HCNers go to journalism conferences

  • Sacha Economides and Michael Weeks, enroute from the Grand Mesa back to Boulder.

    Neil LaRubbio

High Country News' hometown of Paonia, Colo., has great food, great people, great access to mountains, rivers and deserts, and a great climate. What it doesn't have, beyond our little office, is much in the way of opportunities for journalistic cross-pollination or training. So we were thrilled when HCN online editor Stephanie Paige Ogburn won a Kiplinger Fellowship in March. The program, based at Ohio State University, selected only 25 of more than 350 applicants from all over the world for "intensive, hands-on training in social media, data journalism, video and other tools to thrive in the digital age" from April 15 through April 20.

As an extra bonus, the fellowship comes with support training for supervisors, so managing editor Jodi Peterson followed Stephanie to the Flatlands for her own digital media boot camp from May 1-4.

Jodi and Stephanie weren't the only HCN staffers to take advantage of great opportunities this spring. Editorial intern Danielle Venton left us a little early to move back to her home area, San Francisco's North Bay, where she's landed what she describes as a dream job for a freelancer. She'll be working half-time for public radio station KRCB as a reporter and producer covering science, local health and environmental issues. We look forward to her future broadcasts … and to all the magazine stories she plans to work on for us during the rest of her time. Says Danielle, "The Interior West hasn't heard the last of me yet! Also, I DO really, really miss HCN."

Speaking of interns doing great things, fall 2010 intern Denver Nicks just published his first book, Private: Bradley Manning, Wikileaks, and the Biggest Exposure of Official Secrets in American History. Private strives to set the record straight on the now-notorious Army intelligence analyst's life and motives. Ned Sublette, author of The World That Made New Orleans, describes it as a "page-turner that reads like a cyber-thriller. It's simultaneously a coming-of-age-story, a coming-out story, an X-ray of American culture in the Homeland Security era, a well-researched history of espionage, an exposé of the routinized cruelties of the 21st-century U.S. military, and a meditation on the human costs of the cult of secrecy." Congratulations, Denver!


Michael Weeks and Sacha Economides dropped into HCN HQ after a cabin stay up on nearby Grand Mesa in late March. They were taking the scenic route back to Boulder, Colo., where Michael is pursuing a Ph.D. in environmental history and doing archival work on the Colorado-Big Thompson Project. Sacha works as a bilingual educator. They're both looking forward to cooking "real food" from their garden this spring. So are we! Provided the North Fork Valley gets any precip, that is.


Thanks to alert reader Brian Hensley of Lewiston for pointing out that Idaho is not a coal-dependent state, as we had mistakenly claimed in our April 16 story, "Solar + wind + nuclear + natural gas = clean energy?" Though Idaho does get some power from coal, more than half comes from clean sources, including hydropower. HCN regrets the error.

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