Dear friends

  • Storytellers Don Nelson and Jacqui Banaszynski

    Greg Hanscom
 

SURPRISE!

The West, as we like to say around here, is more than just a pretty picture. It is a growing, changing, contentious and often uncomfortable place where society’s decisions, for better or worse, are writ large on the landscape. We pride ourselves on finding the stories behind the scenery and telling them well through the written word.

But the pretty pictures help tell the story, too, and that’s one reason that you’re holding in your hand the first full-color issue of High Country News, printed on a brighter (yet 30 percent post-consumer recycled) paper stock. The change is largely due to the prodding of HCN publisher Paul Larmer and the diligence of production assistant JoAnn Kalenak. Paul and several members of HCN’s board of directors have been pushing hard to get the visual quality of High Country News up to par with that of its words, and to make it physically robust enough to withstand the many hands that turn the pages of each copy. JoAnn spent almost six months searching for a print house that could do quality color at an affordable price. We ended up choosing Publication Printers in Denver, Colo., which previously printed HCN.

With the higher-quality printing, it will cost $2,000 more to print the 26,000 copies we distribute every two weeks. But we’re confident the investment will pay off. Color ads fetch more than black-and-white ones, and we’re working more aggressively to fill our limited ad space. (Not to worry, our ad policies remain the same: We limit ads to roughly 15 percent of the paper, and screen for environmental and social responsibility.) We also think the improved production quality will allow us to tell the stories of the West in more compelling ways, attracting a wider audience.

We hope you’re as excited about it as we are. Let us know what you think at [email protected]

LESSONS IN STORYTELLING

The look of the paper isn’t the only thing we’re trying to improve. We’re also working hard to tell better, fresher stories. To that end, a couple of talented and generous souls just spent two days coaching the editorial staff.

Jacqui Banaszynski is a veteran of the daily news world, who won the Pulitzer Prize in 1988. She covered the environment at the Register-Guard in Eugene, Ore., and later supervised environmental coverage at the Oregonian. Today she is the associate managing editor at the Seattle Times, and teaches at the University of Missouri and the Poynter Institute.

Don Nelson has spent much of his 30-plus-year career at niche and alternative publications, trying to out-do the big dailies. He got his start at the Register-Guard, and has done stints at the Pioneer Press in St. Paul, Minn., and as editor of the Puget Sound Business Journal. He is now editor of the Skagit Valley Herald, north of Seattle.

The duo donated their valuable — and already overbooked — time, and gave us tips on how to "wild up the wonk," as Jacqui puts it. They also offered some advice on how to keep scooping the big-city papers, which are (thankfully) doing a better job than they once did of covering regional and environmental issues.

A huge thanks to Jacqui and Don.

High Country News Classifieds
  • WATER PROJECT MANAGER, UPPER SAN PEDRO (ARIZONA)
    Based in Tucson or Sierra Vista, AZ., the Upper San Pedro Project Manager develops, manages, and advances freshwater conservation programs, plans, and methods focusing on...
  • CAMPAIGNS DIRECTOR
    Southeast Alaska Conservation is hiring. Visit https://www.seacc.org/about/hiring for info. 907-586-6942 [email protected]
  • FINANCE & GRANTS MANAGER
    The Blackfoot Challenge, located in Ovando, MT, seeks a self-motivated, detail-oriented individual to conduct bookkeeping, financial analysis and reporting, and grant oversight and management. Competitive...
  • WADE LAKE CABINS, CAMERON MT
    A once in a lifetime opportunity to live and run a business on the shore of one of the most beautiful lakes in SW Montana....
  • CONTRIBUTING EDITOR, BOOKS, CULTURE AND COMMENTARY (PART-TIME, CONTRACT)
    High Country News is seeking a Contributing Editor for Books, Culture and Commentary to assign and edit inquisitive, inspiring, and thought-provoking content for HCN in...
  • STATEWIDE COMMUNITY ORGANIZER
    ABOUT US Better Wyoming is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy organization that educates, organizes, and mobilizes Wyoming residents on behalf of statewide change. Learn more at...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    TwispWorks is a 501(c)3 that promotes economic and cultural vitality in the mountainous Methow Valley, the eastern gateway to North Cascades National Park in Washington...
  • CLEAN ENERGY ADVOCATE OR DIRECTOR
    Location: Helena, Montana Type: Permanent, full time after 1-year probationary period. Reports to: Director of Policy and Legislative Affairs. Travel: Some overnight travel, both in-state...
  • PROFESSIONAL GIS SERVICES
    Custom Geospatial Solutions is available for all of your GIS needs. Affordable, flexible and accurate data visualization and analysis for any sized project.
  • DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR
    Restore Hetch Hetchy, a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization, seeks experienced development professional to identify and engage individuals and institutions who are inspired to help underwrite...
  • PUBLIC LANDS COUNSEL
    The successful candidate will be the organization's lead counsel on public lands issues, including reviewing federal administrative actions and proposed policy and helping to shape...
  • HUMAN RESOURCES DIRECTOR
    Solar Energy International (SEI) is a 501(c)3 non-profit education organization with a mission to provide industry-leading technical training and expertise in renewable energy to empower...
  • TRAINING MANAGER
    This is a full-time position based out of our Paonia office. This position is responsible for organizing all of Solar Energy International's renewable energy trainings....
  • RANCH HAND & HOUSING OPPORTUNITY IN DURANGO, CO
    Remodeled home with the opportunity to work off part of rent. Renter(s) must be available to help with lifting, irrigation & outdoor chores, 15-40 hrs...
  • GUIDE TO WESTERN NATIONAL MONUMENTS
    NEW BOOK showcases 70 national monuments across the western United States. Use "Guide10" for 10% off at cmcpress.org
  • RARE CHIRICAHUA RIPARIAN LAND FOR SALE
    40 acres: 110 miles from Tucson: native trees, grasses: birder's heaven::dark sky/ borders state lease & National forest/5100 ft/13-16 per annum rain
  • ENVIRONMENTAL GEOPHYSICS
    "More Data, Less Digging" Find groundwater and reduce excavation costs!
  • LUNATEC ODOR-FREE DISHCLOTHS
    are a must try. They stay odor-free, dry fast, are durable and don't require machine washing. Try today.
  • 10 ACRES OF NEW MEXICO HIGH DESERT
    10 Acres of undeveloped high desert land in central NM, about 45 minutes from downtown Albuquerque. Mixed cedar and piñon pine cover. Some dirt roadways...
  • OPERATIONS DIRECTOR
    We are a Santa Fe-based nonprofit that builds resilience on arid working lands. We foster ecological, economic, and social health through education, innovation, and collaboration....