Montana Newspaper Association

Montana Newspaper Association MNA represents member newspapers across the state of Montana. We are committed to advancing and sust Since 1885, Montana’s newspapers have joined together in solving mutual problems, facing industry wide issues and defending the Freedom of the Press and the public’s right to know about our government.

88 newspapers make up the Montana Newspaper Association.

Polices are set by the Boards of Directors of the Montana Newspaper Association and the Montana Newspaper Advertising Service, acting as an extension of the entire membership. The Montana Newspaper Association brings a wide range of special services and benefits to our Professional Membership:

Influence government policies and engage in legal advocacy to protect open government, free speech and m

Polices are set by the Boards of Directors of the Montana Newspaper Association and the Montana Newspaper Advertising Service, acting as an extension of the entire membership. The Montana Newspaper Association brings a wide range of special services and benefits to our Professional Membership:

Influence government policies and engage in legal advocacy to protect open government, free speech and m

Fellow MNA members and friends, I am writing to ask you to please support the Montana Newspaper Foundation’s fundraising...
2018 MNA Convention | Montana Newspaper Association

Fellow MNA members and friends,

I am writing to ask you to please support the Montana Newspaper Foundation’s fundraising activities at the annual convention this June in Billings. There are a couple of different ways you can do this. Firstly, you can donate an item to the live or silent auction. Items that reflect the history and character of your community or your newspaper are particularly valuable. Secondly, you can attend the association functions that support the Foundation and bid generously on auction items. If you are unable personally to attend, I would greatly encourage you to delegate this task to one of your staff members and send them with the authority to bid and take part in the fundraising effort.

The Foundation supports the cause of journalism and the newspaper industry in Montana every year in many ways. The Foundation awards five $1,500 grants to member newspapers to hire summer interns, who provide much needed vacation relief and bring a new, cutting-edge perspective on the industry to those papers. The Foundation also awards journalism scholarships totaling $6,000 to students at the University of Montana School of Journalism, helping these bright, young people master the skills they need to work as professional journalists in today’s fast-changing industry. And the Foundation is proud to recognize the Montana High School Journalist of the Year with a $1,000 scholarship. The Foundation through the years has also helped fund market and demographic studies on industry benchmarks that newspaper owners have used to benefit their businesses. These are just a few examples of how the Foundation works to help Montana newspapers survive and thrive in today’s challenging business climate.

Please consider supporting the Foundation at the convention with an auction item, a direct cash donation, or by sending a bidder (or two) to the events. Contact Stacy Wirtz, MNA Business Development Director at (406) 443-2850 or [email protected]. Stacy will be happy to help with suggested auction items.

For the complete schedule of activities and registration form for the 133rd MNA annual convention, please click on:

Thank you,

Melody Martinsen, board president
Montana Newspaper Foundation

Home – 2018 MNA Convention Plan to join the 133rd MNA Annual Convention on June 15 & 16, 2018 at the Big Horn Resort in Billings. The Convention Schedule: 2018 MNA Convention Schedule The Registration Form: 2018 MNA Convention Registration Form


MNA Members and Friends,
We hope you join the 133rd MNA Annual Convention on June 15 & 16, 2018 at the Big Horn Resort in Billings.
Covering our Communities …. Past and Present
The Convention Schedule: 2018 MNA Convention Schedule

The Registration Form: 2018 MNA Convention Registration Form

William “Dick” Crockford II, 65, of Dillon, Montana, passed away last night.A respected stalwart of the region’s newspap...
Brundage Funeral Home

William “Dick” Crockford II, 65, of Dillon, Montana, passed away last night.
A respected stalwart of the region’s newspaper industry, Crockford had served as the publisher of the Dillon Tribune since 2007. Active in the Montana Newspaper Association for 35 years, he was elected as its president in 2007 and earned distinction from it as a Master Publisher and Editor in 2009.
Prior to coming to Dillon, Crockford worked for five years as the editor and publisher of the Big Horn County News in Hardin. He lived before that in Anaconda for 13 years, working for seven and a half of those years as editor of the Anaconda Leader. He also served as editor of the Shelby Promoter after acting as farm editor for a pair of Idaho newspapers.
He remained active in the Catholic Church throughout his life, volunteering for the Catholic Youth Coalition and teaching confirmation classes to high school juniors and seniors for Anaconda Catholic Community for a dozen years.
Crockford was born in Los Angeles, California, on May 2, 1952, and grew up in Fort Benton.
He is survived by his wife, Debbie, and by his three daughters, Heather Boese, of Butte, Montana, Theresa Unbehend, of Taylorsville, Utah, and Rebecca Combs, of Fort Myers, Florida.
Arrangements are pending and a guestbook available online at

