Some Non-Missoula News From Missoula Media

by Travis Mateer

If you’ve been scanning local headlines in Missoula over the years, like I have, you might have noticed the creep of NON-Missoula news into the headlines.

While this phenomenon can be attributed to the decimation of local news reporting via corporate consolidation, some stories (and the timing) almost make you think something else is going on.

Last Saturday, while I was helping bring attention to new developments in the Rebekah Barsotti missing person case, the Missoulian front-paged a panel on missing INDIGENOUS women happening in New Mexico.

For some reason, the mother of Rebekah Barsotti had something to say about that.

Another story that caught my eye comes from good ‘ol Gomer, truly my favorite reporter in Missoula.

One of the things I like about Martin “Gomer” Kidston is how his misleading impressions fall apart with just a little scrutiny and web-clicking. For example, in the following article, titled Missoula Gives nets $1.2M for area non-profits in annual event, the misleading impression begins with the idea of AREA non-profits.

By describing the non-profits that benefitted from Missoula Gives as AREA non-profits, an expectation is created that they are LOCAL non-profits.

But are they?

Read the following excerpt and think about what the language conveys:

Among this year’s new nonprofits, Friends of the Children used the event to bring attention to its organization.

“We opened our doors in Missoula last year and this was a fantastic way for us to not only raise much needed funds, but it has helped us share our work with a great audience and gain new donors to our organization,” said Ben Davis, Executive Director of Friends of the Children.

The emphasis is the language which makes one think Friends of the Children is a new Missoula non-profit, but it’s not. It’s a well-established PORTLAND non-profit started by this dude:

Yeah, I get a total FRIENDS OF THE CHILDREN vibe when I look at this guy. Then, as I poke around their website, I see some excitement over getting the message out through Ellen DeGeneres:

Personally, I don’t like how Gomer is local-washing this Portland non-profit, but not-liking Gomer’s poorly executed propaganda pieces is SOP for me, and probably what got me blocked by him on Twitter.

I do appreciate Gomer’s role, though, because now I’m curious about this new organization opening its doors in Missoula.

Kinda makes me think of the Dream Center.

Anyway, thanks for reading!

About Travis Mateer

I'm an artist and citizen journalist living and writing in Montana. You can contact me here: willskink at yahoo dot com
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