The Rocky Mountain News, a 149-year-old newspaper covering the city of Denver and the world it resides in, shuttered its doors today. Already its staff has offered this final edition video:

Final Edition from Matthew Roberts on Vimeo.

Print journalism has suffered declining readership and advertising revenue for years, paralleling the growth and popularity of the Internet. The further strain of the current state of the economy is proving too stressful a combination for many press outlets to withstand.

I've seen this in my own daily job at a magazine that has shifted its focus from print to online. It is not an easy transition, and we are fortunate that our topic lends itself to an audience that would follow us to that medium. To see an antebellum establishment such as the Rocky Mountain News not share this fortune in its own attempts at solvency is a loss for everyone.

How do we prevent such further closings? Are reporters and citizens who rely on traditional media mired in the past? Or are they guarding our country's best interests by refusing to let "a vital component of American democracy fade into irrelevance"? Should newspapers become a non-profit, as one New York Times columnist opined as their best chance for survival?

I think print media must change to adapt to these times, but that they needn't disappear entirely. There is still a want and need for traditional news coverage. How exactly we get there from here, however, I can't yet imagine. In the meantime, share your thoughts about the Rocky's demise at I Want My Rocky.

(Hat tip to Randy Cassingham)