About

About Aspen Journalism

Aspen Journalism is a local, independent, nonprofit journalism organization founded in 2011 and based in Aspen, Colorado.

Our mission is to produce excellent journalism, because well-informed citizens make better decisions and journalism is key to a functioning democracy.

Aspen Journalism takes an investigative approach to beat reporting and does so in collaboration with other local and regional news organizations.

Our coverage area radiates outward from Aspen to Snowmass Village; to Pitkin, Eagle, Garfield and Summit counties; to the Western Slope; to the state of Colorado; and to the West.

Since 2011, we’ve covered water, rivers, education, land use, local government, housing, transportation, energy, wealth, real estate, the ski industry and development.

Aspen Journalism is a recognized member of the Colorado Press Association and the Institute for Nonprofit News.

The Benedict Building in Aspen is home to Aspen Journalism.

Leadership of Aspen Journalism

Brent Gardner-Smith is the founder, editor and executive director of Aspen Journalism.

He reports on water and rivers in the Colorado River basin in collaboration with The Aspen Times and other newspapers, including the Glenwood Springs Post Independent, the Vail Daily, the Summit Daily and the Steamboat Pilot.

Gardner-Smith has worked as a reporter at The Aspen Times, the Aspen Daily News and KSNO. He has also served as news director at WMVY, executive director at Aspen Public Radio and public-affairs director at Aspen Skiing Co.

His reporting has been recognized by the Colorado Press Association, the Colorado Broadcasters Association and the Society of Professional Journalists.

In 2010 Gardner-Smith, interned in the communications department at ProPublica as part of earning his 2011 master’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri, with an emphasis on the management of nonprofit news organizations.

Gardner-Smith first moved to Aspen in 1982. He is a former professional whitewater raft guide with Blazing Paddles on the Roaring Fork, Colorado and Arkansas rivers, and he remains a capable boater, skier and snowboarder.

Brent Gardner-Smith/Aspen Journalism

On the Colorado.

Freelance journalists at Aspen Journalism

A growing list of highly skilled freelance reporters, editors and photographers have made it possible for Aspen Journalism to produce more than 600 stories and projects since 2011. Our 2019 budget includes $55,000 for freelance reporting.

Recent work by:

Jason Blevins
Lindsay Fendt
Tim Cooney
Lauren Blair
Heather Sackett
Ali Margo
Sarah Tory

Earlier work by:

Catherine Lutz
Allen Best
Madeline Osberger
Paul Andersen
Robert Ward
John Colson
Tim Mutrie
David Frey

Copy editing by:

Brady Hurley
Dale Ulland

Photography by:

Devon Meyers
Daniel Bayer
Heather Rousseau

Brent Gardner-Smith/Aspen Journalism

In-depth journalism.

Collaborative partners

We’re collaborating, or have collaborated, on stories and projects with a growing number of news organizations:

The Aspen Times
Aspen Daily News
Aspen Sojourner
The Snowmass Sun
KDNK
Glenwood Springs Post Independent
Vail Daily
Summit Daily
Steamboat Pilot
Greeley Tribune
The Denver Post
The Colorado Sun
High Country News

Brent Gardner-Smith/Aspen Journalism

This article by Sarah Tory, writing for Aspen Journalism, appeared in High Country News.

Use Aspen Journalism’s work, please!

Aspen Journalism’s work is available under a Creative Commons License and under our guidelines.

You can republish our articles and graphics for free, but:

you can’t edit our material, except to reflect relative changes in time, location and editorial style;

if you’re republishing online, you have to link to us and include all of the links in the story;

you can’t sell our material separately;

it’s fine to put our stories on pages with ads, but not ads specifically sold against our stories;

you can’t republish our material wholesale or automatically – you need to select stories to be republished individually;

you have to credit us, ideally in the byline; we prefer “Author Name, Aspen Journalism,” with a link to our homepage or the article; and

you have to tag our work with an editor’s note, as in “Aspen Journalism is an independent, nonprofit news organization. See aspenjournalism.org for more.” And please include a link to our site.

Aspen Historical Society/Grover Collection

Tom Flynn hoists a flag in front of the Highland Bavarian Lodge in the fall of 1936.

