Denver, CO

News Break dedicates a writer to Denver

David Heitz

(Henry Desro/Unsplash)

While you may think of News Break as a national company, it actually has a remarkable local news prowess.

As the nation’s top cell phone news aggregator, all the local publishers want on board in local markets. So, with one app, you’re getting all the local news organizations that separately compete with one another for your attention.

It’s a great thing for news consumers like yourself.

Not only that, but News Break has invested a lot of money in creating its own staff of creators all over the country.

They want people they’ve hired as contractors like me to create as much local content as possible. I find this exciting. I have spent almost my entire life working in local news.

Although I have written mostly about homelessness, mental health, and addiction and recovery so far for News Break, I am a journalist by trade. I have covered all sorts of cities and an array of topics as a reporter and editor for newspapers all over the country.

It is fun being a reporter. You get to attend a lot of interesting events, especially when COVID-19 restrictions lift. I’ve been a reporter and editor in Southern California, Detroit, the Quad-Cities of Illinois, and Iowa, and now, Denver.

Looking to report on the good and the bad

Although I have written about some very heavy topics so far, I am a fun person with a good sense of humor, so I am told. I look forward to meeting people when I am out on the beat looking for stories. I hope you all will keep me apprised on news interesting enough to print.

Please feel free to reach out to me in the comments section of my stories. I will respond to all reasonable comments.

With COVID being what it is and with my reliance on public transportation, I can't get out as much as I'd like to right now. I appreciate help from all of you keeping me in the loop about what's going on.

I am especially excited about covering local news in Denver because I feel lucky to live here. It is a beautiful place with good people in it.

Denver and I got off to a rough start. I have written a lot of so-called negative stories and I am more than happy to start writing some positive ones.

One of the things I have written about is some run-ins I had with police. It occurred to me tonight that I have met a few great Denver police officers, too. I even have the name of one of them. So that’s a story I’ll be writing real soon.

I have written a few positive stories. I wrote a story lauding the state’s mental hospital. I wrote a piece about the silly Denver geese. It was hard to get too mad about that one, I hope.

I’ve written a lot about losing my parents and getting older. I’m 50. I guess that’s “older.” It sure isn’t “younger” unless you’re talking to a room full of Centenarians.

Four parts in a successful recipe for community news

I once had a boss who said every successful local news provider contained these essentials:

It’s a reservoir of information. If someone big dies, you report it. If there’s a big fire, you better have the story up fast. If someone famous in town makes a faux pas, it makes news. If everyone's talking about it, you better be talking about it, too.

It’s a place for fierce debate. A good local news provider lets all the viewpoints be heard. Censorship is rare.

It’s a public watchdog. Good news organizations have reporters working for them who aren’t afraid of controversy. They’ll write about police brutality.

Or if your taxpayer dollars are being poorly spent, it’s the civic duty of news organizations to report it.

It’s a community cheerleader. Good news organizations celebrate what the community does right. The good cop who gives the homeless rides to the doctor. The city employee who came up with an idea that saved taxpayers millions.

The beautiful place we call home every day, Denver, Colorado, is full of great stories. I’m excited to tell them.

Ready for a fresh start in Denver

I moved here for a fresh start. I had lost everything in my hometown, including both my parents who I loved so much. When I became sober, I no longer had any friends. I had nothing keeping me there but a lot of bad memories.

We are lucky to live in Denver.

I sang a John Denver song and played the guitar for the Eugene Field Elementary School talent show in fourth grade. My picture was in the newspaper. That would have been 1979.

Please share your story ideas and experiences with me so I can write about all the rich experiences that make up our lives.

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I've been in the news business 35 years, spending much of my career in editing roles at local newspapers in Los Angeles, Detroit, and the Quad-Cities of Illinois and Iowa. Upon moving to Denver in 2018, I began experiencing severe mental illness due to several traumatic experiences. I became homeless on the street for about a year before spending time in the state mental hospital. I am living proof that people can rebound from mental illness with proper treatment, even after experiencing homelessness. I consider myself a lucky guy to live in a great place like Denver. I hope my writing reflects the passion I have for living here.

Denver, CO

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