Statement of Support for Empowering Colorado from Mark Stutz — Media Spokesperson, Utility Industry

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July 19, 2017

As a long-time journalist and utility industry professional communicator in the Rocky Mountain region, I have for many years watched with concern the contraction of our print and broadcast
newsrooms, and in turn solid news media coverage of my industry.

It is truly amazing how little thought is given to content these days, and how our society has begrudgingly accepted this condition. I am convinced that as we continue to downsize the journalism profession – to discourage those professionals who can ask the questions, gather the facts, and compose stories in a logical and unbiased manner – we will wake up one day with
nothing to read that is meaningful or trustworthy.

This, of course, is already happening. In the utility industry alone, we increasingly are seeing many for-profit, agenda-driven entities masquerading as news media outlets. Their product is
finding its way into the mainstream press, as legitimate outlets seek to fill the void from lack of content. While I have a responsibility to act in the best interests of my company and industry, we find that we spend as much time combatting the “facts” of paid-for stories as we do working with journalists to develop fair and unbiased coverage of issues.

It is in this reality that we find the concept of Empowering Colorado to be so important, and perhaps a hope for the future of journalism and society. We need credible, trusted journalists to
again provide fair and unbiased coverage of all issues in the utility industry. I believe, perhaps hope, that we are also seeing signs that the public wants the same thing – more credibility in the coverage of events of the day. It makes this a perfect time to invest in entities like Empowering Colorado.

I hope that you will find this to be true as well, and encourage you to support efforts to once again invest in those who can gather and write content that matters, educate consumers, and
help restore faith the journalism profession. It’s time to put editors and journalists back to work, doing what they do best.

Sincerely,

Mark Stutz
Media Spokesperson
Utility Industry

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