Standards and practices

We take journalistic guidance from our journalism advisory board, from the Society of Professional Journalists’ code of ethics, from the Associated Press’ standards and practices, and from The New York Times’ standards and ethics guidelines. We are a member of the Institute for Nonprofit News and the Colorado Press Association.

Brent Gardner-Smith/Aspen Journalism

A fine meeting place, in Ashcroft.

Journalism advisory board

Curtis Robinson
Curtis is the co-founder of Roaring Fork Sunday and a former editor of the Aspen Daily News. He remains at-large. He’s also the chair of our journalism advisory board.

Dave Danforth
Dave is the former owner of the Aspen Daily News and remains a columnist at the paper.

Charles Davis
Charles is dean of the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia and is the co-author of “Principles of American Journalism.”

Charlie Firestone
Charlie is the executive director of the Aspen Institute Communications and Society Program and previously was director of the communications law program at UCLA.

Laura Frank
Laura is the chief content officer at Rocky Mountain PBS in Denver and a former investigative reporter at the Rocky Mountain News.

John Masters
John is the executive director at GrassRoots Community Network.

Carolyn Sackariason
Carolyn is a reporter at The Aspen Times. She has also served as news director at Aspen Public Radio and editor at the Aspen Daily News and the Snowmass Sun.

Steve Skinner
Steve is a columnist at the Aspen Daily News, served as general manager at KDNK and is now guiding KFFR, a public-radio station in Grand County.

Andy Stone
Andy is the former editor of The Aspen Times, where he also wrote a column for years. He’s the author of “Aspen Drift.”

Mike Webb
Mike is a vice president at the public-relations firm BerlinRosen. Previously, he was the sales and marketing director at Civil Beat and the vice president of communications at ProPublica.

Brent Gardner-Smith/Aspen Journalism

Momentum, in the upper Roaring Fork River basin.

Board of directors

Mark Harvey, treasurer
Mark is a rancher, writer, filmmaker and photographer. He is the author of “The NOLS Wilderness Guide” and the producer and director of the documentary “A Land Out of Time.” Mark is the current president of the board of EcoFlight and has served on the boards of High Country News, Aspen Center for Environmental Studies, and Public Counsel of the Rockies.

Tim McFlynn, chair
Tim is the executive director of Public Counsel of the Rockies and a professional mediator with Aspen Dispute Resolution. He was co-founder and longtime trustee of Pitkin County Open Space and Trails and co-founder and director of the Manaus Fund. He has served as board president of Aspen Center for Environmental Studies, Wilderness Workshop, Western Resource Advocates, and other conservation and advocacy organizations.

Michael McVoy
Michael is an Aspen-based investment adviser, the former co-publisher of The Aspen Times and a Manaus Fund board member.

Harry Teague
Harry is the founder and principal designer at Harry Teague Architects. He has lived in the Aspen area since 1972, when he received his master’s degree in architecture from the Yale School of Architecture. Harry’s work, which includes the Benedict Music Tent in Aspen, has been widely recognized and appreciated.

Brent Gardner-Smith/Aspen Journalism

Clarity is always appreciated.

Financial and legal advisers

Denise Jurgens
CPA
Denise, a CPA and partner at Reese Henry and Company, has deep expertise in auditing and accounting services and has vast knowledge of Internal Revenue Service rules for not-for-profit organizations. Since 2011, Denise has overseen preparation of Aspen Journalism’s annual tax filings and provides guidance and oversight on nonprofit and financial matters.

Mike Marolt
Accountant
Mike is a CPA and a KPMG Peat Marwick alumnus. He’s also one of the first Americans to climb and ski down 8,000-meter mountains. Mike prepares Aspen Journalism’s monthly and annual financial statements and provides us with the same level-headed guidance that he does to his climbing partners on the big peaks.

Ken Ransford
Legal adviser
Ken is an attorney, investment adviser and CPA specializing in income-tax and estate-tax law for small businesses, individuals and nonprofit organizations. Ken prepared and filed Aspen Journalism’s successful application in 2011 to obtain 501(c)(3) status for Aspen Journalism, and he offers us guidance on nonprofit matters as necessary.

