Alternative sources proliferate throughout Montana’s media landscape

Bret Anne Serbin

Noticing a lack of local coverage after she was laid off from a reporting job at the Great Falls Tribune, Jenn Rowell launched her own newspaper in 2017.

The Electric covers upgrades to Malmstrom Air Force Base’s C-130 fleet, new library curriculum standards at the Great Falls Public School District and the city government’s appeal of a drug testing policy lawsuit. She focuses in particular on government activity, because she believes the dwindling mainstream outlets don’t seem to be covering those happenings. Maintaining robust local coverage is “critical to a good community,” so she doesn’t use a paywall for any of her content.

“That’s a big gap here,” Rowell said. “This stuff’s important. People need to know about policies, budgets, etc.”

But running a paper single-handedly has its challenges. At the height of its influence as a statewide newspaper in the 1990s, the Great Falls Tribune fielded a newsroom of 43 full-time journalists and a dozen part-timers. Today, the Gannett-owned newspaper has two reporters on staff.

People are also reading…

Take a look at a bucking bronc, a giant snowdrift, a long gone mansion and more.

View Source