Chris Woodka (The Pueblo Chieftain): ‘Your sources have to be good, and you don’t burn them’


I’ve known Chris Woodka for a few years now — since I’ve been linking and excerpting his work from The Pueblo Chieftain — and I count him as a friend and mentor. He has taught me much over the years by just reading his stuff. Here’s a profile from Matt Jenkins writing for the High Country News. You have to subscribe to read the whole thing. Here’s the lede:

In 2004, Pueblo Chieftain publisher Bob Rawlings, assisted by his daughter, Jane, was running full-throated editorials against water transfers and occasionally making news himself. The not-exactly-impartial coverage of the controversy bothered Chris Woodka, then a managing editor. So he asked to be assigned to the water beat. “I said, ‘OK: I’m going to do it objectively. I’m going to do it as a reporter,’ ” Woodka explains. ” ‘And Bob and Jane, you’re just going to be news sources.’ ” Today, Woodka, 57, is Colorado’s sole remaining full-time water reporter. He has worked hard to separate himself from the Chieftain’s editorial slant, and has built a reputation for his fair coverage of an extremely complicated and contentious subject. “You kind of make your own luck,” Woodka says. “Your sources have to be good, and you don’t burn them.”

Click here and here for articles written by Woodka quoted on Coyote Gulch.

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