High Country News is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit news organization that covers the important issues that define the American West. Its mission is to inform and inspire people - through in-depth journalism - to act on behalf of the West's diverse natural and human communities.
HCN has thrived for over 48 years as a nonprofit media organization. Guided by our mission to inform and inspire people to act on behalf of the West's diverse natural and human communities, the organization's primary efforts are the production of an every-other-week magazine, High Country News, and a website, www.HCN.org. In 1970, Tom Bell, a teacher, rancher, and wildlife biologist, founded High Country News in Lander, Wyoming, to sound the alarm about environmental destruction in the Northern Rockies.
Over the last decade, High Country News has expanded from a black-and-white tabloid serving 20,000 readers into a multimedia operation that now reaches six million people a year. The High Country News media network now includes:
1. High Country News, the flagship publication, which is printed in full-color, has over 30,000 paid subscribers, and reaches 75,000 total readers via "pass-along" sharing. More than 3,000 readers subscribe to HCN's digital edition.
2. HCN.org, our website, currently attracts nearly 450,000 pageviews each month and rising and includes free access to our 48 years of searchable archives, as well as on-line-only news and blogs to encourage more reader participation and discussion.
3. Our social media presence continues to grow, with over 65,000 Facebook likes, engaging more than engaging more than 22,000 users and reaching over 174,000 total users on that platform on average each month so far in 2018. We also have over 27,000 followers on Twitter.
Through our editorial intern program, the organization helps to seed the West and beyond with conservation- and community-minded journalists and professionals. The program, which has trained over 225 people since 1983, teaches interns to analyze complex Western issues and contending viewpoints. High Country News provides a modest stipend and housing, and in turn, the interns learn to write well-researched articles and produce multi-media pieces for the magazine and website.
HCN University, HCN's student outreach program, reaches nearly 200 professors serving over 4,000 students in a wide variety of disciplines each semester. This program provides free student subscriptions, a biweekly e-newsletter for professors, and an online librarian available to professors.
David Leonhardt of the New York Times wrote in his December 2017 list of recommended publications:
"The single most common suggestion from readers falls into the broad category of regional news: High Country News. As one newsletter reader, Suzanne, explained to me: The name is "not a reference to marijuana." Instead, "'High Country' is an older term for the Western U.S." The publication covers land use, climate, wildfires and many other issues. I started reading this week and will become a regular."
HCN received the 2018 James Beard Foundation Journalism Award for "The Teenage Whaler's Tale."
HCN also received six first-place awards and one third-place award from the Native American Journalists Association 2018 National Native Media Awards.