The Sopris Sun is Carbondale, Colorado’s nonprofit weekly newspaper. It was born from this community, it endeavors to reflect the diverse faces of Carbondale and the Roaring Fork Valley, and it depends on the greater community for content, advertising, and financial support.
The Sopris Sun was founded in early 2009 when the for-profit Valley Journal newspaper, a weekly that had served the Roaring Fork Valley for 34 years, ceased publication on Christmas Eve 2008. Recognizing that Carbondale needed a truly local paper during the hard economic times of the recession as much as—or perhaps more than—it ever had, a group of local citizens came together over beer and pizza to answer the question, “What can we do about this?”
Attending those early meetings were Valley residents Becky Young, Allyn Harvey, Colin Laird, Liz Phillips, Barbara New, Peggy DeVilbiss, Trina Ortega, Russ Criswell and others. From the vision, dedicated efforts and talent of those few (several who had worked at the Valley Journal and other local papers), The Sopris Sun was born. The first issue, 20 proud pages long, hit the streets just in time for Valentine’s Day, 2009. You can still read that first issue here.
The Paper Today
Nine years later, The Sun is still shining in Carbondale. Each week, we distribute 3,500 copies at approximately 80 locations from Glenwood Springs to Woody Creek and Carbondale to Marble. Our office is in the Third Street Center, where life is bustling and good. Nearly everyone over the age of five knows where Thompson Divide is. Mountain Fair still draws thousands to town the last weekend in July. And the pages of The Sopris Sun hold photos of children whose parents hadn’t even met in 2009 when the paper was started.
As a nonprofit weekly, The Sun does not cover fast-breaking news the way the corporate-owned dailies do. Instead we take an in-depth approach to stories and issues, through Carbondale’s eyes, considering and analyzing their impacts on this unique place and the people who live here. Editorially, we don’t take a position, but we offer you, our readers, many ways to respond to the news and to express your views and opinions. This truly is your paper.
Where We’re Headed
First and foremost, the board and staff of The Sun are committed to maintaining—and always seeking to improve—the colorful, quality print newspaper our readers and advertisers have come to rely on. This redesigned website extends those capabilities online, and we are excited to bring you more photos, breaking news, and features on the site each week—things we can’t fit into 16 or 20 print pages. The web also offers expanded opportunities for you, our readers, to share your photos and Facebook, Instagram and Twitter posts with the larger community. Check out all ways you can submit to The Sun, and watch for us to roll out a bunch of other fun and useful features in the future as funding allows.
Editorial Independence Policy
We subscribe to standards of editorial independence adopted by the Institute for Nonprofit News:
Our organization retains full authority over editorial content to protect the best journalistic and business interests of our organization. We maintain a firewall between news coverage decisions and sources of all revenue. Acceptance of financial support does not constitute implied or actual endorsement of donors or their products, services or opinions.
We accept gifts, grants and sponsorships from individuals and organizations for the general support of our activities, but our news judgments are made independently and not on the basis of donor support.
Our organization may consider donations to support the coverage of particular topics, but our organization maintains editorial control of the coverage. We will cede no right of review or influence of editorial content, nor of unauthorized distribution of editorial content.
Our organization will make public all donors who give each year. This list is published annually in our paper either in late January or Early February. Further more in each issue we publish a list of donors who give more than $1,000 annually. We will accept anonymous donations for general support only if it is clear that sufficient safeguards have been put into place that the expenditure of that donation is made independently by our organization and in compliance with INN’s Membership Standards.
The Sopris Sun survives due to the hard work of the staff, board, and volunteers too numerous to mention, the support of our advertisers, and the generous donations of individuals and businesses that recognize what a critical role The Sun plays in the life and health of this community. A huge “Thank You” to all of you!