Mission & Vision

Better News for All Coloradans

At the Colorado News Collaborative, our vision is an informed and engaged civil society.

Our mission is to be a local media resource hub and ideas lab that serves all Coloradans by strengthening high-quality local journalism, supporting civic engagement, and ensuring public accountability.

COLab helps communities like yours have better news. We’re a nonprofit that helps news outlets all across Colorado produce more fact-based news that makes a difference, and we help communities build more trust with those news outlets. That makes for better news — that is, higher quality news that serves all Coloradans.

Our work is a public service because studies show that when communities don’t have quality news, bad things happen:

  • Fewer people vote
  • Fewer run for public office
  • Local government becomes more expensive
  • Political polarization gets worse

COLab helps more than 170 news outlets across Colorado (see if your favorite is on the list!) report important stories they couldn’t do alone. We help communities find better ways to build trust with their news outlets. And we help strengthen media business models so those news outlets can serve those communities long into the future.

Our work has captured national attention, but it’s our local support — from more than 1,000 of you so far! — that lets us know we’re on the right track.

Our History

In the fall of 2018, a handful of Colorado news outlets gathered to talk about an idea. What might happen if they worked together on stories, on understanding their communities more deeply, and on sharing resources?

At the same time, the Colorado Media Project — a community initiative led by the University of Denver and the Gates Family Foundation — were poring over research from that summer, when they’d surveyed thousands of Coloradans about what they wanted and needed in local news. And the 142-year old Colorado Press Association was making plans with The Colorado Independent to evolve both organizations’ missions to strengthen journalism across the state.

From these interrelated efforts came COLab, the Colorado News Collaborative.

We are rural, urban and suburban; newspapers, websites, radio and television; serving all Colorado communities — including tribal communities, communities of color, Spanish-speaking communities and other traditionally underserved communities.

We collaborate on journalism none could do alone. And we don’t stop there. We strive to pull back the curtain on how news is reported, and invite the public into the process. And we work together to innovate and financially strengthen existing and emerging news sources, so they are there for their communities long into the future.

The times in which we are living — from the pandemic to the movement for racial justice to climate change and a polarized political landscape — have only underscored the need for trustworthy local news.

COLab’s mission is crucial and complex, but the ultimate aim of COLab is simple: Better news for all Coloradans.

Thank you for joining us on this journey.