Brent Gardner-Smith/Aspen Journalism

Building on innovation and tradition.

Financial support

Aspen Journalism is an independent nonprofit news organization supported by donations from individuals and foundations.

Aspen Journalism has been determined by the IRS to be an exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and donations are tax-deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Our federal EIN is 35-2400162.

In the interest of transparency, Aspen Journalism discloses all donations by name, date and amount.

We put our donors into four categories: Citizen Donors, Community Donors, Philanthropic Donors and Foundational Donors.

Citizen Donors ($1 to $999)

Howie Mallory, 3.21.19, $150
Wayne Ethridge, 2.21.19, $100
Muffy and Andy DiSabatino, 2.18.19, $500
Chuck Oligby, 1.21.19, $200
Bruce Gordon, 1.8.19, $25
John Orr, to date this year, $15
Madeleine Osberger, 12.31.18, $50
Bill Stirling, 12.31.18, $50
Rhett Armstrong, 12.31.18, $75
Caroline Bradford, 12.31.18, $100
Brian Keheler, 12.31.18, $25
Michael Lipkin, 12.31.18, $300
Barbara Reid and David Hyman, 12.31.18, $250
Diane Johnson, 12.31.18, $50
Timothy Gorman, 12.31.18, $250
Judith Barnard and Michael Fain, 12.28.18, $500
John Katzenberger and Deb Jones, 12.28.18, $75
Patty Lecht, 12.28.18, $10
Lisa Tasker, 12.28.18, $25
Frank Peters and Marjory Musgrave, 12.27.18, $500
Kevin Ward, 12.25.18, $100
Hawk Greenway, 12.24.18, $50
Ruth and Bob Wade, 12.24.18, $50
Aron Ralston, 12.21.18, $100
Michael Hassig and Olivia Emery, 12.20.18, $100
Michael Kinsley, 12.20.18, $70
Rick Lofaro, 12.20.18, $25
Steve Smith, 12.20.18, $50
Sue Cross, 12.20.18, $10
Marianne Kipper, 12.20.18, $100
Dave Danforth, 12.19.18, $500
Jon Banks, 12.19.18, $250
Bob Purvis, 12.19.18, $500
Mark Tache and Christin Cooper, 12.19.18, $150
Karin Teague, 12.19.18, $50
Bob Harris, 12.19.18, $100
Anne Rickenbaugh, 12.18.18, $100
Jon Fox-Rubin, 12.17.18, $35
Laurie Loeb, 12.16.18, $50
Tommy Latousek, 12.14.18, $100
Mary and Hugh Wise, 12.12.18, $500
Ann Harvey, 12.12.18, $500
Robert Gardner, 12.11.18, $100
Paulina Vander Noordaa, 12.11.18, $25
John Orr, (total in 2018), $60
Stan and Toni Bialek, 12.9.18, $100
Andy Wiessner, 12.7.18, $100
Russ Criswell, 12.7.18, $50
Ken Ransford, 12.6.18, $100
Linda Palevsky, 12.6.18, $100
Amory and Judy Lovins, 12.6.18, $150
Ann Harvey, 12.5.18, $500
Craig Corona, 12.5.18, $25
Paul D’Amato and Beth Cashdan, 12.4.18, $50
Randy Gold and Dawn Shephard, 12.4.18, $50
Paul Menter, 12.3.18, $200
Sara Garton, 12.3.18, $50
