A Team of Journo Punks

Issue #19

"Independent" or "freelance" has proceeded almost of all my titles. Writer, musician, community music teacher, journalist. I've consistently chosen the freedom of steering my own ship over the comfort of being part of a pre-established system. I don't think this is a virtue or a vice. It just seems to be how I'm wired.

But I'm also wired for human connection. I love learning from other people, laughing with them, being challenged by them. I do like my solitude, and need decent-sized chunks of it in order to generate my best work. But I haven't chosen this indie route because I want isolation. Quite to the contrary, one of my biggest dreams is to be part of a smart, sparky team, in which everyone is contributing ideas and feels actively engaged in making something we believe in. I think that's how you're most likely to end up with a product you can feel proud of and a process you've really enjoyed. That's what I want.

And right now, thanks to Team Threshold, I'm getting a taste of that. A truly phenomenal group has formed around this show and I want to take a moment to highlight their contributions. Here's a brief rundown on the crew:

Zöe Rom and Nick Mott are graduate students at CU Boulder, Jackson Barnett is an undergrad. They are running social media, giving feedback on drafts, creating the website, making videos, mapping bison herds, editing my 1,000+ photos, writing press releases, fact checking, assembling an outreach list, planning a release party, helping me think through endless questions, figuring out what our next series will be about (and the next one after that), experimenting with new ideas, the list goes on and on. We're calling them interns but they feel like staff. (Minus a paycheck though. If you'd like to help provide some compensation for them, please donate to the project on Patreon by clicking the yellow button below.)

Montana Public Radio contributed start-up funds, is helping to promote the show, and (big reveal!) will be airing Threshold in February. (Yes!) I've loved this station from the moment I pulled into Missoula in late 1999, and I'm very proud to have their support. Huge thanks to News Director Eric Whitney and Development Director Linda Talbot for initiating this collaboration, and to Online Editor Josh Burnham for providing tons of technical support, strategic thinking, project planning/coordination, cheerleading, feedback and more. There are others to thank at MTPR but at the risk of just naming the entire staff, I'll leave it at that for now.

Travis Yost is making the music. And it's super rad.

Stef Koehler made our logo. Also super rad.

Ross Taylor, a photojournalist and professor here at CU, is giving feedback on drafts and is helping with the website.

And there are others!

After Threshold launches, my main job will be to get the funding in place to take this project to the next level. And that's all about people, that's all about the team. Anything that's going to have an impact, anything that's going to last, anything that's going to grow and develop and live up to its potential takes a team. It takes people. People who need to be paid. I knew that already, but my experience with this particularly wonderful team is helping me to really know it.

I want it all -- collaboration and independence, the community of the newsroom and the freedom of the freelancer. In short: I want to lead a team of journo punks. I think we can create that here at Threshold HQ. I think maybe we already are.

High Five, Team T.

Next meeting? Trust falls.

~ Amy