Last Best News is an independent online news site dedicated to telling the story and covering the culture, people and places of Billings and Eastern Montana, with occasional forays into other parts of Montana and neighboring states.
The site was founded by Ed Kemmick, who has been a newspaper reporter, editor and columnist in Montana since 1980, except for a five-year stint of newspaper work in Minnesota, his home state. Kemmick has lived in Billings, Butte, Anaconda, Missoula and Bozeman and his reporting has taken him all over the state. “The Big Sky, By and By,” a collection of some his journalism, plus several essays and one short story, was published in 2011.
On Feb. 1, 2016, Kemmick was joined by David Crisp, who published a weekly newspaper, The Billings Outpost, for 18 years. Crisp has worked for newspapers since 1979, including a stint as and editor and reporter for the Billings Gazette.
More information about what we’re up to is available elsewhere on this site, but basically this is an advertising-supported website that is available to readers at no cost and (we hope) no hassle. Although we don’t envision ever having to ask people to pay for content, we hope you’ll like Last Best News enough to make a voluntary donation, which you can do by going to the top of our home page and clicking on “Support Now.” Or, if you prefer snail mail, donati0ns may be sent to Last Best News, Box 1351, Billings, Mont., 59103.
We use a Facebook-based commenting system, which we think is the best way of discouraging trolls and of promoting good conversations between real people.
We will make every effort to get all our facts right, but if we do make a mistake we will acknowledge it. We like what the New York Times does and we’ll follow its lead — update the story to correct the mistake, but then note at the bottom of the story what corrections, if any, have been made. We’re talking mistakes of material importance, by the way, so we will change typos and misspellings and other minor blunders without any fanfare. (And if you do see a mistake or a typo, please let us know.)
John Warner has been a newspaper and freelance photojournalist for 30 years. His work has appeared in Outside, Science, Sports Illustrated, Newsweek, Bicycling, The Smithsonian, Flyfishing, various Montana magazines and a dozen Western books. His Northern Cheyenne repatriation photographs reside permanently in the Smithsonian Institution. He is based in Billings.
Matthew Struck is the owner of Struckture, Homegrown Technology. A Billings native, he’s worked in the field of technology for 20 years focusing on web development, business process and IT infrastructure. He has received several Montana Addy awards for his web development and is best known for his work with First Interstate Bank, Montana Amateur Sports/Big Sky State Games, and other activity-based programs like the Montana Women’s Run and the Heart and Sole Run. (Editor’s note: Matthew is not technically a “contributor,” but he is the IT expert and web designer who has made all this possible.)
Questions, concerns, tips, advice? Here’s how to reach Ed Kemmick: firstname.lastname@example.org, or (406) 794-4481, or P.O. Box 1351, Billings, MT, 59103. You can reach David Crisp at (406) 698-4238 or email@example.com.