Brundage Funeral Home | Funeral & Cremation Services for Dillon, MT - Residents



The MNA office will be closed on Friday, 9/22 as we attend the MNA and MNAS board meetings in Great Falls. We look forward to being of service and to return phone calls and emails on Monday, Sept 25.

Gold Gives Birth to Western Montana Following quickly on the heels of Lewis and Clark, fur trappers flocked to what woul...

Gold Gives Birth to Western Montana

Following quickly on the heels of Lewis and Clark, fur trappers flocked to what would later become Montana Territory. Canadians came within months of the Corp of Discovery. In fall 1807, Finian McDonald entered the northwest corner of the state and built the Kootenai Post near present day Libby. In November 1809, David Thompson established the Saleesh House on the Clark Fork River near Thompson Falls. Others, like the legends Jim Bridger, John Colter, James Kipp and Manuel Lisa, came later.

Thompson, probably the first white man to see Flathead Lake (the Indians called it Salish), explored much of this untracked wilderness and mapped the Missoula area from the top of today’s Mount Jumbo or Waterworks Hill while there was snow on the ground. His maps of the region were remarkably accurate.

The trappers were not settlers; they just passed through the country. Fur trading prospered until about 1840 when the colorful era of the mountain man began phasing out, leaving behind a mostly negative legacy that included degradation of indigenous peoples and a depletion of a resource that saw profits flow to only a few.

Catholic priests soon entered the region, establishing missions such as one at St. Ignatius in 1854 and later in the Bitterroot at St. Mary’s.

In western Montana, gold was the basis of the first permanent white settlement. The initial discovery was recorded in the spring of 1858 at Gold Creek, just east of Drummond, by brothers Granville and James Stewart, along with their partner Reece Anderson. In July of 1862, a gold rush to Montana started based on news of an initial big strike at Grasshopper Creek by John White. Bannack, the first territorial capital of Montana, given that distinction on May 26, 1864, was born. As word of this and other finds reached the eastern United States and Europe, would-be miners crowded onto the steamboats, coming up the Missouri River to Fort Benton and then ventured overland to the gold camps of western Montana. Others trailed north from the fields of Colorado, Nevada and California that had boomed in the 1840s and 1850s.

One year after Bannack’s beginnings, more than 2,000 people had moved into the creek bottom and surrounding hills. The population included some of the most famous characters of the Old West, as well as a collection of outlaws. Amongst these infamous individuals was Sheriff Henry Plummer and his gang of road agents. Their kind brought on the formation of the Vigilantes by the citizens of Bannack and nearby Virginia City to deal out frontier justice.

In May of 1863, a find in Alder Gulch – 45 miles northeast of Bannack – proved to be the largest of all of Montana’s gold strikes and spawned Nevada City and Virginia City. The treasure in Bannack played out, and in 1865, Virginia City became the second territorial capital. In that period, 10,000 people massed into the rugged area.

In July of 1864, “the Four Georgians” out of Virginia City discovered colors in today’s Last Chance Gulch, and Helena came into being. By 1875, this “gold town” took on some permanence and replaced Virginia City as the territorial capital. In 1889, Montana was granted statehood and Helena became the permanent capital. And while gold was still king in the 1880s, Helena had more millionaires per capita than any place in the country. Records show there were 50.

Many other rich “boomtowns” grew out of the frantic search for the yellow metal, as well as from silver discoveries. Granite, Elkhorn, Confederate Gulch, Diamond City, Montana City, Garnet, Coloma, Horse Prairie Creek, Southern Cross, Pony and Marysville were but a few of the legendary camps.

