Martin Kidston

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Missoula Current overhauls website, marks success

We are happy to report that our partners in Western Montana, the people behind Missoula Current, are announcing all kinds of good news. In a column by founding editor Martin Kidston, we learn that Missoula Current has launched “a new and enhanced webpage offering a greater variety of stories, images and video.” It was already a good website, but now it’s even better, and easier to navigate. And like the website you’re reading at the moment, it is free of the clutter and maddening distractions one has to endure to read news stories just about anywhere else. Kidston also had this to say: “Last month—in what marked a new Missoula Current milestone—more than 60,000 unique readers logged on for a combined 104,000 pageviews. Continue Reading →

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Independent journalism takes small step ahead in Montana

Regular readers of Last Best News already know that we have been collaborating with Missoula Current, an independent online newspaper that is filling the same niche in Missoula that we have been filling here in Billings. We have been sharing stories, giving each other advice and talking about other ways we can work together to promote and expand independent journalism in Montana. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Story spills the beans on former Missoulian editor

Rock

The Missoula Independent is reporting some details about the Missoulian editor who resigned earlier this week, after being suspended for bringing a gun to work. From the sounds of it, Matt Bunk’s brief tenure at the newspaper was such a disaster that his showing up in the newsroom packing heat gave the powers that be an opportunity to get rid of him with little fear of being sued again. Here’s the key paragraph: “Current staffers and former reporters who spoke with the Indy this week describe a newsroom that was nearing revolt against an editor who they say bullied reporters and routinely threatened their jobs during disagreements. Some say they expected further resignations, or even a walkout, had Bunk been permitted to return.” Much of the blame lies with Missoulian Publisher Mark Heintzelman, who hired Bunk seven months ago after demoting longtime editor Sherry Devlin, who later resigned and sued the newspaper for wrongful discharge. Continue Reading →

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Missoulian editor Bunk reportedly resigns

Bunk

The Missoula Current is reporting that Matt Bunk, the Missoulian editor suspended two weeks ago after bringing a concealed weapon to work in violation of company policy, has resigned. Martin Kidston, the founder of the Current, said his sources were newspaper employees and that no other information was available Monday night. As Kidston also reported, Bunk was named editor of the Missoulian only last August by publisher Mark Heintzelman. And Heintzelman had been on the job not quite a year himself when he hired Bunk away from a twice-weekly paper in Libby. Bunk was hired after former Missoulian editor Sherry Devlin was demoted, and she later filed a lawsuit in District Court, saying she had been unjustly demoted and replaced by a less-qualified male. Continue Reading →

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Pistol-packing editor says gun was an antique

M.B.

Following up on a story broken by the Missoula Current, the Missoula Independent has new details on the suspension of Missoulian editor Matt Bunk, who violated company policy by bringing a gun to work. Indy reporter Derek Brouwer (formerly a reporter for the Billings Gazette) writes: “In a personal Facebook post he shared Monday with the Indy, Bunk says the incident involved an antique handgun his girlfriend recently gave him as an engagement gift. The editor says he has a concealed carry permit and often wears a gun, but forgot to remove it from his hip before entering the office one day. ‘Someone pointed it out, and I put it back in my car immediately,’ he wrote.” The Missoulian, like the Gazette, is owned by Lee Enterprises, and Brouwer points out that the “antique firearm” excuse wasn’t good enough for another editor at a Lee newspaper. Continue Reading →

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Prairie Lights: 3 cheers for state’s growing online news

MFP

Talking to Martin Kidston last week, I almost felt as though I was interviewing myself again. The former Missoulian reporter quit his job at the end of December and launched an online newspaper, Missoula Current, in early January. “I just decided I didn’t want to work for a corporate paper,” he said. “It’s a broken template, really.” (more…) Continue Reading →

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