Two years ago, on Feb. 26, 2009, journalists at the Rocky Mountain News learned their fate. E.W. Scripps President Rich Boehne told them the edition they produced for the next day would be the Denver newspaper's last.
"It's certainly not good news for you, and it's certainly not good news for Denver," Boehne told a throng of journalists assembled in the newsroom.
On that day, I was the editor, president, and publisher of Colorado's oldest newspaper, affectionately known as "The Rocky."
Today, I can't speak to what the loss of the paper has meant to Denver. I am in Honolulu, running a start-up news service, www.civilbeat.com. But I can give you a picture of what it has meant for the men and women who were on the editorial staff when Boehne spoke those words. Then, they were shoved into the ranks of the millions of victims of the Great Recession. Today, most are among its survivors.
In spite of all the negatives associated with the death of a business -- loss of income, meaningful work, camaraderie -- I found that people, and perhaps especially journalists, are resilient.
A survey I just conducted of the 194 members of the paper's editorial staff on its last day found that the blow of losing a job doesn't mean life is going to be worse down the road. My survey wasn't scientific. It's possible that those who didn't respond are struggling personally or financially more than those who did. But the 146, or 75 percent, who did respond have lessons for journalists and others who fear the instability of their jobs or who may have suffered a similar fate.