We’re trying something new this year. Starting from scratch, rewriting the magazine, both literally and figuratively.
Since 1958, a dedicated group of University of Montana students has worked with professional journalists to learn the ins and outs of magazine production, collaborating to produce the Montana Journalism Review, a magazine dedicated to examining the state of the media across Montana and the Western United States. Last year, the School of Journalism decided to put the creation of the magazine in the hands of its scholars (and one or two professors to enter grades). This is the first issue of our new magazine, written and produced entirely by students.
Choosing a new name was much harder than we anticipated. Naming our magazine meant creating a home in which every story we produce for this publication, present and future, will live forever. We wanted something to encapsulate everything we stand for: thoroughly reported stories, intrepid storytelling and thoughtful coverage of Montana and the West. But the name also needed to be timeless and work with future themes.
Byline is loaded with a meaningful history. Bylines, which credit journalists, didn’t appear until the American Civil War. Because articles were written anonymously, some partisan journalists were spreading the “fake news” of the day by reporting inaccurate battlefield casualty numbers. Bylines allowed the public to hold reporters accountable.
The theme of our inaugural issue reflects the title’s history. We decided to report stories that hold those in power and society at large accountable. Everything that appears in this issue concerns social and environmental justice issues in Montana and the West. At its core, journalism is about shedding light on truths that need to be told.
We have a responsibility to society to answer difficult questions and pursue stories that produce positive change. In the following pages, you’ll meet veterans, organic farmers, an immigrant, Native Americans, criminals and victims, and homeless people, whose stories of injustice reflect issues found all over the country.
Thank you for joining us in this inaugural issue of Byline. Here’s to many more.
By Samantha Weber and Suzanne Downing
Samantha Weber | Managing Editor
Suzanne Downing | Deputy Managing Editor
Heather Fraley | Senior Editor and Director of Ad Sales
Writers and Copy Editors
Assistant Copy Chief
Assistant Art Director
Social Media Editor
Social Media Videographer