Brent Gardner-Smith / Aspen Journalism

A stand of cottonwoods in high water in the Stillwater section of the upper Roaring Fork River on June 17, 2015.

Aspen Journalism is a local, online, nonprofit, investigative, independent and collaborative news organization, founded in 2011 and located in Aspen, Colorado.

Our mission is to produce in-depth and investigative journalism, as we believe well-informed citizens make better decisions. Donors who share in that belief support our work and respect our independence.

Aspen Journalism’s office is in the Benedict Building in Aspen at 1280 Ute Avenue, Suite 4.

We welcome comments, suggestions and questions via phone at (970) 948-1930, via email at news@aspenjournalism.org, via Twitter at @AspenJournalism, and via the form below:

Our mailing and office address is:

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

Brent Gardner-Smith/Aspen Journalism

The upper Colorado River.


Aspen Journalism Editor Brent Gardner-Smith is currently reporting on water and rivers in the upper Colorado River basin for the Water Desk.

We’re also working, or have worked, with the following journalists on a range of stories and projects:

Sarah Tory, freelance writer, correspondent for High Country News;

Catherine Lutz, freelance writer, former managing editor of the Aspen Daily News;

Allen Best, editor of Mountain Town News, freelance reporter;

Tim Cooney, History Desk contributor, Aspen Mountain ski patroller;

Bob Ward; former editor of The Aspen Times; freelance writer;

Madeleine Osberger, contributing editor, Aspen Daily News;

Paul Andersen, freelance writer, Aspen Times columnist, author;

Tim Mutrie, former sports editor at The Aspen Times, freelance writer;

John Colson, reporter at the Sopris Sun, columnist at The Aspen Times Weekly;

Brady Hurley, teacher, copy editor; and

Devon Meyers, photographer.

Source: Aspen Historical Society

The old Aspen Times building, on Main Street in Aspen, in the 1950s.

Journalism Collaborators

We are collaborating, or have collaborated, with the following news organizations:

The Aspen Daily News
The Aspen Times
The Glenwood Springs Post Independent
The Vail Daily
The Summit Daily News
Aspen Public Radio
Aspen Sojourner
Coyote Gulch
The Denver Post

Journalism advisory board

We appreciate guidance and feedback from the members of our journalism advisory board.

Roger Adams, former news director, Aspen Public Radio
Dave Danforth, owner and staff mascot, Aspen Daily News
Charles Davis, dean, Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Georgia
Charles Firestone, executive director, Aspen Institute Communications & Society Program
Laura Frank, president and general manager, news, Rocky Mountain PBS
Sarah Gilman, contributing editor, High Country News
John Masters, executive director, GrassRoots Community Network, Aspen
Mike McPhee, retired reporter, shared 2000 Pulitzer Prize at Denver Post
Rem Rieder, editor at large and media columnist, USA Today
Curtis Robinson, co-founder, Roaring Fork Sunday, former editor, Aspen Daily News
Steve Skinner, columnist, Aspen Daily News, former GM, KDNK, Carbondale
Andy Stone, columnist, former editor, The Aspen Times
Mike Webb, vice president, BerlinRosen

Brent Gardner-Smith/Aspen Journalism

A fine meeting place, in Ashcroft.

Board of Directors

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

Edgar Boyles
Edgar is an Emmy-winning cameraman and director of photography at Wildwood Films in Aspen. Edgar has 40 years of experience filming in mountainous and remote locations.

Mark Harvey
Mark Harvey is a 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 board of High Country News, the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies and Public Counsel of the Rockies.

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

Executive Director

Brent Gardner-Smith founded Aspen Journalism in 2011, after earning his master’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri. As part of his course work, which focused on nonprofit investigative journalism organizations, he worked in ProPublica’s communications department for four months in early 2010. Gardner-Smith has also served as executive director at Aspen Public Radio, news director at WMVY, public affairs director at Aspen Skiing Co., and a reporter at the Aspen Daily News, The Aspen Times and KSNO.

