Journalism exploring Montana's economic future
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The Long Streets Project


Montana, as the saying goes, is one big small town with really long streets.

The state’s communities, from Libby to Helena to Ekalaka, have plenty in common when it comes to the issues facing their future. Even so, Montana’s wide geography sometimes makes it hard for us to learn from our neighbors. Journalism is one of the best tools we have for bridging that distance.

The Long Streets Project focuses on issues and trends facing Montana’s economy: examining where Montanans can and can’t find decent jobs, investigating how public policy decisions have panned out and exploring how economic constraints shape our communities.

Made possible by a $10,000 grant from the Greater Montana Foundation, we are publishing a series of narrative and multimedia stories in partnership with the Montana Free Press starting in November 2018 and continuing into 2019. Each piece is available for free republication by newspapers and other news outlets across the state.

With the help of readers like you, we’re hoping to spur productive conversations about what Montanans can do to build a healthy economy and stronger communities. You can follow along by subscribing to our weekly-ish newsletter or chiming in on Facebook or Twitter. We’re all ears if you want to drop us a line and suggest our next story idea, too.


Montana Reporter Team


Eric Dietrich

Data Reporter

A journalist, cartographer and web developer, Eric's work combines data analysis and visualization with old-fashioned reporting. He was trained as a civil engineer at Montana State University and has covered Montana as a staff reporter and freelance writer, working for the Great Falls Tribune, Bozeman Daily Chronicle and Solutions Journalism Network Montana Gap Project.

Derek Brouwer

Project Editor

Over the past five years, Derek's incisive reporting has spanned issues ranging from K-12 education to bitcoin-powered economic development, with his specialty in-depth pieces able to remind readers of their neighbors' humanity. He graduated from Montana State University and has worked for the Helena Independent Record, Billings Gazette and Missoula Independent.


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