MISSOULA – The new issue of Montana Journalism Review is fresh off the press, produced by an all-student staff from the University of Montana’s School of Journalism. The magazine is dedicated to holding a mirror to the news media in Montana and other western states, and reporting and interpreting trends that affect journalists in this part of the country.
“Everyone who’s interested in journalism in the West must read this issue,” said Associate Professor Henriette Lowisch, who serves as MJR’s editor-in-chief. “It provides a fresh look at questions we media people obsess about – from wildfire coverage to free speech.”
Issue 45 is built around the theme “burn,” with a cover story analyzing what gets lost in often sensationalized coverage of the wildfires that are so much a part of the western landscape. Other features examine how newspapers cover news ranging from state politics to the new cannabis beat. Cutting-edge scientists speak out on overlooked stories, freelancers get tips on how to make their work pay, and radio icon Ira Glass offers career advice.
Students on the MJR staff receive a crash course in producing a high-quality magazine.
“Creating MJR is one of the most authentic experiences students can have in the classroom,” said Managing Editor Nicky Ouellet, a graduate student in UM’s master’s program for environmental science and natural resource journalism. “I’m really proud of what we’ve created, and the immense energy and dedication our staff poured into this issue.”
As other classes ramped up in September, some students in the capstone course that produces MJR were already reporting, writing and photographing on deadline. Other staff members chased down outside contributors, who often had far more years of journalism experience than the newfound editors. For the first time, some of the stories were published on medium.com, an alternative story platform that specializes in showcasing long-form work. Read select stories at https://medium.com/montana-journalism-review.
This year’s MJR team worked to improve the fact-checking and copy-editing system for increased accuracy and a more efficient workflow. Online navigation is now easier on the magazine’s newly designed website. All stories, along with past issues of the magazine, are available online at http://mjr.jour.umt.edu. The print magazine, which is sent to subscribers across North America and Europe, can be ordered through the MJR website.