Greg Poschman, 12.3.18, $100
Robin Waters, 12.3.18, $25
Tom and Cathy Crum, 12.1.18, $100
Will Roush, 12.1.18, $100
Sam Cox, 12.1.18, $75
Pam Moore, 12.1.18, $144
Virginia Newton, 11.30.18, $50
Joel Scott, 11.29.18, $100
Howie Mallory, 11.28.18, $100
Buck Blessing, 11.27.18, $100
Austin Gardner-Smith, 11.27.18, $240 ($20 per month)
Antonia Zurcher, 11.27.18, $50
Curtis Wackerle, 11.27.18, $40
Simon Pinniger, 11.27.18, $500
Claudia Potamkin, 11.27.18, $100
Bill Hegberg, 11.27.18, $100
Loretta Lohman, 11.23.18, $25
Tim McFlynn, 11.20.18, $100
Sara Ransford, via Arches Foundation, 11.12.18, $750
Jim Pokrandt, 11.10.18, $100
Hilary Burgess, 11.10.18, $50
John Orr, 11.10.18, $5
John Keleher, 11.8.18, $25
Mary Dominick and Sven Coomer, 11.6.18, $100
Skip Berhost, 11.6.18, $500
Mary Conover, 11.1.18, $500
George Sibley, 11.1.18, $25
Catherine Lutz, 11.1.18, $25
Tim Cooney, 10.30.18, $30
William Jochems, 10.10.18, $100
Hensley and James Peterson, 10.5.18, $250
Dave Reed, 10.1.18, $25
Heather Sackett, 9.27.18, $25
Amory Lovins, 7.20.18, $150
Ken Ransford, 4.27.18, $1,700 (in kind)
Judith Barnard and Michael Fain, 1.5.18, $500
Brent Gardner-Smith, total 2017, $463
Katie Dahl, 3.16.17, $10
Tim Cooney, 3.13.17, $20
John Masters, 3.28.17, $100
Tim McFlynn, 6.7.17 $100
Edgar Boyles, 7.11.17, $100
Mary Dominick-Coomer and Sven Coomer, 7.17.17, $150
John Orr, 10.20.17, $5
Sara Ransford, via Arches Foundation, 11.10.17, $250
John Orr, 11.20.17, $5
Kay Lima, 10.20.17, $1
Gavin Dahl, 11.21.17, $25
Mark Harvey, 11.21.17, $200
Harry Teague, 11.28.17, $51
Loretta Lohman, 11.28.17, $26
Marcella Larsen, 11.28.17, $511
Austin Gardner-Smith, 11.28.17, $103
Paul Menter, 11.28.17, $103
Caroline Bradford, 11.28.17, $103
Jim Pokrandt, 11.28.17, $103
Tim Cooney, 11.28.17, $26
Dave Danforth, 11.28.17, $256
Tim McFlynn, 11.28.17 $256
Catherine Lutz, 11.28.17, $41
David Hyman, 11.30.17, $103
Art Burrows, 12.5.17, $30
Patrick Hunter, 12.5.17, $103
Linda Conger Moore, 12.5.17, $103
Bill Jochems, 12.5.17, $100
Claudia Potamkin, 12.8.17, $100
Bill Spence and Sue Edelstein, 12.6.17, $250
Sara Ransford (Arches Foundation), 12.8.17, $500
Frank Peters, 12.9.17, $500
Sue Cross, 12.9.17, $10
John Keheler, 12.12.17, $26
Kay Lima, 12.12.17, $2
Stan Bialek, 12.12.17, $50
John Sarpa, 12.12.17, $52
Simon Pinniger, 12.12.17, $105
Ken Ransford, 12.12.17, $250
Harry Teague, 12.12.17, $950
Barbara Reese, 12.12.17, $250
Edgar Boyles, 12.13.17, $100
Cristal Logan, 12.13.17, $50
Amory Lovins, 12.14.17, $150
Bruce Berger, 12.14.17, $500
