information needs of all Coloradans, by acting as a catalyst and advocate for innovations that make Colorado's local news ecosystem more sustainable, collaborative, and accountable to the public it serves. CMP develops partnerships and programs designed to increase newsroom capacity, support collaboration, and engage community in the journalism that strengthens our democracy.

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Twenty-six Colorado newsrooms are poised to collectively raise more than a quarter-million dollars to strengthen and sustain their coverage of local governments, businesses, schools and communities — but they need your help.

Today Colorado Media Project and the Colorado News Collaborative are excited to announce the list of local newsrooms participating in the 2021 #newsCOneeds year-end matching challenge. Between Nov. 30 (“Giving NewsDay”) and Dec. 31, 2021, each newsroom below can earn up to $5,000 from CMP, in a dollar-for-dollar match aimed at inspiring individual giving to support long-term sustainability of their public-service journalism — which informs and engages communities and strengthens civic engagement statewide. More details are here.

2021 is the fourth consecutive year that CMP is offering the matching grant challenge, which is modeled after the national NewsMatch campaign that helped nonprofit newsrooms across the country raise a record-breaking $47 million in 2020. This year’s #newsCOneeds challenge follows the successful 2020 state-level campaign, in which 24 CMP grantees collectively raised more than $578,000 in the month of December.

Colorado’s #newsCOneeds matching challenge is unique in the nation, in that any locally owned, locally operated Colorado news organization that is regularly publishing nonpartisan local news may apply — regardless of business model or distribution method. While newsrooms are encouraged to direct their readers or listeners to their own contribution pages, a campaign landing page ( provides a unifying message and a single-point for campaign contributions, which are split equally among the participating newsrooms. 

Want to shout out your favorite story or newsroom? Newsrooms, advocates and members of the public are encouraged to use a common hashtag (#newsCOneeds) to spotlight some of the amazing journalism produced by local newsrooms in 2021, and to encourage others to give generously.

In addition to the grants, CMP will join COLab and News Revenue Hub in providing coaching, collateral and technical support to the following 26 members of the 2021 cohort:

  • Ark Valley Voice is a regional online daily publication serving Salida, Buena Vista, the broader Chaffee County, and the surrounding four-county area. The newsroom’s mission statement is “Truth has a voice.”
  • Aspen Journalism is a nonprofit, online local news organization with statewide coverage on water and the environment. Aspen Journalism produces investigative and in-depth journalism for those with a stake in Aspen, the Roaring Fork River watershed, the Western Slope, the state of Colorado, and the upper Colorado River basin.
  • Aspen Public Radio is a local NPR affiliate serving the Roaring Fork, Crystal, Colorado, Frying Pan and Eagle River Valleys. Now in its fortieth year, the organization works to support, nourish, and enrich the community by providing informative, entertaining and educational radio and digital programming in a reliable and professional manner.
  • Boulder Beat is an independent outlet focusing on approachable journalism that connects the community to Boulder city council and local government.
  • Bucket List Community Cafe is a community inspired and community supported journalism site on Facebook, social media and the web that provides information, inspiration and interaction to North Denver. 
  • Chalkbeat Colorado is a nonprofit, digital newsroom covering education in Denver and statewide, as part of a nationwide network of mission-aligned newsrooms committed to covering one of America’s most important stories: the effort to improve schools for all children, especially those who have historically lacked access to a quality education.
  • Colorado Community Media is a network of 24 community newspapers and online publications collectively serving more than 330,000 residents in cities and towns throughout Colorado’s Front Range with clear, accurate coverage of the issues that matter to residents.
  • Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition is a nonpartisan alliance of groups, news organizations and individuals dedicated to ensuring the transparency of state and local governments in Colorado by promoting freedom of the press, open courts and open access to government records and meetings.
  • The Colorado Sun is an online news outlet providing long-form, in-depth coverage of news from across Colorado. 
  • Crestone Eagle is a nonprofit newsroom whose mission is to produce trustworthy local news in rural Saguache County, to promote community engagement, enhance economic development and connect residents throughout the San Luis Valley.
  • Denver North Star is a community newspaper with an online presence serving Northwest Denver, including the Berkeley, Sunnyside, Highland, West Highland, Regis, Inspiration Point, Chaffee Park, Sloan’s Lake, West Colfax, and Jefferson Park neighborhoods north of Colfax, west of I-25.
  • Fresh Water News is a nonpartisan news service demystifying Colorado water issues, affiliated with the nonprofit Water Education Colorado.
  • KBUT Radio is a community radio station and NPR affiliate serving the Gunnison Valley.
  • KDNK Radio is a community radio station and NPR affiliate serving Carbondale and the Roaring Fork Valley.
  • KGNU Radio is an independent community station serving Boulder County and Denver.
  • KSJD Radio is a community radio station and NPR affiliate providing local news in southwest Colorado and the Four Corners region. 
  • KSUT Radio is a community radio station and NPR affiliate serving Southwest Colorado, including the Ute tribal communities.
  • The Mountain-Ear is a community newspaper serving western Boulder County, western Jefferson County and Gilpin County. They are based in Nederland and have been in print since 1977. #themountainear
  • The Ouray County Plaindealer is a family-owned weekly newspaper serving communities in the San Juan Mountains since 1877. It is the only newspaper in Ouray County.
  • The Pagosa Springs SUN is a weekly newspaper with a daily online component providing news, advertising and information to enrich the lives of the people in the Archuleta County area.
  • Public News Service provides free, multi-platform content to Colorado news outlets to support the mission of journalism in the public interest.
  • Rio Blanco Herald Times has been serving Meeker and Rangely communities in northwest Colorado since 1885, with local news not available anywhere else.
  • Sentinel Colorado provides comprehensive news coverage for the greater Aurora region, daily online, weekly in print with no paywalls, ensuring free and accessible quality journalism for everyone.
  • The Sopris Sun is the Roaring Fork Valley’s community-supported, nonprofit weekly newspaper. Multilingual in English and Spanish, the newsroom seeks to inform, inspire and build community. We also aim to incubate the craft of journalism for future generations through our high school journalism program.
  • The Today at CSU is the student-run newspaper for CSU-Pueblo that works to inform, engage and educate the diverse and vibrant campus while growing the next generation of communications leaders through ethical reporting, critical research and outstanding journalism.
  • Denver Westword, the independent voice of news and culture in Denver since 1977, publishes a 24/7 website,, and also distributes a weekly paper — both free, now and forever.

To learn more about the campaign or how to donate to the 26 newsrooms participating in the 2021 #newsCOneeds matching challenge, visit the campaign landing page,