The Colorado Springs Independent (commonly referred to as The Independent or simply The Indy) is a newsweekly that serves the Pikes Peak region of Southern Colorado (El Paso, Teller, and Pueblo counties). It is Colorado Springs's largest locally-owned media company. In addition to its newspaper, the Indy publishes a popular website, , IndyBlast (opt-in newsletter), an Annual Manual called the Insider and a host of smaller publication on everything from food (dish) to medical marijuana (ReLeaf).
Every week The Independent feature's local coverage, investigative reporting, an in-depth local events calendar, and a healthy dose of local humor. The Indy has received dozens of awards for excellence from the Colorado Society of Professional Journalists as well as the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies. It is currently available in more than 910 locations for free. Home delivery is also available. Media Audit (winter 2011) reports the Indy's readership at 125,000.
The Independent was founded in late 1993 by John Weiss and Kathryn Carpenter Eastburn. The pair started the paper to provide "...informative, entertaining and thought provoking..." articles. The paper was initially available on Wednesdays locally and was also featured as a supplement to the Thursday edition of the Denver Post. Later changed to Thursdays, the paper is back to a Wednesday release date, can be home delivered along with the Sunday Denver Post, and still includes the original local news, opinions, and food, film, music, and culture articles.
In the first year, the Indy's thought provoking articles included some of the following headlines:
- Double Vision: Is Colorado Springs a tale of 2 Cities
- Hot Commodity - No end in sight for higher rents
- Creation of dispute / Evolution of curriculum
Best of Colorado Springs
Annually The Independent publishes the results of a readers poll on a variety of businesses, people and activities in the Pikes Peak region. The results cover food and drink in one issue with a follow up of services and attractions the following issue.
Indy Music Awards
In 2011 The Colorado Springs Independent started the Indy Music Awards as a way to help put Colorado Springs on the map for its local musicians. Independent readers voted for their favorite local artists in more than a dozen musical categories. Winners were profiled in the Local Music Issue and subsequently performed at the inaugural Indy Music Awards Festival.
The 2011 Indy Music Awards were such a success that in 2012 it was brought back, but on a larger scale. For 2012 new categories were added to the awards, as well as having a larger winner's showcase at Stargazers theater in Colorado Springs. The event proved to be even more successful than last year.
2012 Indy Music Awards Winners
- Hip Hop Group: The ReMINDers
- Indie Rock: We Are Not a Glum Lot
- Blues: Jake Loggins
- R&B: Charlie Milo Trio
- Hip Hop Solo: Che Bong
- Dj: Animus Invidious
- People's Choice: Claymore Disco
- Americana: Haunted Windchimes
- Jazz Solo: Tony Exum Jr.
- Covers: 40oz. Freedom Fighters
- Metal-Hard Rock: Malakai
- Folk: Edith Makes a Paper Chain
- Jazz Group: Mango Fan Django
- Punk: The Nobodys
- Country/Bluegrass: Grass It Up
The Independent's location on 235 S. Nevada is a historic building in downtown Colorado Springs, the old United Brethren Church built started in 1912 and finished in 1917. The long building time was a result of fundraising problems as well as WWI. It was designed by architect Thomas MacLaren and is built in the Romanesque Revival style. The basement of the building was initially the home of the Tourist Memorial Church in 1912 and when the upper levels were completed in 1917 it became the home of the church was renamed to the United Brethren Church as can be seen on the cornerstone of the building. The building was added on during the 1950s and 1960s then again recently before being purchased by The Independent.
In December 2007 the Starbucks coffee chain, after a single complaint from a customer suggesting The Independent was trashy or lewd, discontinued distribution of the paper in their stores. This ban was challenged by Independent publisher John Weiss, but the chain responded that it has a non-solicitation policy, and that it only carries the New York Times and the Colorado Springs Gazette. The Independent published numerous letters to the editor from angry readers, but Starbucks' position remained unchanged. This was similar to a ban by the King Soopers grocery store chain in 1999, but the stores eventually allowed the paper again after repeated complaints to the corporate headquarters by shoppers.
The Indy has received numerous awards from varying news and journalism agencies. The Colorado Society of Professional Journalist, the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies, the Utne Reader have all given awards to The Independent and for topics ranging from excellent articles to one of the ten best regional newspapers.