A living laboratory for hyperlocal journalism in Boulder, Colo.

Credit: John Herrick

In Boulder, Colorado, demand for a truly local, public-interest daily news organization is at a fever pitch. Inspired by the opportunity, the Boulder Reporting Lab (BRL) was born. For me, it was the right next challenge. I previously co-founded and helped build a national nonprofit called Inside Climate News that won a Pulitzer Prize and other awards. I saw firsthand how a small but mighty group of journalists can create something from nothing and shake up the status quo. I wanted to help create this in my city.

I’m launching BRL in November 2021 with a small team and a two-fold mission. The first is to provide Boulder locals with high-quality, trustworthy reporting and essential information to make sense of issues they care most about and build community. The second mission is to achieve financial sustainability for our business.

Our vision for year one is to build and grow a daily newsletter and website grounded in original journalism on issues of greatest community importance — climate, health, housing, the economy, food and culture. We will publish a steady stream of news stories, too, and curate community information from diverse perspectives into digestible snippets. We aim to build a large and broad enough audience to support our revenue goals around local sponsorships, membership and philanthropy. This will allow us to produce even more enterprise, in-depth reporting and editorial products in the community interest.

Ultimately, we strive to lay the foundation for a permanent not-for-profit institution whose values align with our community’s and whose transparency and journalism inspire trust and a new news habit — as well as a living laboratory from which other news entrepreneurs in cities like ours can learn.

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