First Year Anniversary for the Mountaineer


July 15, 2020

It's been a year and what a year. I feel like I've just started to learn to crawl. I had no idea what owning a business meant. There are still somethings I need to learn. I wanted to be a part of a paper that celebrated our local culture. I believed it was important to support a rural economy and way of life.

I told myself I had to learn how to put the Big Sandy Mountaineer together. I don't like jigsaw puzzles, so a six/eight/ten-page jigsaw puzzle is a little daunting, so I still haven't learned how. Thanks to Leslie Gregory for carrying that responsibility. I've gotten better at proof-reading, but if you remember last week's paper, I still miss simple, easy things. My eyes play tricks on me. I still want to increase the paper with articles that are worth reading and find some unique ways to support the paper and make it sustainable.

I've learned a lot about copyright laws.

I wanted the paper to be more relatable and appealing. So, I've made the front page always in color. It's interesting because I've been asked to make the whole paper color. When the paper is six or eight pages, only the front and back can be in color because of how the paper is printed. When we go to 10 pages, the front and back of the first section can be in color, and only the front and back pages of the second section can be in color. I do wish I could afford two to four pages of color every time. Currently, I get the paper printed at the Havre Daily. The other options are in Lewistown and Helena, but I don't want to travel to either once a week.

Other changes I made are baby and wedding announcements are free.

We haven't had many letters to the Editor, but I have refused to print a few. I won't publish anything that could be slanderous. You may have noticed; I don't publish the "who got in trouble with the law." That is tedious work and time-consuming. Although it is liked by many, I don't want to be a part of the rumor mill, and will not print anything that isn't legally correct to the best of my knowledge. I have interviewed the Sheriff's deputies on numerous occasions, and they cannot comment on any ongoing investigations, and I will not print rumors.

I am making a few changes inside the building, as well by painting, adding some color to the walls. Once the walls are completely painted, I'll have an open house to celebrate the next year's journey. I hope to support the artists in our community when I get through painting and displaying their work on a more continuous basis.

The Mountaineer is once again in need of writers. I'm not afraid of a beginning writer. We can learn together. I am open to suggestions and want to thank everyone for their support. This community has been more than supportive. You have been so patient with me as I continue to bring to you what I hope will be something we can all be proud of. I want the Mountaineer to represent all of you.

There are 76 Newspapers in the state of Montana. I could not determine how many of them were locally owned.


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