High Country News welcomes Jennifer Sahn as editor-in-chief

Sahn will lead coverage of the Western United States as the magazine heads into its second half-century.

 

High Country News is happy to announce that Jennifer Sahn has been selected as its next editor-in-chief. Starting April 1, Sahn will lead the magazine’s award-winning coverage of the Western United States and its people and lands.

Jennifer Sahn
Terence Patrick

Sahn comes to HCN having served in leadership positions at Pacific Standard, a California-based magazine that reported on environmental and social justice, and Orion magazine, which covers environmental and cultural issues.

“Jennifer thrives in the places where the human and natural worlds intersect — HCN’s native habitat,” Executive Director Greg Hanscom said. “She brings a love of the West’s land and people, and a commitment to equity and justice both in the region and in journalism. We’re thrilled to have her.”

Originally from California, Sahn pursued an environmental studies degree at Middlebury College in Vermont. She stayed in the East to join Orion and rose to become editor. During her tenure, the publication earned numerous Pushcart Prizes and two Utne Independent Press awards for General Excellence. She also organized the Breadloaf Environmental Writers Conference and launched a new publication, Orion Afield, which focused on grassroots activism.

Sahn returned to California in 2015, accepting the role of executive editor at Pacific Standard. During her time there, the magazine received many honors, including a Mirror Award and a National Magazine Award for feature photography.

“I have worked alongside High Country News for many years as a fellow journalist in the environmental and social justice space, seeking stories that illuminate the land and our relationship to it as well as the forces that threaten it and our communities,” Sahn said. “I’m excited to build on the publication’s rich history and advance its status as the best source for narrative journalism and thoughtful visions about the future of the American West.”

Jennifer Sahn in the Eastern Sierra.
Jennifer Sahn

For more than 50 years, High Country News — based in Paonia, Colorado, but with staff and contributors scattered across the region — has reported the stories of the Western U.S. that are often overlooked by larger media outlets. The nonprofit news organization has won numerous accolades, including awards from the Society of Environmental Journalists, Utne Media, National Association of Science Writers, the Native American Journalists Association and the James Beard Foundation, among many others.

Most recently, “Land-Grab Universities,” a two-year investigation led by Tristan Ahtone and Robert Lee, won the prestigious 2020 George Polk Award for Education Reporting, marking the third time work published by HCN has been honored with a Polk Award. The project examined how the expropriation of Indigenous land became the foundation for the land-grant university system. The judges lauded it for sending “shockwaves through campuses across the country” with students demanding institutions take action.

As editor-in-chief, Sahn will continue to advance HCN’s work to center voices too often left out of conversations about the West and reach audiences across the region and country.

“I believe that stories have a unique potential to develop empathy, raise awareness and foster cross-cultural understanding, all of which are needed to help our region rise to the challenges ahead,” Sahn said. “And I believe in the power of public service journalism, knowing that a story well reported and well told can have a real impact on readers, communities and on public policy.

“The privilege of being in the business of storytelling is not lost on me,” she added. “I am committed to using my role as a gatekeeper to elevate diverse voices and publish stories that address power imbalances in our society.”

For more information about High Country News, contact Greg Hanscom, HCN’s executive director and publisher, at greghanscom at hcn.org.

High Country News Classifieds
  • PART-TIME EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    Mitchell Museum of the American Indian Location: Evanston, IL Salary Range: $45,000 @ 24 hours per week. send resume: [email protected] www.mitchellmuseum.org
  • COMMUNICATIONS LEAD
    Southeast Alaska Conservation Council is hiring! Who We Are: The Southeast Alaska Conservation Council (SEACC) is a small grassroots nonprofit based out of Juneau, Alaska,...
  • SENIOR POLICY ADVISOR
    Since 1989, The Nature Conservancy in Alaska has been doing work you can believe in protecting the lands and waters that all life depends on....
  • OUTDOOR PROGRAM - ASSISTANT DIRECTOR
    St. Lawrence University seeks to fill the position of Assistant Director in the Outdoor Program. To view the complete position description, including minimum qualifications required,...
  • PUBLIC LANDS DIRECTOR
    Job Announcement Conserve Southwest Utah is seeking a dedicated advocate for conservation and public lands Public Lands Director a "make a difference" position Conserve Southwest...
  • FOR SALE
    Yellowstone Llamas Successful Yellowstone NP concession Flexible packages
  • DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT & MARKETING
    Grand Staircase Escalante Partners is seeking a full-time Director of Development & Marketing. This is a senior position responsible for the development of all marketing...
  • LEGAL DIRECTOR
    The Legal Director will work closely with the Executive Director in cultivating a renewed vision at NMELC that integrates diversity, equity, and justice. Black, Indigenous,...
  • VICE PRESIDENT, LANDSCAPE CONSERVATION
    The Vice President for Landscape Conservation leads Defenders' work to promote landscape-scale wildlife conservation, focusing on four program areas: federal public lands management; private lands...
  • NOVA SCOTIA OCEAN FRONT
    Camp or Build on 2+ acres in Guysborough. FSBO. $36,000 US firm. Laurie's phone: 585-226-2993 EST.
  • COMMUNITY FORESTER
    The Clearwater Resource Council located in Seeley Lake, Montana is seeking a full-time community forester with experience in both fuels mitigation and landscape restoration. Resumes...
  • GUNNISON BASIN ROUNDTABLE
    The Gunnison Basin Roundtable is currently accepting letters of interest for ten elected seats. Five of the elected members must have relevant experience in the...
  • PCTA TRAIL CREW TECHNICAL ADVISORS IN WASHINGTON'S NORTH CASCADES
    Seasonal Positions: June 17th to September 16th (14 weeks) - 3 positions to be filled The mission of the Pacific Crest Trail Association is to...
  • WE'RE LOOKING FOR LEADERS!
    As we celebrate 50 years of great Western journalism, High Country News is looking for a few new board members to help set a course...
  • MEMBERSHIP DIRECTOR
    Job Announcement Job Title: Membership Director Supervisor: Executive Director Salary: Up to $65,000/year DOE Benefits: Generous benefits package — health insurance, Simple IRA and unlimited...
  • UTAH PUBLIC LANDS MANAGER
    Who we are: Since 1985, the Grand Canyon Trust has been a leading voice in regional conservation on the Colorado Plateau. From protecting the Grand...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    Executive Director Walker Basin Conservancy Reno & Yerington, NV Background The Walker Basin Conservancy (Conservancy) leads the effort to restore and maintain Walker Lake while...
  • WIND RIVER WRITERS AND PHOTOGRAPHERS RETREAT BY THE NATIONAL BIGHORN SHEEP CENTER
    Enhance your writing or photography skills with world-class instructors in the beautiful Wind River Mountains. All skill levels welcome. Continuing education credits available.
  • EARTH CRUISER FX FOR SALE
    Overland Vehicle for travel on or off road. Fully self contained. Less than 41,000 miles. Recently fully serviced Located in Redmond, OR $215'000.
  • ENVIRONMENTAL GEOPHYSICS
    identifies suspect buried trash, tanks, drums &/or utilities and conducts custom-designed subsurface investigations that support post-damage litigation.