About Us

The Grottos on the Roaring Fork River. About 40 percent of the flow of the Fork has been diverted under the Continental Divide for the last 85 years.

Brent Gardner-Smith / Aspen Journalism

The Grottos on the Roaring Fork River. About 40 percent of the flow of the Fork has been diverted under the Continental Divide for the last 85 years.

Local. Nonprofit. Investigative. Collaborative.

Founded in January 2011, Aspen Journalism is an independent news organization covering Aspen, Pitkin County, the Roaring Fork River watershed, and western Colorado.

Our nonprofit mission is to produce and distribute investigative, in-depth and insightful journalism, as we believe well-informed citizens make better decisions.

We collaborate with local and regional media organizations on projects and stories, and we seek to present public data in a useful and compelling manner.

Aspen Journalism is supported by over 40 individuals, organizations and foundations.

Please contact us via our contact page.


Brent Gardner-Smith
Brent is the founder, editor and executive director of Aspen Journalism and mainly covers water, land use and Pitkin County. He's previously reported for the Aspen Daily News and The Aspen Times and served as the executive director of Aspen Public Radio. He has worked in journalism, broadcasting or public affairs since 1983 and has a master's degree in journalism from the Missouri School of Journalism. His work has been recognized by the Society of Professional Journalists, the Colorado Broadcasters Association and the Colorado Press Association.

Freelance talent

Aspen Journalism works on stories and projects with a number of local freelance journalists, including Madeleine Osberger, Bob Ward, Paul Andersen and Catherine Lutz. We've also worked with other talented journalists, including Nelson Harvey, Tim Mutrie, David Frey, Brady Hurley, and data journalist Jason Alcorn at Investigate West. And we've worked on projects with freelance photographers Dan Bayer, Zach Ornitz, Devon Meyers and Heather Rousseau.

On the trail of relevant and important stories ...

Brent Gardner-Smith / Aspen Journalism

On the trail of relevant and important stories ...

Journalism collaborators

We’ve worked on stories and/or projects with the following news organizations:

The Aspen Times
Aspen Daily News
Aspen Sojourner
The Snowmass Sun
Glenwood Springs Post Independent
Denver Post
Grassroots TV
Aspen Public Radio
The Aspen Business Journal
The Rocky Mountain Investigative News Network

Journalism advisory board

Roger Adams, 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, executive director, Rocky Mountain Investigative News Network, and vice president of news, Rocky Mountain PBS
Sarah Gilman, former associate editor, High Country News
Catherine Lutz, freelance writer, editor and photographer;
Tim Mutrie, contributor to The New York Times
Rem Rieder, media columnist, USA Today
Curtis Robinson, founding editor, Portland Daily Sun
Steve Skinner, general manager, KDNK, Carbondale
Andy Stone, columnist, former editor, The Aspen Times
Mike Webb, sales and marketing director, Honolulu Civil Beat

Board of directors

Tim McFlynn, chair
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.

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.

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 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.

Financial supporters

Thrift Shop of Aspen
Manaus Fund
Sopris Foundation
Brett Family Foundation
Walton Family Foundation
Alpenglow Foundation
Aspen Business Center Foundation
Jessica and Henry Catto Memorial Fund
Ernst and Wilma Martens Foundation
Nick DeWolf Foundation
New-Land Foundation
Arches Foundation
MarGulf Foundation
Paul Andersen
Bruce Berger
Craig Blomquist
Edgar Boyles
Linda Conger
Mary Dominick and Sven Coomer
Ginni Galicinao
Brent Gardner-Smith
Sara Garton
Ernestine Ashley Goodnough
Dick Jackson
Kearns and Valery Kelly
Mark Harvey
Lila LaHood
Rosemarie Lavender
Catherine Lutz
Joanne and Lee Lyon
John McBride
Tim McFlynn
KNBC and Betty Moore
Pam Moore
Lee Mulcahy
Virginia Newton
Frank Peters
James and Hensley Peterson
Greg Poschman
Todd Reeve
George Stranahan
Harry Teague
Paulina Vander Noordaa
Denny and Linda Vaughn

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. You can use our donate button above to donate or donate via AmazonSmile Foundation.

Aspen Journalism’s Form 990s
2013 Form 990-EZ
2012 Form 990-EZ
2011 Form 990-EZ

Aspen Journalism Financials
Financial report, 2011 to mid-2013

Aspen Journalism’s Annual Reports
2013 annual report
2012 annual report
2011 annual report

Articles about Aspen Journalism
American Journalism Review
Columbia Journalism Review


Aspen Journalism is committed to:

working in the public interest;
meeting high standards of investigative journalism;
responding to readers and the public;
collaborating with other news organizations; and
being transparent about our funding and affiliations.

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.

Professional support

Ken Ransford, P.C., legal counsel
Denise Jurgens, Reese Henry & Co., accounting
Walterry Insurance, libel insurance


Investigative News Network
Local Independent Online News Publishers
Investigative Reporters and Editors
Colorado Press Association

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;

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.