The threats of dismissal that the Missoula Independent employees are receiving mean that the Lee Corporation bought the Missoula Independent just to destroy it.
They bought their competition to get rid of it.
The Lee Corporation owns newspapers all over Montana and has a de facto monopoly on daily news coverage for most of the state. They purchased the Missoula Independent claiming they were interested in it as a news delivery tool to add to their monopolistic toolkit.
This was obviously a lie.
Lee Corporation is trying to shut down the Missoula Independent and merge it with the Missoulian. They are going to fire most or all of the staff of the Missoula Independent and the paper will be nothing of its former self but another way for Lee Corporation to make money off of Missoulians.
Soon after the Indy was purchased the bad faith and lies of Lee Corporation to their new employees led the 12 Missoula Independent employees to form a union to protect themselves from Lee Corporation’s latest late-stage capitalism quick cash schemes.
The union is the only protection these employees have.
Well, not exactly, they also have the citizens of Missoula, who stand with them.
The Lee Corporation never cared about the Missoula Independent, it merely wanted sole control of the Missoula print news market and with the purchase of the Indy they had it and the actual paper meant nothing to them, the journalists and staff there meant even less.
Missoulians will not take this sitting down though, the Missoula Independent is the among the best papers in the state of Montana on a number of levels, the depth of the reporting that they can do as a weekly is the envy journalists all across the state at daily papers required to churn stories with a limited amount of time for depth or investigation beyond the surface.
The Missoula Independent is a publication dedicated to journalism at the highest levels as evidenced by stories like these:
Yet, they maintain a status as the only alt-weekly in Montana, that means they keep the readers engaged and offer different perspectives and takes on the world as it is and as it should be. It is the tone of the Missoula Independent that captures the feel of Missoula. It is a laid back writing style that invites the reader in and educates them maybe without them even noticing as they are entertained and informed all at once.
I have spent many hours and days poring over the Missoula Independent during my college and post-college years there.
The situation of the Lee Corporation cannibalizing the Missoula Independent and then turning around and trying to peddle it to Missoulians is just another example of the insanity of the last decade.
Well, it’s time to stop the insanity, it’s time to fight back and stand together as a community. Missoula is one of the strongest communities in Montana and Montana is one big community, minus Greg Gianforte and other carpetbaggers like Rosendale who make us all look bad, but besides them Montana and Missoula must stand with the Missoula Independent for if we let this last domino fall we are all one step closer to the lash.
Join Missoula Independent employees next Friday, September 7th at 7 pm at the Union Club to show your support:
And even in the face of the shutdown and losing their jobs, the Missoula Independent staff keeps working hard to deliver you news and quality content. Staying at a Missoula City Council meeting until 2:30 am in the morning a few nights ago.
I was on the 12th hour of my shift last night when I left the city council meeting at 1 a.m., but several other news outlets remained until the vote at 2:30 a.m. #Missoula should be encouraged by local media’s commitment to covering critical issues. #keepmissoulaindy https://t.co/EV2lN46n8R
— Augusta McDonnell (@Augusta_reports) August 28, 2018
— Missoula NewsGuild (@MslaIndyUnion) August 27, 2018
#KeepMissoulaIndy so we can continue to read @DangerBrooks @MollyL @sarahaswell @derekwbrouwer @awsak @SusanElizabeth @CharleyMacorn @EFredMT and @paulimeth, most of whom are featured in today's new issue — as well as so many other great writers who contribute week after week.
— Skylar Browning (@sbmontana) August 30, 2018
Snarkiness aside, there's a legit economic development argument for the value the Indy provides Missoula as an arts and culture booster — value that isn't on Lee's balance sheets. If I was a local biz owner, I'd be up in arms over what's happening here. https://t.co/NMEgpm459L
— Eric Dietrich (@eidietrich) August 28, 2018