News has an unusual beat: ‘the West’ (or, as editor Greg
Hanscom points out, more than a million square miles, half of which
are public parklands).
It has an unusual financial structure: Subscriptions and
donations to a nonprofit research fund make up 70 percent of the
budget. And it has an unusual style: independent not only from
advertisers and other moneyed interests, but also from the
progressive community that forms its principal readership. ‘We’re
not beholden to anyone,’ says Hanscom.
A go-to source for coverage of the West’s public lands (policy
makers and big-city reporters rely on the paper’s in-depth
reporting), High Country recently installed a younger
staff and redesigned itself as a smarter, more serious alt-biweekly
of the West-and began to take more risks. ‘We’ve thrown our readers
some serious curveballs,’ says Hanscom (who stepped down in
November), covering, for example, Mormon Polynesian gangs in Salt
Lake City and a heroin epidemic in New Mexico. ‘A lot of
publications aim to make their readers comfortable,’ he explains.
‘We intentionally throw our readers off balance. We’re constantly
poking holes in their assumptions. It’s great!’
Subscriptions: $37/yr. (24 issues); 800/905-1155;