Here come the new media

Slated on Backbone Radio, May 4 Listen every Sunday, 5-8pm on 710 KNUS, Denver... 1460 KZNT, Colorado Springs... and streaming live at

"A dying tribe" is what Denver Post business editor Al Lewis calls the business he's in, newspapers. This week, under a frozen-smile headline, the Post reported its weekend circulation dropped 15% in the past year, while that of the Rocky Mountain News dropped 11%. Grasping for straws, the story said visits to the two papers' jointly operated websites were up 22% in the same period. But a leading publisher told me that ads migrating online from his print edition surrender 90 cents from every previous dollar of revenue. Cold comfort.

As a lifelong lover of newspapers, and in recent years a Post columnist, I take no joy in this trend at all. It's real, though, and it looks irreversible. There's a concern, because TV can't match print in the comprehensive gathering and thoughtful reporting of news. Nor can web-based journalism and talk radio.

Yet the latter, the so-called new and alternative media, are driving big changes in the way Americans get their information and convert it to political energy. We're not "Citizen Kane" or "The Front Page," but this seems to be our moment. You're giving us a chance and we mean to seize it. Here we come.

** This Sunday, May 4, I'll report on time spent in the past week hanging out with Bill Bennett and John Stossel, and I'll recap the hot issues in Colorado as the legislature ends and the ballot issues gear up.

** Michael Ward, a British scholar and expert on C. S. Lewis, will spend an hour with us discussing his new book "Planet Narnia" and the forthcoming film "Prince Caspian."

** Plus Colorado College student Chris Robinson on his ordeal with the campus thought police... terrorism expert Daveed Gartenstein-Ross with a war report... and political writer Mike Littwin from the Democratic campaign trail.

Backbone Radio has no illusions of ever replacing the Sunday paper. You can't wrap fish in us or spank the dog with us. Or start a fire with us, unless that means lighting a match under citizens. We're tickled, though, to be part of what's happening now, and all because of you.

Yours for America the Good, JOHN ANDREWS