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Ex-Missoula Indy staff seek to create their own newspaper

Posted at 4:32 AM, Oct 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-15 06:32:54-04
Missoula Independent
The former Missoula Independent building in Missoula. (Augusta McDonnell/MTN News photo)

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 writer Erika Fredrickson. She said 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 both 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 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 is encouraged to reach out by sending an email to missoulajournalism@gmail.com.

RELATED: Montana Magazine shut down after nearly 50 years

By Lauren Heiser – MTN News