The period of the 1860s through the 1880s was a turbulent and wild time in Montana. But by the 1890s, gold began taking a secondary role to copper, and Butte became a major town and producer of the metal. Considered one of the most prolific mining districts in the world, Butte earned the title “Richest Hill on Earth.” In the late 1880s, it was also a prominent producer of silver, a byproduct of copper.

The miners and their needs attracted merchants, and soon, cattlemen came to feed them. Big ranches, many still operating today, were established. Communities sprung up in northwest Montana a little later as a result of the railroad and the timber industry taking hold. While some gold and silver were found in the northwest part of the state, most mining was confined to the southwestern gulches and valleys. As the precious metals played out, most of the towns surrounding the mines withered away. Only a few of the first settlements, including Butte and Helena, prospered and lasted.

Today, the hills and mountains of western Montana harbor many relics of the boisterous mining days. Discovery pits, old mine shafts, collapsed buildings and ghost towns serve to remind us of western Montana’s beginnings.

Rick and Susie Graetz
University of Montana
Department of Geography

Photo: Aspen leaves turn gold along Grasshopper Creek below present day Bannack, the location of Montana’s first major gold strike. (Photo by Rick and Susie Graetz)

This year we mark the 77th anniversary of National Newspaper Week (NNW), October 1 - 7. The annual observance celebrates...
National Newspaper Week – October 1-7, 2017

This year we mark the 77th anniversary of National Newspaper Week (NNW), October 1 - 7. The annual observance celebrates and emphasizes the impact of newspapers to communities large and small all over.

Materials for NNW will be available for download at on Monday, September 25. Reminders will go out in coming weeks, but please mark your calendars now and make plans.

The NNW content kit will contain editorials, editorial cartoons, promotional ads and more, all available for download at no charge to daily and non-daily newspapers across North America. NNW is sponsored by Newspaper Association Managers, Inc., the consortium of North American trade associations representing the industry on a state and provincial, regional and national basis.

This year’s theme is “Real Newspapers ... Real News!” The aim is to applaud and underscore newspaper media’s role as the leading provider of news in print, online or via mobile devices.
National Newspaper Week participants will be able to download materials and are encouraged to devote as many column inches as possible to reinforce the importance of newspapers to your communities.

Many publishers and editors also editorialize about their newspapers' unique relevance. This can be about your government watchdog role, coverage of community events, publication of timely public notices, etc.

Since the principle is timeless, the materials, new and archived, remain on the website and accessible year-round as a continuing resource.

Thank you for supporting National Newspaper Week. And if you haven't taken part in previous years, please plan now to do so in October.

National Newspaper Week 2017 This year we mark the 77th anniversary of National Newspaper Week (NNW), October 1-7. The annual observance celebrates and emphasizes the impact of newspapers to communities large and small all over. Material will be available for download beginning Monday, Sept. 25. The...


Peter Johnson ends 40-year career at the Great Falls TribuneBy Jo Dee Black , Great Falls Tribune  After almost four dec...

Peter Johnson ends 40-year career at the Great Falls Tribune
By Jo Dee Black , Great Falls Tribune

After almost four decades, Peter Johnson’s chapter at the Great Falls Tribune as a reporter is ending.
Johnson, who grew up in Helena, earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Montana and a master’s degree from Northwestern University Evanston, Ill. He joined the Tribune in July 1977.
“I was hired as a general assignment news reporter, but filled in on the sports desk that summer first,” Johnson said. “The first three weekends I worked at the Tribune I was on the road covering golf tournaments because publisher Bill Cordingley was a huge golf fan.”
During his tenure, Johnson covered government beats, politics, the military, education and most recently business.
“In the late ’70s and early ’80s, the national economy was in tough shape. And in Great Falls, we lost the smelter in Black Eagle and Malmstrom Air Force Base lost a major North American Aerospace Defense Command mission and there was worry that the existing land-based nuclear mission could be shut down,” Johnson said. “Great Falls had lost its self confidence.”
Local military supporters backed schemes in the late 1980s for a Midgetman Missile that would shift small nuclear missile around on large trucks and another failed plan to land the proposed Venture Star plane/space ship at Malmstrom. They ultimately landed a refueling plane at Malmstrom for several years and later the REDHORSE mobile engineering unit.
Watching the community pick itself up and grow, with a lot of assistance from private, volunteer efforts in projects such as the River’s Edge Trail, the McLaughlin Research Center and the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center, was rewarding, he said.
“People from all walks of life came together and made those projects possible,” he said. “And as a reporter, I got to witness history and describe it.”
Johnson has interviewed national and state politicians and celebrities as a reporter, along with business executives of national companies, such as Charlton Heston, President George H.W. Bush, Vice President Dan Quayle and his wife Marilyn Quayle, and regional native Gerald Molen, a producer for Steven Spielberg, who brought a screening of the second Jurassic Park movie to Great Falls to benefit McLaughlin Research.
He covered the dramatic 1992 square-off between liberal western Montana Democrat Pat Williams and conservative Republican Ron Marlenee when Montana lost one of its two U.S. House seats.

