Montana Free Press empowers citizens and strengthens Montana’s democracy by serving as an independent watchdog that reports on the most important issues facing the state.
Montana Free Press fills the investigative reporting gap created by the decline of statehouse news bureaus and diminished corporate investment in watchdog journalism. We do this by cultivating well-informed sources, studying arcane bureaucratic processes, seeking out dark corners of major institutions, digging deep into data, and holding those in power accountable to the people. Our journalism appears in newspapers throughout Montana.
How we help:
Montana Free Press exists because declines in the newspaper industry have made the kind of journalism MTFP’s specialize in too expensive and too time-consuming for most traditional newsrooms. Rural areas, in particular, are losing access to in-depth reporting and analysis that helps them better understand their state and make better decisions about their collective future.
MTFP is a new kind of reader-supported, nonprofit journalism that puts the focus on the reporting and seeks to keep Montanans across the state informed on the issues that matter most.
A key part of MTFP’s mission was to make high-quality news reporting freely available to as many people as possible. Because not everybody gets their news on smartphones, tablets, or computers, we allow news organizations across the state to republish our stories for free. We believe their readers deserve to be informed on issues of statewide importance.
In addition to the tens of thousands of Montanans who read our stories each week on our website or in our newsletter, more than 800 MTFP stories were printed in 53 hometown newspapers across the state in 2020.
Those numbers demonstrate that the work we’re doing — work that you support — is having a huge impact. We are giving Montanans in places like Boulder, Lewistown, Philipsburg, Roundup, and Ekalaka access to in-depth reporting on the economy, environment, health, education, state government, the Legislature, and elections that they otherwise wouldn’t have
Montanans all over the state are better-informed thanks to 3100+ readers who help fund this critical work.