In print, online, why our coverage is now different

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What makes Colorado Springs different than other cities in America? How do you describe the Springs to people who don’t live here? What sets us apart?

Those are some of the questions that the editors and reporters who work here asked themselves recently as we explored whether we were tracking the right “beats,” those areas of life that newsrooms monitor most closely.

The best business news organizations are those that, among other jobs, provide comprehensive coverage of the sectors that are most important to their markets.

Banking, technology, health care, real estate and retailing.

Those are the mainstays of most business news outlets pretty much anywhere in the nation, as they have been in our own operation for some time.

We believe — and hope you agree — that concentrating our reporting on those realms has served our readers well over the years. Yet after stopping to ask ourselves some of those fundamental questions, it also became quickly evident we were overlooking important sectors that give Colorado Springs its unique character and flavor.

So rather than keep doing what we’ve always done, we’ve come up with a new list of beats for our reporters to cover, assigning them to monitor and chronicle transactions, trends, events, personalities and other news in realms that give the region an identity of its own.

While we’ll continue covering the mainstays, we’ve now added five new beats and placed a new emphasis on a sixth. Here’s a rundown and the reporter to contact:

Aerospace/defense contracting/space tech. Colorado is No. 2 in the nation in this industry, and our region alone employs nearly 30,000 people in this field. The economic impact is in the billions of dollars. Reporter: Amy Gillentine at amy.gillentine@csbj.com or 719-329-5205.

Business of Sports. The presence of the U.S. Olympic Committee and nearly 30 sport governing bodies make this an exciting beat with the potential to generate national headlines. Reporter: Becky Hurley at becky.hurley@csbj.com or 719-329-5235.

Business of Faith. We’re home to Focus on the Family, the Navigators and many more. Tons of money pours into these groups. They employ thousands of people, and their influence is felt worldwide. Reporter: John Hazlehurst at john.hazlehurst@csbj.com or 719-329-5861.

Nonprofits. The El Pomar Foundation is top dog in this realm, but did you know Colorado Springs has one of the highest concentrations of nonprofits in the country? Again, lots of money flows through these groups — including your donations. We want to be sure they’re spending that money wisely. Reporter: Rebecca Tonn at rebecca.tonn@csbj.com or 719-329-5229.

Arts and Culture. The symphony, museums, our nightclubs. This is the scene that gives our city its added vibrancy. We’ll leave reviews to others but what goes on in the board room and in the front office is where you’ll find us. Reporter: John Hazlehurst at john.hazlehurst@csbj.com or 719-329-5861.

Lastly, we’re now paying much closer attention to what’s going on in one more beat:

Tourism. Millions of visitors come to the Springs every year to visit our breathtaking vistas. Reporter: Rebecca Tonn at rebecca.tonn@csbj.com or 719-329-5229.

You’ll still be able to count on us to provide the latest breaking news online and in the paper from the beats we’ve traditionally covered. But we’re also hoping our adjustment in the news we cover will leave you better-informed and better-prepared to respond to market opportunities and challenges.

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I wasn’t in town for much of last week, so, unfortunately, didn’t make it over to The Broadmoor to check out the 26th annual Space Symposium.

Although I couldn’t make it in person, thanks to our Amy Gillentine, I was able to follow events at the conference via her Twitter feeds, a Space Symposium blog and stories that she posted on csbj.com through each day of the four-day event.

Amy didn’t book a room at The Broadmoor but she was there pretty much every waking hour of the symposium, providing live coverage of events there as they happened.

She was there when President Obama’s speech about his vision for space exploration was piped into the convention.

She posted tweets as an Army general urged private industry to work harder to develop technologies that can better protect America’s fighting men and women wherever they go.

And she broke the news of Harris Corp.’s modest yet important expansion plans in Colorado Springs.

I hope you were able to check out her coverage as the symposium was under way. We’re planning to do more of our work online as our operation evolves, confronts and tackles the challenges of our ever-changing world.

Allen Greenberg is the editor of the Colorado Springs Business Journal. Reach him at allen.greenberg@csbj.com or 719-329-5206.

3 Responses to In print, online, why our coverage is now different

  1. umm.. how about a ‘green’ department, to cover environmental issues? Or do you have one of those already?

    es
    April 27, 2010 at 6:51 am

  2. How about an “Outdoor Business” beat? We regularly sink several thousand dollars a year into ski passes, skis, snowboards, bikes, components, maintenance, hiking boots and gear, etc., etc. and donate several hundred dollars worth of time to trail mainteance and park clean up.

    Strikes me as a good beat for a Colorado Springs business journal to cover, one that is pretty much ignored.

    lrb
    April 29, 2010 at 7:04 am

  3. While we didn’t create a beat specifically tied to “outdoor business,” our coverage of the business of sports and the tourism and retail industries should capture at least some what you’re suggesting.

    Allen Greenberg
    April 29, 2010 at 11:22 am