by William Skink
On my way to work this morning I stopped to get some food and to grab a few copies of the last edition of the Indy we will get to see hit the stands in Missoula. The cover piece about public lands features missing puzzle pieces of an idyllic Montana landscape and the image couldn’t be more appropriate.
Being an avid consumer of local news, my options to get informed about what is going on in Missoula and Montana continues to dwindle as blogs and online news efforts go kaput. Last Best News shut down last June, and Montana Cowgirl is so lame I rarely check it anymore. Logicosity was interesting for a brief time, but it seemed there were efforts to out the author(s) who wrote under pseudonyms. I know how that goes.
After yesterday’s move by Lee and POS Matt Gibson, geared it seems to maximize the gut-punch factor, what we have lost as a community is just starting to be felt. For example, the Indy archive is no longer accessible. Apparently eliminating competition wasn’t enough for Lee. No, these corporate fuckers are erasing the Indy’s entire legacy.
When Tim Lloyd died of exposure last November, Brouwer (alerted by a tweet I put out) wrote a moving article about it. I wrote about it here, which you can still read, but the link to Brouwer’s piece now redirects to the Missoulian website.
Same obviously for the feature piece on Glacier Hope Homes put out in February of this year. I wrote multiple posts trying to bring attention to claims of abuse and mismanagement impacting homeless Veterans, and implored local media to take on what I couldn’t.
Now that piece is gone as well, so when this scammer starts up his scam in another community (Susan Shepherd, the author of the feature piece, reported he was moving to Texas), there won’t be a record of what was reported by the Indy regarding what was going on at Glacier Hope Homes.
Since Lee Enterprises only cares about profits for its shareholders, the most effective way to hit back against this corporate strategy of total annihilation is to compel/shame/boycott any business still willing to put advertising money into the coffers of this despicable corporation.
When I said this on Twitter I got a reply pointing out this strategy could hurt local businesses. Yes, I replied, that’s the point. If local businesses don’t understand why this move to literally erase parts of our community’s history should be met with a response Lee Enterprises will understand, then they really don’t deserve your business.
Where will things go from here? Will politicians like Kathleen Williams and Jon Tester say anything? How about the Mayor and City Council? We have a corporate bully retaliating against unionized local media staff, going scorched earth in our own backyard. So what are we going to do about it?
Word is still getting out about what happened. I plan on keeping a close eye focused on what transpires in the coming weeks and months, so stay tuned.
Was it union busting, or did Lee buy it with the goal of shutting it down?
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