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Know the West

Student visitors from near and far


As their foreign exchange program at Paonia High School came to a close, Henna Reinhardt, from Germany, and Gabby Moet, from Holland, stopped by to see how HCN operates. They sat in on our fast-paced weekly story meeting, in which the editorial staff huddles in a tiny, sweltering conference room to discuss (and argue passionately about) what we plan to cover in upcoming issues. The aspiring media mavens are publishing a school newspaper -- complete with horoscopes, tips for summer and sports -- as a final project for their English class.

A group of fourth-grade Gifted and Talented students from Paonia Elementary School came to get a tour and talk about writing and editing. Advisor Merrily Talbott has been helping Logan Green, Nicole Jefferis and Katya Schwieterman produce a school newspaper, The Eaglet (along with Seraya Talbott-Carey, who wasn't able to come along). The kids asked good questions and took careful notes -- obviously journalists in the making!

On a recent reporting trip to Reno, Nev., online editor Stephanie Paige Ogburn met up with High Country News essayist Michael Branch, professor of literature and environment at the University of Nevada, Reno, who writes the series "Rants on the Hill" for our Range blog. (Check out our podcasts of Michael reading his essays at hcn.org/rss/podcasts.) They visited the Nevada Museum of Art, which has an excellent collection of environmental art; if you have the chance, go before Aug. 26 to view artist Gail Wight's serene and surprisingly lovely video installation of slime molds. Mike also took Stephanie on a hike up his Ranting Hill, the northern Nevada desert landscape that inspires much of his often-humorous and always thoughtful writing.


Stephanie is also a finalist for the 2012 Livingston Awards for Young Journalists. Her story "Big Beef," describing independent cattlemen's fight against monopolies in the meatpacking industry, ran in our March 20, 2011, issue. The Livingston Awards, established in 1980, provide three $10,000 awards for local, national and international reporting to journalists under the age of 35. We're keeping our fingers crossed -- winners will be announced in early June.

Sierra Crane-Murdoch, who was an editorial intern at HCN in spring 2011, just received a scholarship to attend the Banff Centre Residency in Literary Journalism this July. She and seven other accomplished nonfiction writers were picked to spend a month in cabins in Canada's Banff National Park and work with an experienced magazine editor on a long-term writing project. Sierra's got a little homework to do before then -- each participant must turn in an 8,000-to-10,000-word draft before the residency starts. Congrats, Sierra, and write like the wind!

Another former intern, Tony Barboza (summer 2005), was just selected as one of the five 2012-2013 Ted Scripps Fellows in Environmental Journalism at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Tony, a reporter for the Los Angeles Times, has worked for the paper's metro section since 2006. He writes about California coastal issues -- oceanfront development, water pollution, marine life, public beach access and rising sea levels. Tony says he'll use the nine-month program, which includes coursework, seminars and field trips, "to pursue a reporting project about the future of urban open space, the boxed-in wetlands, hillsides, deserts, forests and coastal waters in and around some of the West's largest cities." The fellowships are funded through a grant from the Scripps Howard Foundation. Nice work, Tony!