Farewell to HCN’s editor-in-chief

After five years at the helm, Brian Calvert is off to the next big thing.


Brian Calvert
Roberto (Bear) Guerra/High Country News
High Country News Editor-in-Chief Brian Calvert is leaving the organization after six years on staff.

Brian joined the organization in 2014 as an associate editor, fresh out of a Ted Scripps Fellowship in Environmental Journalism at the University of Colorado. A former foreign correspondent, he stepped up to the plate to tackle bigger and bigger roles and responsibilities, becoming editor-in-chief in 2017. 

Brian’s editorial highlights include his leadership of our coverage of the Bundy family and the rise of extremist militias, including a special issue that provided unique, in-depth context for the “sagebrush insurgency”; his unique and widely read feature story, “So what if we’re doomed?, which put its finger on the ecological angst of our times in a very personal way; and his creation of the Indigenous Affairs desk and expanded coverage of communities of color that too rarely found their way into our pages.

Brian was instrumental in creating HCN’s new brand and look, and a broader vision of a publication that “shines a light on all the complexities of the Western U.S.” He also had a prescient understanding that HCN would need to operate as a dispersed organization, with more editorial staff in the field. He leaves HCN stronger and more inclusive and better equipped to explore and explain a changing West.

High Country News will begin a search for Brian’s replacement in the coming week. We send him off with sincere thanks for all he’s done for this organization and for the Western U.S., and best wishes with whatever comes next.

For 50 years, High Country News has reported the stories of the Western U.S. that are often overlooked by larger media outlets. The nonprofit news organization has won numerous awards over the years, including the Utne Media Award, the George Polk Award, the Science in Society Award, the Society of Environmental Journalists Award, and many others.

For more information about High Country News, contact Publisher and Executive Director Greg Hanscom at [email protected].

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