MISSOULA – The alt-weekly Missoula Independent newspaper closed its doors to their employees and their readers just over a month ago.
Now a new door may be opening for a group of its former staff. A group of five reporters, writers, and editors from the Missoula Indy are searching for a way to start a paper of their own.
One of the people driving this effort is a writer, Erika Fredrickson. She says the community has played an enormous role in motivating the group to reach for their goal.
“Just having the experience of people being so supportive has been sort of overwhelming but in a good way. It sort of is what has fueled all of us to go from being, you know, saying we should start a paper to being to the point where we have to do this,” said Fredrickson.
When the presses stopped at the Indy, the community staged a rally outside of the Missoulian to send a message to the papers parent company Lee Enterprises. In the past few months, Lee has shut down two of their print publications the Indy and Montana Magazine.
The group working to make this new paper say they plan to take inspiration from the Indy but to create something distinct.
Fredrickson said that print publications like these play an essential role in their communities.
“It’s sort of that thing that I think we’re all kind of craving that’s away from social media and away from being on our phones,” she said. “It’s this very tactile tangible object that you can flip through, and it feels real. And I think people kind of miss that.”
Anyone who wishes to express their support or make suggestions on how they should move forward are encouraged to reach out by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reporting by Lauren Heiser for MTN News