Friends, readers, Montanans, lend us your ears


We have good reason to celebrate. You can help make sure the celebrations continue.

Readers, we need your help.

And some of you, we think, could use a little help from us.

I’m referring to advertising on Last Best News. This has been a good year for this independent online newspaper, easily the best in our three and a half years of existence. But we are currently without an ad sales person, and while we still have solid advertising support, we also have a fair number of slots open—slots that we would love to have filled.

That’s where you, the readers, come in. If you own a business or have something you’d like to promote or bring to the attention of a lot of good, well-informed, community-minded people, we need to talk. Or maybe you know someone who owns a business but doesn’t yet know about the benefits of advertising on Last Best News.

Heck, maybe you just want to advertise your support. The wonderfully talented Melanie Fabrizius, who designed many of the ads you see here, could create one saying, “So-and-So Supports Last Best News,” or “Such-and-Such a Business Supports Independent Journalism.”

In any case, you can contact me or David Crisp directly, or suggest to your friends that they do, by dropping a line to or

If I may quote from our Advertise with Last Best News tab:

“For advertisers, it’s a great audience. Billings residents drawn to this site already spend their money here, and people in Eastern Montana, who come here to visit relatives, go shopping, attend a concert, take in a tournament or tap into our ever-growing medical community, also support the local economy. And because there’s so much back-and-forth traffic, it makes sense for businesses all over Eastern Montana to advertise here.

“Don’t forget the thousands of Montanans who live elsewhere in the world and still do all they can to keep in touch with the place they love. They come home from time to time, and they’re good people to reach out to.”

If you’re a regular reader, you also know that a huge benefit of visiting this site is that it is an annoyance-free experience. It’s free, for one thing, and also free of all those distractions you see almost everywhere else: pop-up ads, videos that suddenly start playing when you’re trying to read a story, surveys, notifications that you have no “free” stories left, etc., etc., etc.

We’ve done everything we could to make visiting Last Best News an enjoyable experience for readers and for advertisers. The result has been good, steady advertising support from Day 1, and lots of dedicated readers.

From July 4, 2016, through yesterday, according to Google Analytics, we recorded 680,865 “sessions” on Last Best News, or an average of 1,865 a day, and just under a million page views—948,610, or an average of 2,598 a day.

We’ve also had great reader support in the form of donations, both recurring and one-time donations. The best moment of yesterday’s holiday was when I was informed via email that one of our occasional advertisers also made a generous one-time donation. That kind of support sustains us, materially and mentally.

But, as I said, we are temporarily without an ads sales person, and while we get out to meet with potential advertisers from time to time, we’d rather be writing and editing stories, working with contributing writers and doing all the other chores that keep Last Best News afloat.

In the past three and a half years, in addition to hundreds of news stories, we have published a series of essays on life in Montana, under the banner of Lay of the Land, as well as At Your Service, a series of stories about visits to local houses of worship, and David Crisp’s weekly columns, containing some of the best writing you’ll find about First Amendment issues, the state of journalism and Montana and national politics.

We want to keep bringing you good journalism and good stories about Montana. If you can help us meet that goal, please do.

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