MTPR

Derek Brouwer

Missoula Independent sign.
Josh Burnham

The Missoula Independent newspaper that hit the stands last week will be its final edition.

Lee Enterprises announced Tuesday it has shut the paper down nearly a year and a half after buying the alternative weekly.

Missoula Independent sign.
Josh Burnham

Staffers at the Missoula Independent newspaper say its parent company, Lee Enterprises, is threatening to gut the alternative weekly. Monday, the paper turned to its readers for help.

The Missoula Independent’s staff unionized earlier this year, making it one of only a handful of union papers now owned by publishing giant Lee Enterprises.

Missoula Independent sign.
Josh Burnham

Staff at the Missoula Independent weekly newspaper voted unanimously this afternoon to unionize.

A year ago, Lee Enterprises bought the Independent. Iowa-based Lee owns papers across 21 states, including in Billings, Butte, Helena and Missoula.

Derek Brouwer of the newly formed Missoula News Guild says unionizing will protect the Independent’s editorial and stylistic independence.