Denver Urban Spectrum is Expanding the Narrative: Celebrating 35 years with New Digital Podcast
By Ruby Jones
Denver Urban Spectrum is celebrating 35 years of community partnership and publishing, with an exciting digital transformation and a new podcast network.
Denver Urban Spectrum, started by publisher Rosalind Bee Harris, has gained a reputation as the premier source for news significant to Colorado’s communities of color since 1987. From the beginning, Harris has worked closely with community members and organizations to increase engagement and awareness about important issues and events.
“After more than three decades in the print publishing industry, creating a podcast seems to be a natural transformational way to continue serving our supporters, readers and advertisers. They will all have an opportunity to be a part of this conversion as we move into this digital age of technological communication,” says Harris.
Looking ahead to the next chapter in the Spectrum’s story, the expansion from print to digital will ensure that even more content is readily available and aligned with social and technological trends. Website updates and organizational adjustments will supplement the use of new digital platforms, and concerted efforts to target a wider audience will include content that represents people from all walks of life. Just as the publication is expanding its capacity to produce meaningful content, the use of a digital platform will allow for the expansion of important stories. By “Expanding the Narrative,” Denver Urban Spectrum aspires to strengthen communities through storytelling.
Transformation is nothing new for Denver Urban Spectrum, which has maintained consistency despite changing social and industry landscapes. For over a decade, the newspaper and magazine publishing industries have seen declines in readership with the widespread use of smartphones, e-readers and other technologies. Denver Urban Spectrum experienced an opposite trend, with increased rates of readership that prompted greater production and attracted advertising partners.
In 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in widespread shutdowns, the publication experienced a dramatic change in the need for production; with local businesses shuttered, DenverUrbanSpectrum.com began to see a sharp increase in visitors. Loyal readers turned to the publication’s website and social media platforms, highlighting the need for easily accessible digital content.
Quickly pivoting to digital newscasts on YouTube, Denver Urban Spectrum was able to deliver breaking news and critical updates regarding the health crisis and increasingly troublesome protests after several members of the Black community were murdered by police officers. Spectrum friends and supporters enjoyed the digital delivery amid the shutdowns, prompting the continued creation of online content.
As the process of operational and digital transformation begins, Denver Urban Spectrum is excited to collaborate with a growing network of Black journalists in Colorado and throughout the United States. Following an exciting announcement about the reinstatement of the Colorado Association of Black Journalists at the start of 2022, Denver Urban Spectrum was awarded the Colorado Media Project’s Community News Network grant, which is providing funding and opportunities for operational development to support the publication’s equitable reporting and collaboration with local, regional and national organizations.
Each month, Denver Urban Spectrum has distributed thousands of copies of its award-winning publication in local businesses and on an electronic publishing platform. The free publication has been a staple in Metro Denver households through generations, with recognizable themed covers, vibrant graphics and impactful content that informs and inspires readers of all ages. The publication has grown throughout the years, adding a Weekly Advertising Guide and YouTube channel to its offerings, while gaining popularity among Denver residents.
Now, with a milestone anniversary and promising collaborations to look forward to, Denver Urban Spectrum is preparing for a leap into the future of news and publishing with a new podcast.
Denver Urban Spectrum Podcast – Expanding the Narrative is being designed as an innovative digital newsroom, with episodic content available across several major streaming platforms in the form of video and audio podcasts. Content will be categorized according to targeted coverage areas:
● News & Current Events
● Entertainment, Arts & Culture
●Business & Finance
● Urban Youth
The News & Current Events segment will feature local and national news coverage, “Expanding the Narrative” panel discussions regarding trending social issues, and interviews with politicians, public figures and community leaders whose work affects people and communities of color. We are seeking the involvement of community organizations and service providers with resources and information that can change lives.
The Entertainment, Arts & Culture segment will highlight Colorado’s best attractions and events, with live coverage of concerts, theatrical performances, festivals, and sporting events. With a calendar of programming that complements the Mile High City’s impressive year-round lineup of events, audiences will learn more about the people and places they love! We are seeking artists and entertainers with creative talents, as well as great interviewers to help expand the narrative when it comes to contributions to the entertainment industry made by people of color.
To support new and established business owners and entrepreneurs, the Business & Finance segment will feature informative content and interviews with business leaders who impart wisdom and practical advice for the journey. We are seeking content that expands the narrative in the areas of entrepreneurship, cryptocurrency, financial literacy, investment, real estate, and business management.
To support audiences in their personal endeavors, the Lifestyle segment will feature content dedicated to health, nutrition and wellness. We are seeking content that addresses mental health, healthy food, exercise, relationships, parenting, and self-care.
In continuation of Denver Urban Spectrum’s commitment to young people with the Urban Spectrum Youth Foundation, established in 2000, the Urban Youth segment will feature content that expands the narrative around growing up. We are seeking people whose work directly impacts youth, as well as participation from young people who are involved in business, sports, community service, music, and more.
Individuals who specialize in one or more of these categories are invited to take part in this project as guest interviewees, with built-in opportunities to promote your product, service or event.
As preparation moves forward, Denver Urban Spectrum is excited to partner with members of the local community to bring the project to fruition. Along with the recruitment of news writers and technical audio and video production professionals to support the Denver Urban Spectrum Podcast, the publication is seeking motivated individuals to join the sales and advertising team.
Advertising has been one of Denver Urban Spectrum’s lifelines, sustaining production costs and ensuring the availability of local, equitable reporting despite economic recessions and periods of inflation. The creation of the Denver Urban Spectrum Podcast will provide even more opportunities for advertisers to share messages using targeted audience messaging strategies and midroll commercial insertion. Businesses looking to maximize the reach and impact of their advertisements can sponsor episodes, seasons or annual segments, with incentivized partnership and affiliate opportunities.
Another exciting new offering for readers is a membership-based subscription, which features monthly home delivery of the award-winning Denver Urban Spectrum print publication, with exclusive access to VIP content and special events, early-release tickets to live podcast recording sessions, discounted merchandise, and opportunities to win giveaways and prizes.
Everyone from children to young professionals, students, instructors, wellness coaches, podcasters, community activists, and retirees can apply at https://bit.ly/3NabgGU. Content creators should submit professionally produced, high-quality samples for consideration.
For the duration of its time as Denver’s premier source of news significant to communities of color, Denver Urban Spectrum has been fueled by ongoing support from the community. We ask that you join us in reflection of the last 35 years and help us celebrate the many accomplishments and extraordinary stories we’ve had the honor to share!
Editor’s note: Denver Urban Spectrum Podcast – Expanding the Narrative will begin production in April. Be sure to subscribe to Denver Urban Spectrum on YouTube, and connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter for updates and scheduling information.