By Sage Sutcliffe
Top Montana News Stories
The Montana journalism community is mourning the loss of its “dean,” longtime political journalist and mentor to so many, Charles S. Johnson, known as Chuck. Phil Drake and Tom Kuglin’s piece about Chuck in the Helena Independent Record and Corin Cates-Carney’s rememberance on Montana Public Radio are two of the best stories to help understand just how much Chuck meant to journalism in Montana and the state as a whole.
2. Glacier Park’s Advanced Reservations Continue to Sell Out Fast Ahead of Summer (Tristan Scott / Flathead Beacon)
J-School grad Tristan Scott (’13) reports on Glacier National Park’s reservation system that is meant to “manage high traffic volumes and protect natural resources.” Scott gets to the who, what, when, where, and why of the controversial system, which some locals, tourists and politicians believe is too difficult to navigate and reserve time in the park.
3. Budget bills await governor’s signature; Lawmakers look to weaken the judiciary (Sally Mauk, Holly Michels and Rob Saldin / Montana Public Radio)
Montana legislators are also midway through the legislative session. Sally Mauk, J-School grad Holly Michels (’08), and Rob Saldin host ‘Capitol Talk’ on Montana Public Radio, a news podcast that provides all the necessary recent political news.
4. TWQ Mini with Kathryn Aalto: The lives, literature, and landscapes of twenty-five female nature writers (Lauren Korn / Montana Public Radio)
If you’re already up to date on Montana politics, MTPR also offers podcasts and news clips on arts, culture, nature…you name it. Lauren Korn hosts ‘The Write Question,’ a podcast where she speaks with authors about their recent works. This week, Korn interviews Katheryn Aalto, author of Writing Wild: Women Poets, Ramblers, and Mavericks Who Shape How We See the Natural World. The two discuss what “wild” really means.
5. Bison resolution stirs debate about Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge (Brett French / Billings Gazette)
J-School grad Brett French (’88) shares news about Senate Joint Resolution 14, introduced by Republican Sen. Mike Lang. French writes (and quotes the lawmaker): “The resolution argues reintroducing bison to the 1.1 million acres in Eastern Montana would ‘jeopardize critical grazing land for livestock, greatly increase the threat of disease transmission between livestock and wildlife, threaten the livelihoods of ranching families, and impair the State of Montana’s management of state trust land.'”
6. The 90-food sentinel of Butte, Montana (Leah Sottile / High Country News)
Have you ever noticed the glowing statute that rises above Butte, Montana? Named ‘Our Lady of the Rockies,’ Sottile, a former T. Anthony Pollner Professor at the J-School, writes about its history and what it stands for.
Top Environment and Science News Stories
1. The odd phenomenon of moth-eating bears—and the dangers they face (Story by Douglas Main, Pictures by Steven Gnam / National Geographic)
Main and Gnam journeyed into peak bear territory in Glacier National Park to share the curious connection between grizzlies and cutworm moths. Up-close photos of both creatures accompany the story.
2. Environmental Auditors Approve Green Labels for Products Linked to Deforestation and Authoritarian Regimes (Scilla Alecci / Inside Climate News)
“A new ICIJ-led cross-border investigation exposes how a lightly regulated sustainability industry overlooks forest destruction and human rights violations when granting environmental certifications,” writes Alecci.
ICIJ stands for The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, Inc., a group of hundreds of investigative journalists and media organizations who seek to expose crime and corruption internationally. Alecci’s story for Inside Climate News summarizes the ICIJ investigation and shows what investigative journalism can uncover.
3. Nature, as captured by some of the world’s best photographers (Washington Post Staff / The Washington Post)
Need a midterms de-stressor? Take a look at the stunning nature photos from the 2023 Sony World Photography Awards finalists.
Top Student/Alumni Story
1. Schools Struggle With Lead in Water While Awaiting Federal Relief (Katheryn Houghton / Kaiser Health News)
UM J-School grad (’15) Katheryn Houghton reports from Philipsburg, Montana, where many public schools found lead in drinking water at unsafe levels. A result of old lead pipe infrastructure, similar issues across the U.S. are being targeted in new infrastructure budgeting under the Biden administration. Beginning in the small Montana town, Houghton expands the scope of her story outwards to all of Montana and then nationwide before rounding back to the same opening storyline.