The new issue of Montana Journalism Review (MJR) is fresh off the press, produced by an all student staff from the University of Montana’s School of Journalism. The magazine is dedicated to holding a mirror to the news media in Montana and other western states, reporting and interpreting trends that affect journalists in this part of the country.

Photo of the printed edition of MJR 2016
Photo by Celia Tobin.

“Everyone who’s interested in journalism in the West must read this issue,” said Associate Professor Henriette Lowisch, who serves as MJR’s editor-in-chief. “It provides a fresh look at questions we media people obsess about, from wildfire coverage to free speech.”

Issue 45 is built around the theme “burn,” with a cover story analyzing what gets lost in often sensationalized coverage of the wildfires that are so much a part of the western landscape. Other features examine how newspapers cover anything from state politics to the new Cannabis beat. Cutting-edge scientists speak out on overlooked stories; freelancers get tips on how to make their work pay, and radio icon Ira Glass offers career advice.

Students on the staff of Montana Journalism Review receive a crash course into the world of producing a high quality magazine.

“Creating MJR is one of the most authentic experiences students can have while still in the classroom,” said Managing Editor Nicky Ouellet, a graduate student. “I’m really proud of what we’ve created, and the immense energy and dedication our staff poured into this issue.”

As other classes ramped up in September, some students of the capstone class that produces MJR were already reporting, writing and photographing on deadline. Others chased down outside contributors, who often had far more years of journalism experience than their newfound editors. For the first time, some of the stories were published on, an alternative story platform that specializes in long-form work.

This year’s MJR team worked on improving the fact-checking and copy-editing system for increased accuracy and a more effective workflow. Corrections are now easy to find on the magazine’s newly designed website.

All stories, along with past issues of the magazine, are available online. The print magazine, which is sent to subscribers across the North America and even Europe, can be ordered through the website.

By Andrew Graham

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