Some things change, but some never will

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A quarter could really get you something back then.

But if I had to choose — and back in 1985, I didn’t have a lot of quarters — I went with the newspaper. I was 11, so picking the paper over a can of pop or some candy was perceived as an odd choice by some, perhaps by many.

Where else was I going to get a written recap of yesterday’s games? How else could I learn the statistics of the players?

On Monday mornings in my Florida hometown, especially in the fall, I’d walk to the local convenience store on my way to the bus stop, deposit a quarter in the metal box outside and grab a copy of the local daily. I’d read several articles — usually about the Sunday football games — on the bus and save the rest for later.

The price of the paper went up a little over the years, but I kept reading.

I’d go on to write sports stories for that local daily and other papers, and instead of paying for the paper, they paid me. Eventually, I switched over to the news side and got hooked, copy editing stories about the 2000 presidential election and the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

In 2007, I left the humidity and landed a job with the forebears of the company that owns the paper you are reading now, working my way up the editor ranks.

By my count, I’ve been paid to work for newspapers for a quarter century.

When I started my career, newspaper jobs — and newspaper advertisements — were everywhere, it seemed. So much is different now in the journalism industry, and, for the most part, not the good kind of different. But that’s a conversation for another time and place. Too many people are hurting now, and the COVID-19 pandemic is taking a toll on just about every industry.

I’m moving on from my managing editor post at Colorado Community Media, and I leave believing now more than ever in the good newspapers can do.

I believe that you, our readers, crave the information local newspapers, like CCM, provide. Thank you for reading, by the way.

I will miss being part of the CCM team as I navigate my way down an as-of-yet-unknown path. We’ve done important work together. We’ve covered some of the saddest days in Denver metro area history, including school shootings in 2013 and 2019. We’ve also covered some of the brightest days — the graduations, state championship games and parades that make a community a community.

One thing is for certain: I’ll keep reading.

Chris Rotar has been an editor with Colorado Community Media since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisRotar

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