Sloan Shoemaker, 12.19.17, $103
Mike Webb, 12.19.17, $103
Joel Scott, 12.19.17, $103
John Orr, 12.20.17, 45
Chuck Ogilby, 12.28.17, $200
Tom Hirsch, 12.20.17, $25
Nina Eisenstat, 12.21.17, $50
Rick Heede, 12.21.17, $52
Miranda Chapman, 12.21.17, $105
Jim DeFrancia, 12.21.17, $103
Toni Zurcher, 12.21.17, $50
George Sibley, 12.21.17, $25
Jon Banks, 12.21.17, $200
Lorenzo Semple, 12.21.17, $25
John and Janie Bennett, 12.22.17, $100
Bob Harris, 12.22.17, $150
Bob Bowden, 12.22.17, $100
Paulina VanderNoorda, 12.26.17, $75
Marci and Robert Musser, 12.27.17, $500
Gary Wockner, 12.27.17, $26
Phyllis Bronson, 12.27.17, $52
Michael Owsley, 12.27.17, $26
Skip Berhorst, 12.27.17, $155
Glenn Horn, 12.27.17, $100
John Masters, 12.28.17, $50
Randy Gold, 12.28.17, $25
James and Hensley Peterson, 12.29.17, $258
Mike Otte, 12.29.17, $100
Torie Jarvis, 12.29.17, $26
Andy Stone, 12.30.17, $52
James Campbell, 12.30.17, $100
Tim Westerbeck, 12.30.17, $103
Mark Harvey, 12.30.17, $500
Lynda Lynch, 12.30.17, $100
Steve Skinner, 12.31.17, $50
Lisa Tasker, 12.30.17, $25
Rhett Armstrong, 12.31.17, $75
Chip Comins, 12.31.17, $100
Sara Garton, 12.31.17, $50
Michael Hassig, 12.31.17, $100
Ann Knight, 12.31.17, $500
Tim McFlynn, 12.31.17, $100
Dave Nixa, 12.31.17, $25
Bob and Ruth Wade, via Ute Mountaineer, 12.31.17, $100
Sara Ransford (Arches Foundation), 11.30.16, $250
Michael McVoy, 1.6.15, $250
Tim McFlynn, 10.19.15, $250
Sara Ransford (Arches Foundation), 12.1.15, $250
David Berhorst, 12.30.15, $300
Institute for Nonprofit News, 1.7.14, $228.06
Paulina VanderNoorda, 1.17.14, $100
Virgina Newtown, 1.18.14, $25
Institute for Nonprofit News, 2.24.14, $535.90
Brent Gardner-Smith, 2.25.14, $50
Tim Hurd, 3.5.14, $1
Lee Mulcahy, 5.20.14, $250
Sara Garton, 6.14.14, $50
Mel Blumenthal, 10.7.14, $500
Brent Gardner-Smith, 11.8.14, $50
Sara Ransford (Arches Foundation), 12.17.14, $500
John Orr, (total 2014), $45
Tim McFlynn, 4.2.13, $100
Brent Gardner-Smith, 4.14.13, $50
Paulina VanderNoorda, 5.7.13, $50
Ernie Ashley, 6.28.13, $250
T. Reeve, 8.13.13, $100
Edgar Boyles, 8.14.13, $100
Mary Dominick, 8.30.13, $150
James Peterson, 9.3.13, $250
Rosemarie Lavendar, 9.5.13, $250
C. Thompson, 9.10.13, $100
Dennis Vaughn, 9.18.13, $250
Lila LaHood, 10.1.13, $40
Brent Gardner-Smith, 10.7.13, $50
Paul Andersen, 10.10.13, $50
Greg Poschman, 10.14.13, $50
Harry Teague, 10.15.13, $100
Craig Blomquist, 10.16.13, $100
Bruce Berger, 11.9.13, $250
Frank Peters, 11.1.13, $100
Sara Ransford (Arches Foundation), 12.16.13, $500
Ginny Galicianao, 12.10.13, $25

