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The Missoula Independent Was Bought Out by Lee Enterprises

Photo courtesy of Jon King
Photo courtesy of Jon King

The Missoula Independent is no longer on its own. The local paper has been bought up by a common name in the Montana newspaper world.

“As of today [April 13], Lee Enterprises is the owner of the Independent and they’ve rehired the entire staff in their current positions at their current wages,” said Publisher and President of the Independent Matt Gibson. “It’s business as usual, basically. All of the services and content and style and personality that people are accustomed to should be the same as before.”

Lee Enterprises also happens to own The Missoulian, which means both local papers are under ownership by the same company. Gibson was asked if the ownership by an outside source would challenge the paper’s “independent” nature.

“We had a little internal discussion about that as well,” Gibson said. “I would hope that when people talk about independent journalism they are talking about the character and quality of the journalism: that it’s smart and courageous, mischievous and not beholden to interests beyond the truth and integrity of the reporter… and that’s not going to change.”

Gibson says the new injection of funds into the Missoula Independent will help the paper and that “the Missoulian and the Independent will be much stronger working in cooperation than in competition.”

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