“That was always interesting, but it was equally rewarding to interview local politicians and small-business owners, such as the young folks who recently bought the American Bar in Stockett,” Johnson said.
One of his favorites was Paul Pistoria, a Great Falls Democratic legislator and gadfly at Great Falls City Commission meetings.
“Pistoria displays the tenacity of consumer advocate Ralph Nader, fighting the little guy’s fights for years on such down-to-earth issues as opposition to new-fangled garbage containers or a company that chains barrels to overparked cars,” Johnson wrote in a 1985 profile. “He exhibits the snooping ability of investigative reporter Jack Anderson, periodically uncovering embarrassing goof-ups that local government would just as soon keep to themselves.”
In his classic style, Johnson’s profile also included that Pistoria, with a reputation statewide as an eccentric fierce fighter for causes he was passionate about, had a softer side, nurturing 162 rose bushes and bringing flowers to friends, shut-ins, hospitals and others.
“There were a lot of people who didn’t like him, but Paul was very popular with the working class,” Johnson said.
“Peter may be moving on, but the deep Montana knowledge and reporting skills that he instilled in other Tribune staffers will remain,” said Tribune Publisher & Editor Jim Strauss, who worked with Johnson for 22 years. “So often when a story would break, Peter would provide perspective from Montana’s past and direct other reporters to sources and background that added context and depth to our coverage.
“I will miss that, but I will miss his humor and gentlemanly style even more,” Strauss said. “He was a great reporter who loved good journalism, Great Falls and Montana. That showed in every story he wrote.”
Johnson is a well-prepared, persistent watchdog journalist, holding government and other officials accountable for their actions.
In the 1980s a Great Falls city manager who openly disliked the press, denied repeatedly that he and others were discussing salary increases at an early morning meeting that Johnson attended and wrote about.
“I had made one little error in the story and he kept blasting me about that, but what was really happening was that he and others were trying to push through an ‘under the radar’ raise, as the mayor told me years later,” Johnson said. “It was a good reminder as a reporter about the lessons I learned in journalism school.”
More frequently, Johnson’s well-earned reputation as an ethical journalist has meant countless people have trusted him with tips on everything from government shenanigans to business developments.
“That was always nice, to know that people trusted you, it felt good,” Johnson said.


We look forward to you seeing you at the 132nd MNA Annual Convention in beautiful Lewistown, Montana on June 16 and 17.

Please click on the following link for the most recent convention agenda and registration form.

A couple of key dates:

May 15: Deadline to receive the MNA guest room discount at the Yogo Inn, (406) 535-8721 or, be sure to mention the MNA Annual Convention
May 26: Deadline complete and email your convention registration form to [email protected]