Community Donors ($1,000 to $2,000)

Danny Kaye and Sylvia Kaye Foundation, 2.18.19, $1,500
Harry Teague, 1.18.19, $1,000
Susan Taylor, 12.27.18, $1,000
Rob Pew, 12.27.18, $1,000
Jimmy Ibbotson, 12.20.18, $1,000
Carol Craig, 12.20.18, $1,975
Judith Steinberg and Paul Hoenmans, 12.19.18, $1,000
Pete McBride, via ABC Foundation, 12.18.18, $1,000
John McBride Jr., via ABC Foundation, 12.18.18, $1,000
Michael McVoy, 12.17.18, $1,000
Barbara Reese, via Stargazer Advised Fund at Aspen Community Foundation, 12.17.18, $1,000
Thomas Harvey, 12.12.18, $1,000
Peter Looram, 12.11.18, $1,500
Marci and Robert Musser, via Aspen Community Foundation, 12.10.18, $1,000
George Stranahan, 12.7.18, $1,000
Patti Stranahan, 12.7.18, $1,000
Molly Brooks, 12.6.18, $1,000
John and Jacolyn Bucksbaum, 12.5.18, $1,000
Alana Spiwak and Sam Stolbun, 12.3.18, $2,000
Curtis Robinson, 12.1.18, $1,000
Michal Brimm, via Ernst and Wilma Martens Foundation, 12.1.18, $2,000
Bill Spence and Sue Edelstein, 11.8.18, $1,000
Mark Harvey, 9.11.18, $1,000
Richard Fallin, via Kaye Foundation, 1.17.18, $1,500
Maggie and Nick DeWolf Foundation, 8.7.18, $1,000
Mark Harvey, 4.26.17, $2,000
Harry Teague, 5.30.17, $1,000
John McBride, 7.3.17, $1,000
John McBride, 12.4.17, $1,000
Michael McVoy, 12.12.17, $1,000
Carol Craig, 12.14.17, $1,000
Peter Looram, 12.14.17, $1,000
Robert Pew, 12.16.17, $1,000
George Stranahan, 1.18.17, $1,000
Patti Stranahan, 1.18.17, $1,000
Curtis Robinson, 12.21.17, $1,000
Bob Purvis, 12.26.17,$1,000
John McBride, Jr., 12.28,17, $1,000
Kate McBride, 12.28,17, $1,000
Lauri McBride, 12.28.17, $1,000
Pete McBride, 12.28.17, $1,000
Michael McVoy, 1.4.16, $1,000
R.J. Gallahger, 1.4.16, $1,000
Curtis Robinson, 1.28.16, $1,000
John McBride (ABC Foundation) 10.19.16, $1,000
Carol Craig, 1.27.16, $1,508
Walter Isaacon, 8.28.15, $1,000
Bob Bowden, 6.10.15, $1,000
John McBride (ABC Foundation), 10.19.15, $1,000
Aspen Daily News, 6.2.14, $1,260
Harry Teague, 12.30.14, $1,000
Linda Conger Moore, 9.16.13, $1,500

Philanthropic Donors ($2,001 to $24,999)

Brent Gardner-Smith, total in 2018, $3,300
Mark Harvey, 12.13.18, $10,000
Linda and Stewart Resnick, via Resnick Foundation, 11.26.18, $5,000
John McBride, via ABC Foundation, 11.23.18, $7,000
Melony and Adam Lewis, via Aspen Community Foundation, 10.31.18, $10,000
Linda and Stewart Resnick via Resnick Foundation, 1.30.18, $2,500
Maggie and Nick DeWolf Foundation, 6.7.17, $5,000
Maggie and Nick DeWolf Foundation, 8.8.17, $5,000
Mark Harvey, 10.11.17, $3,000
Sam Walton, via Catena Foundation, 11.11.17, $15,000
Barbara Reese, 12.14.17, $2,563
Michal Brimm, 12.17.17, $3,000
Carol Craig, 1.4.16, $1,932
Michal Brimm (Martens Foundation), 12.27.16, $3,000
Mark Harvey, 1.6.15, $5,000
Michal Brimm (Martens Foundation), 1.6.15, $2,000
Brett Family Foundation, 5.8.15, $2,500
Nick DeWolf Foundation, 6.15.15, $5,000
Michal Brimm (Martens Foundation), 12.15.15, $4,000
Mark Harvey, 11.17.15, $3,000
Catto Foundation, 2.21.14, $7,483
Alpenglow Foundation, 3.21.13, $17,517
Brett Family Foundation, 7.14.14, $3,000
Aspen Daily News, 9.8.14, $2,590
Mark Harvey (Maki Foundation), 10.7.14, $3,000
John Fullerton (Fullerton Family Foundation), 11.10.14, $10,000
Michal Brimm (Martens Foundation), 12.30.14, $3,000
Michal Brimm (Martens Foundation), 12.18.14, $3,000
Brett Family Foundation, 7.19.13, $2,500
Nick DeWolf Foundation, 8.30.13, $10,000
Pam Moore, 9.9.13, $2,500
Valery Kelly, 10.4.13, $2,500
John McBride, 10.24.12, $12,500
Mark Harvey, 10.31.13, $3,000
Michal Brimm (Martens Foundation), 12.3.13, $5,000
New-Land Foundation, 12.9.13, $10,000
Brett Family Foundation, 6.26.12, $2,500
KNBC Moore, 12.13.12, $2,500
Thrift Shop of Aspen, 5.13.11, $10,000
Manaus Foundation, 8.30.11, $2,500
Nick DeWolf Foundation, 11.10.11, $20,000
Michal Brimm (Martens Foundation), 11.30.11, $2,500

