Silver Linings

  • Laura pioneered collaborative journalism in Colorado as the founder of I-News, the nonprofit investigative news organization that merged with Rocky Mountain Public Media in 2013.

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Dear reader,

Has this happened to you? I’ve now lost track of the number of times I’ve uttered “What an unbelievable year!” or some variation of that.

But today, I’m reminded of all we have to be thankful about this year.

Yes, the pandemic has brought pain and hardship. But it has also brought tender, quiet moments together (even if some of them were virtual) and friends checking in on friends with a never-more-sincere: How are you doing? Do you need anything?

Yes, this election has been particularly vitriolic. But it has also engaged historic numbers of Americans in the voting process — the most essential action in a democracy.

Yes, the racial reckoning across the nation has brought painful realities to the surface and reminded us of points in our past — and our present — that are hard to face. But it has opened an opportunity to change the future and help America live up to the ideals of our founding.

So today, I offer thanks for these silver linings. And for each of you, people who care about the role of journalism in this democracy, as we strive to uncover even our most difficult realities so we might do something about them.

Susan Greene and Tina Griego are about to give us just such an opportunity. They are hard at work on a story called “On Edge,” a multi-part statewide series on how the confluence of crises that 2020 has brought us — from a deadly virus to fire, drought and unrest — has affected our mental wellbeing as well as how we are coping.

I promise you will meet some Coloradans who will touch your heart. And I believe we will all arrive at the end of the series with some ideas of how we could take even better care of ourselves and each other.

“Better news for all Coloradans” is our mantra at COLab, the Colorado News Collaborative. That means our work helps all news outlets bring this kind of high quality, in-depth reporting to their communities. And I’m thrilled to tell you nearly 100 news outlets have now signed on to participate in COLab. So not only will you get Susan and Tina’s “On Edge” special report on our website (, you’ll see it and hear it in media across the state.

We’ve also been helping our COLab partners prepare to launch a statewide awareness campaign called “News Colorado Needs.” Just as more people voted this year, incredible numbers of people turned to their local news sources for information that, in the case of the pandemic, literally could be a matter of life and death. Watch for the hashtag #newsCOneeds on social media and share it to become part of the movement to support trustworthy news.

Finally, I want to thank you for your support of COLab in this challenging year. Many of you have been on this journey with us this year as we’ve expanded our mission to raise all journalistic boats. Our expanded mission, as you might guess, means expanded expenses. But we have great news. Some of you already have reached out with challenge grants to encourage others to donate to the Colorado News Collaborative. And Dec. 8 is Colorado Gives Day. 

Would you consider scheduling a gift today? It’s easy on our Colorado Gives Day page (just click “donate” at the top right) and you can see what we all look like in our masks! Every donation to COLab, up to $50,000, will be doubled, thanks to our generous supporters. And if you want to go even further and become one of the challenge grant providers, please reply to this email and let me know.

In this challenging year, it feels good to do something good.

Keep taking care of each other, and many thanks for your support of us and the entire Colorado News Collaborative.

Laura Frank

A version of this post originally appeared in a letter to readers on Friday, Nov. 27. Get our newsletter delivered straight to your email box by signing up here.