MTPR

Missoula Independent

Supporters of the Missoula Independent protest the paper's closure in front of the Missoulian building in Missoula, September 11, 2018.
Josh Burnham

A crowd of around 100 people gathered outside the Missoulian late Tuesday afternoon to protest the abrupt closure of the the Missoula Independent.

Demonstrators wielding brightly colored signs congregated on a corner as passing cars honked their horns to show support for the now-defunct Missoula institution and its staff.

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.

Staff at the Missoula Independent weekly newspaper will formally vote Friday on whether to unionize.

A year ago the Missoula Independent was bought by Lee Enterprises, which owns nearly 50 papers across 21 states, including in Billings, Butte, Helena and Missoula.

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