Brent Gardner-Smith/Aspen Journalism / Aspen Journalism

Downtown Aspen.

Professional providers


Ken Ransford, attorney, investment advisor, and CPA specializing in non-profit organizations.

Libel insurance: Chubb, via Walterry Insurance Brokers


Mike Marolt, CPA, Aspen

Denise Jurgens, CPA, Partner, Reese Henry and Co., Aspen and Carbondale

Digital support:

Institute for Nonprofit News

Financial Supporters

Aspen Journalism has been determined by the Internal Revenue Service 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.

Leading donors


Nick DeWolf Foundation
Joanne and Lee Lyon
The Manaus Fund
Martens Foundation
Sopris Foundation
Thrift Shop of Aspen


Aspen Business Center Foundation
Brett Family Foundation
Nick DeWolf Foundation
KNBC Moore


Brett Family Foundation
Linda Conger
Nick DeWolf Foundation
Mark Harvey
Valery Kelly
Martens Foundation
John McBride
Pam Moore
New-Land Foundation
George Stranahan
Walton Family Foundation


Alpenglow Foundation
Aspen Daily News
Catto Foundation
Fullerton Family Foundation
Maki Foundation
Margulf Foundation
Martens Foundation
Harry Teague*
Walton Family Foundation


Arches Foundation
Aspen Business Center Foundation
Bob Bowden
Brett Family Foundation
Carol Craig
Nick DeWolf Foundation
RJ and Nancy Gallagher*
Mark Harvey*
Cathy and Walter Isaacson*
Margulf Foundation
Ernst and Wilma Martens Foundation
John McBride*
Michael McVoy*
Tim and Donna McFlynn*
John Orr
Barbara Reeves
George Stranahan


Arches Foundation
Carol Craig
Margulf Foundation
Ernst and Wilma Martens Foundation
Michael and Michal McVoy*
John and Laurie McBride*
Barbara Reeves
Curtis Robinson*
Walton Family Foundation


Tim Cooney
Katie Dahl
Brent Gardner-Smith*
John Masters
John Orr
Walton Family Foundation

* members of Aspen Journalism’s Publisher’s Circle, who have pledged to support Aspen Journalism at the level of at least $1,000 a year.

Form 990s
2015 Form 990-EZ
2014 Form 990-EZ
2013 Form 990-EZ
2012 Form 990-EZ
2011 Form 990-EZ

Annual Reports
2016 annual report
2015 annual report
2014 annual report
2013 annual report
2012 annual report
2011 annual report

Ethics and standards:

We take journalistic guidance from the Society of Professional Journalists’ code of ethics, the Associated Press’ news values and principles, and The New York Times’ standards and ethics guidelines.

We are a member of the Institute for Nonprofit News. And we look to our journalism advisory board for insight and counsel.

Policy on editorial independence

We embrace the editorial independence policy of the Institute for Nonprofit News, of which we are a member.

Our organization retains full authority over editorial content to protect the best journalistic and business interests of our organization. We will 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 also 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 a total of $1,000 or more. We do not accept anonymous donations (which differs from the INN policy).

Use Aspen Journalism’s work, please!

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

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 that says “Aspen Journalism is an independent nonprofit news organization. See www.AspenJournalism.org,” and include a link.

Aspen Historical Society

January, 1972, Aspen city council chambers. Aspen Times Editor Bil Dunaway, right, sits in his customary front-row seat.

Journalistic inspiration

We take inspiration from the late Bil Dunaway, the owner, publisher, and editor of The Aspen Times. Given our admiration of Dunaway’s approach to local journalism, which included serving as the Aspen city hall reporter, we consider that whoever is editor of Aspen Journalism is staffing “the Dunaway Desk,” and, as such, that they should keep Dunaway’s record of diligently informing local citizens in mind. They should also directly follow his practice of consistently attending, and reporting on, public meetings.