Foundational Donors ($25,000 to $100,000)

Sam Walton, via Catena Foundation, 4.1.19, $100,000
NewsMatch via the Democracy Fund; John S. and James L. Knight Foundation; John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation;
Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation; and
the Fund for Nonprofit News at The Miami Foundation, 2.21.19, $30,000
Walton Family Foundation, 2.16.18, $100,000
NewsMatch via the Democracy Fund; John S. and James L. Knight Foundation; John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation;
Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation; and
the Fund for Nonprofit News at The Miami Foundation, 3.6.18, $27,171
Walton Family Foundation, 3.3.17, $100,000
Walton Family Foundation, 3.30.16, $100,000
Margulf Foundation, 2.25.16, $50,000
George Stranahan, 1.6.15, $25,000
Margulf Foundation, 3.26.15, $50,000
George Stranahan, 10.19.15, $25,000
MarGulf Foundation, 1.17.14, $50,000
Walton Family Foundation, 12.30.14, $25,000
Walton Family Foundation, 11.19.13, $42,500
George Stranahan, 12.6.13, $25,000
Nick DeWolf Foundation, 9.12.12, $25,000
John McBride (ABC Foundation), 11.15.13, $25,000
Manaus Foundation, 1.11.11, $55,000
John McBride (Sopris Foundation), 10.24.11, $25,000
Joanne Lyons, 11.10.11, $50,000

Form 990s

2017 Form 990-EZ
2016 Form 990-EZ
2015 Form 990-EZ
2014 Form 990-EZ
2013 Form 990-EZ
2012 Form 990-EZ
2011 Form 990-EZ

Annual Reports

2018 annual report
2017 annual report
2016 annual report
2015 annual report
2014 annual report
2013 annual report
2012 annual report
2011 annual report

Brent Gardner-Smith/Aspen Journalism

Independence Pass, above Aspen.

Editorial independence policy

We subscribe to standards of editorial independence adopted by the Institute for Nonprofit News.

Aspen Journalism is an independent news organization and retains full authority over its editorial content.

We are aware of the pitfalls that can arise when a news organization accepts any form of revenue, either in the nonprofit model in the form of donations or in the commercial model in the form of advertising. As such, we diligently maintain a firewall between revenue and the newsroom.

Our news judgments are made independently and are not based on or influenced by donors.

Our organization accepts donations to support the coverage of particular beats or broad coverage areas, but our organization maintains editorial control of all of the resulting coverage.

We cede no right of review or influence of any of our editorial content.

We do not accept anonymous donations.

We disclose all donations. We list donations in a transparent fashion – by name, date and amount – as soon as we receive them.

When we deem it necessary and appropriate (it’s a low bar), we disclose our donors and key stakeholders in our stories or in an editor’s note.

Acceptance of financial support does not constitute implied or actual endorsement of donors or their products, services, actions or opinions.

We recognize and appreciate that our nonprofit model relies on donations and that all of our donors expect us to retain our independent editorial judgment and scrupulous adherence to journalist standards. So we do.

Journalistic inspiration

Aspen Historical Society

Aspen City Council chambers are packed in January 1972. Aspen Times Editor Bil Dunaway, right, sits in his customary front-row seat. To his right, on the floor, sits a young Mark Harvey, now an Aspen Journalism board member.

We take great inspiration from the late Bil Dunaway, the former owner, publisher and editor of The Aspen Times and who took an investigative approach to beat reporting while covering, for decades, the Aspen City Council.

Brent Gardner-Smith/Aspen Journalism

AJR, circa 2012

Early media coverage

Aspen Journalism: Collaborations for a Colorado Ski Town,” Columbia Journalism Review, 2011

Keeping an Eye on Aspen,” American Journalism Review, 2012