Rocky Mountain News Staffers, Happier Two Years After Paper’s Demise

More of the former Rocky Mountain News staffers who lost their jobs when the paper closed in February 2009 say life is better now than when they were at the paper, says John Temple, former editor of the Rocky Mountain News and conductor of semi-annual surveys of former staffers.

Read the stories of ex-staffers who have done all sorts of things since the paper closed: started a freelance photography business, taken a PR job, become a teacher.

Some say life has gotten worse since leaving the paper:

I don’t think my life will ever be the same after the experience I had at the Rocky. Don’t get me wrong, my family and I are doing fine. I’m excited about graduating with my master’s degree and becoming a secondary English teacher. My children have reaped the benefits of having their mom at home to provide school, sports and activities support. I’ve been able to become more involved in parent and church groups. I answered “somewhat worse” because the rich intellectual, collaborative and caring environment I’ve lost since the Rocky has closed leaves a hole in my life that can never be refilled. —Melissa Pomponio, former presentation editor, now studying for a master’s in teaching

Others are thrilled to be gone:

My current job treats people with more respect than what I saw at the Rocky. I was bored the last few years at the Rocky and in my new field I am creatively and intellectually stimulated and feel that my efforts are valued. But I miss my friends in the newsroom a lot. I also miss going to work after it was light out.—Lisa Bornstein, theater critic/feature writer, now teaching fourth-grade at Denver Jewish Day school.

There are an astonishing number of stories here, each different. A fascinating read for anyone wondering about life after journalism.