825 Great Northern Blvd, Ste 202
Helena, MT


(406) 443-2850


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Help Locate Dan - Volunteers group created. Looking for "on the ground" people to help search in the Montana area. If you can help ask to join the group if you are on the ground in MT.
Got any photos from Veterans Day weekend in Jordan? I missed out this year.
Our trailer was vandalized yesterday afternoon while parked outside Western Chick, in front of fence. Most likely driver of red pickup kicked our license plate lite off and damaged storage box, will avoid your town in future and tell others to as well.
Like RMEF Montana today to follow our conservation efforts to ensure there are always elk and other wildlife for everyone to enjoy!
Follow this link to learn more:
On behalf of Michael Charles, Moonlight Label would like to thank the Wibaux Pioneer-Gazette for the press release and their support for Michael Charles' upcoming performance May 22 at the Beaver Creek Brewery
Montana author pens book about the connection between nutrition and mental health:
i think the world would be a better place with no racism i know every one said the war between races are over but i still go to school and feel like people still hate each other over the color of skin i don't think they should show videos on the native and white people war because it makes people hate on one another again i mean white people did a lot of stuff in the past so did natives i think everyone was in the wrong in the past no one was in the right and the fighting over land its just land we all live on this earth and were all people trying to live our lives in this world but bringing up the past isn't gonna change anything its just gonna make things worse i think that's whats gonna rune us in the end i don't think anyone should be judge on the color of there skin or how they act or look as i said were all beautiful people trying to make it in this world and reservations shouldn't be called reservation as i said its just land we all live on it and still calling that brings up a bad past for everyone i think we should all look ahead for a better future not look and think on the past :)
Here’s your chance to make a real difference by taking the time a reading this information and agreeing to put it on the 2016 Presidential ballot.

The American promise is simple: Human beings are endowed with equal, fundamental rights. We safeguard those rights by establishing a government that is accountable to all the people, with limitations and balances to prevent the kind of systemic corruption we now see before us today. It’s time to turn to the great American tool of self-government: we have power as “We the People” to amend the Constitution and restore that promise.
Only a constitutional amendment can overrule the Supreme Court. Ultimately the power of our government resides in “We the People” and the framers of the constitution who gave us Article V, which is the power and mechanism to amend, when necessary, the United States’ guiding document. Giving way to vote to add a 28th Amendment to the United States Constitution on the same ballot as our 2016 presidential election which reads as follows with (5) points to consider:

"Congress shall make no law that applies to the citizens of the United States that does not apply equally to the Senators and Representatives; and, Congress shall make no law that applies to the Senators and Representatives that does not apply equally to the citizens of the United States." CONGRESS SHOULD LOSE THEIR CURRENT HEALTH CARE SYSTEM – and participate in the same health care system they designed for our American citizens that they claim can’t afford health insurance. Explaining away the reason why American citizens who could afford health insurance lost theirs.

The SJRes 19 junction should be passed. It is an example of how Americans can exercise their constitutional right without repealing the First Amendment but instead strengthening it. The SJRes 19 junction would protect ordinary citizens’ from being inundated by rich and powerful means and allow Congress and individual states to regulate the raising and spending of money in elections.
This would also allow our elected Congressional officials to make democracy the same for all Americans.
If a speech is bought by money then the “Freedom of Speech” does not really exist.
As it stands, all legislation passed to limit corporations and big $$$ influences in our elections should simply be ruled ‘unconstitutional’.

3. ENFORCE TERM LIMITS - 12 years only, (2) terms of six years for Senators and (6) terms of two years for representatives with a 12 year gap before being re-elected again and starting the process all over. This would better allow American citizens to understand and view more clearly how each and every congressional official cast their vote on individual’s issues that they agreed to represent and process if elected.

In addition to that…

Instead Congressional pay should be based on the Consumer Price Index or 2.5%.
A Congressman or woman should only collect a salary while in office and receives no pay when they are out of office unless they create their own retirement plan at their own expense.

All contracts or pending legislation created in 2015 and in the future from present Congressmen and women should be addressed on a single political website that American citizens can go to and review on a state by state basis giving information regarding - Health Care, Medicare, Social Security, IRA’s, Pension Plans, etc… before and after being passed into law.

It only takes 3/4TH of the State Legislatures to pass this amendment into law...AN AMENDMENT SUCH AS THIS WOULD BE CONSIDERED VETO PROOF AND CAN NOT BE APPEALED BY THE SUPREME COURT.

Congress has brought this upon themselves!

Congressmen and women are making contracts for themselves not for the average American citizen.

Serving in Congress should be an honor, not a career and there should never be a reason for a governmental shutdown – EVER!!!

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