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for people who care about the West

Is it ‘High Country News’ or just ‘White Country News’?


I’ve learned a lot from HCN in the last few years, and it’s responsible for my year-long detour to Grand Junction, which will always be a life highlight.

But I’m increasingly tired of your magazine’s world-weary white man’s editorial perspective, and what appears to be a lack of commitment to reflecting and representing the diversity of identity and experience in the West, even the Interior Mountain West.

There’s no doubt you publish the occasional solid piece of reporting on communities of color or immigration, but never are you really inside these stories. It’s not hard to know why, and the screen capture of the thank-you video I just saw gave me a tremor of regret.

In the next years, I hope to see a few things:

  • you wrestle with your own whiteness and complicity as you blame the Trump administration for everything bad
  • several new editorial voices, not tokenism
  • a hiatus from reviewing/featuring books about middle-aged white people trying to find themselves in nature

I believe in your mission and think a strong HCN is good for our society. You have a unique platform — please act with urgency to reflect the times we’re in.

Matt King
San Jose, California