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Weber's New West

By - February 28, 2005


Nearly two years ago I traveled to Montana to see Jonathan Weber, a good friend and partner in the Industry Standard. Weber had set down roots in Missoula after teaching there one semester – he was planning to come back, but he met a girl, bought a house on a river, and by the time I saw him, he was settled in. Weber wanted my take on a new idea he was turning over in his mind – the creation of a regional magazine covering the Rocky Mountain area in which he now resided. I told him I was skeptical – regional print magazines are a tough road – but agreed that the basic premise of a new western ethos certainly seemed to be forming, driven by both local forces and the influx of educated outsiders drawn to the region’s beauty and promise – folks like Weber, in fact.

Well, I am tickled to see the fruit of Jonathan’s labor, just announced: New West. (Yes, Weber did call my teaching partner Clay Felker, who started another “New West” in California nearly 20 years ago, for his blessing). But this is not a print magazine- that is coming later. Instead Jonathan is building a full bore second generation blogging network covering the Rocky Mountains – Idaho, Montana, portions of Colorado, Utah and eastern Washington. As one might expect with Jonathan, the site is full of excellent reporting and strong voices. It includes elements of citizen journalism as well as strong long form. I think it’s really going places. Congratulations, Jonathan!

From the About page:

New West is a network of online communities devoted to the culture, economy, politics, environment and overall atmosphere of the Rocky Mountain West. In a time of dramatic change, New West aims to serve as a nexus of dialogue and a smart guide to the news and issues that are affecting one of the greatest places on Earth. We aim to foster a bond among communities that may be distant in geography or occupation, but share common interests and hopes for the region as it wrestles with growth and change. We stand for forward thinking about the big picture and believe that citizen engagement will be instrumental in the development of the region.

Full coverage at the Denver Post.

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