Aspen Journalism

Blue sky aspensSeeking clarity in Pitkin County, Colorado. Photo: Brent Gardner-Smith/Aspen Journalism

Aspen Journalism is an independent nonprofit news organization.

Our mission is to produce investigative journalism in the local public interest, as well-informed citizens make better decisions.

We cover the Roaring Fork River watershed in western Colorado, with an emphasis on Aspen, Snowmass Village and Pitkin County.

We collaborate with other local media organizations on in-depth and investigative stories and projects.

We’re supported by people who appreciate investigative reporting and have a stake in the Aspen area.

For more, see the American Journalism Review and the Columbia Journalism Review.

Contact information

Aspen Journalism
1280 Ute Avenue, Suite 4
Aspen, C0 81611


Phone: (970) NINE48-1930

Twitter: AspenJournalism

Aspen Journalism staff

Brent Gardner-Smith
Editor and executive director of Aspen Journalism since January, 2011. Also an Aspen Journalism board member. Brent has gained journalism and/or nonprofit experience working at the Aspen Daily News, The Aspen Times, Aspen Public Radio, the Roaring Fork Sunday, KSNO, and ProPublica. He has a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri.

Aspen Journalism board

Tim McFlynn, chair
Executive director of Public Counsel of the Rockies, the chair of Pitkin County Open Space and Trails Board, and a Manaus Fund board member.

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

Aspen Journalism advisory board:

Roger Adams, news director at Aspen Public Radio;

Dave Danforth, owner/staff mascot, Aspen Daily News

Charles Davis, associate professor, Missouri School of Journalism

Charles Firestone, executive director, Aspen Institute Communications & Society Program

Laura Frank, executive director, Rocky Mountain Investigative News Network

Sarah Gilman, associate editor, High Country News

Catherine Lutz, freelance writer/editor, former managing editor of the Aspen Daily News, founding board member of Aspen Journalism.

Tim Mutrie, contributor to The New York Times, former sports editor at The Aspen Times, founding board member of Aspen Journalism.

Rem Rieder, editor and senior vice president, American Journalism Review

Curtis Robinson, founding editor, Portland Daily Sun

Steve Skinner, general manager, KDNK, Carbondale

Andy Stone, columnist, former editor, The Aspen Times

Mike Webb, vice president/communications, ProPublica.

Aspen Journalism’s professional support

Ken Ransford, P.C., legal counsel

Denise Jurgens, Reese Henry & Co., accounting

Walterry Insurance, libel insurance

<strongFreelance Journalists

We’ve worked with following talented individuals on stories and projects:

Dan Bayer, photographer;

David Frey, reporter, photographer;

Brady Hurley, editor;

Catherine Lutz
, reporter, editor;

Devon Meyers, photographer;

Tim Mutrie, reporter, photographer;

Zach Ornitz, photographer, video/audio producer;

Madeleine Osberger
, reporter;

Heather Rousseau
, photographer


We’ve collaborated with the following news organizations:

Denver Post;

The Aspen Times

Aspen Daily News

The Snowmass Sun;

Glenwood Springs Post Independent;

Grassroots TV;

Aspen Public Radio;

KDNK, Carbondale;

The Aspen Business Journal

Real Aspen

The Sopris Sun;

The Crystal Valley Echo; and

the Rocky Mountain Investigative News Network.

Aspen Journalism’s financial supporters:

We are a nonprofit corporation and a 501(c)(3) organization recognized by the Internal Revenue Service.

Our donors:

the Manaus Fund;

the Nick DeWolf Foundation;

Joanne and Lee Lyon;

the Sopris Foundation;

the Aspen Business Center Foundation;

the Brett Family Foundation;

the Ernst and Wilma Martens Foundation;

the Thrift Shop of Aspen;


KNBC Moore.

Here is our full 2011 Form 990 and our IRS determination letter.

Aspen Journalism’s ethics and values

Aspen Journalism is committed to:

working in the local public interest;

meeting the highest standards of investigative journalism;

being responsive to readers and the public;

collaborating with local and regional news organizations; and

being transparent about our funding and affiliations.

We subscribe to the code of ethics of the Society of Professional Journalists (“Seek truth and report it”) and we respect the AP standards and guidelines.

Aspen Journalism Affiliations

Aspen Journalism, or its executive director, Brent Gardner-Smith, is a member of the following organizations:

Investigative News Network

Investigative Reporters and Editors

Colorado Press Association

Use Aspen Journalism’s work, please!

We want our journalism to have impact. The greater the exposure, the greater the potential impact.

Because of this, our approach to our Creative Commons License is heavily based on ProPublica’s well-articulated policy, for which we are grateful.

Here are the guidelines:

You can republish our articles and graphics for free (without any cost to you), but:

You can’t edit our material, except to reflect relative changes in time, location and editorial style. (For example, “yesterday” can be changed to “last week.” We also prefer that you don’t change the headline, unless you need to for space or context considerations.)

• If you’re republishing online, you have to link to us and to 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.” (We appreciate it if you link “Aspen Journalism” in the byline to our website.)

• And we also appreciate it when you tag our work with an editor’s note that says “Aspen Journalism is an independent nonprofit news organization working in the local public interest and publishing at,” and include a link.