New West promises "a network of online communities devoted to the culture, economy, politics, environment and overall atmosphere of the Rocky Mountain West" -- and delivers.
With editors based in Boulder, Salt Lake City, Livingston and Missoula, Montana, and a bloggy design that embraces community comment and citizen journalism throughout, New West is a welcome new voice. Founder and Editor in Chief Jonathan Weber, who impressed me in 2001 with this article about the intellectual opportunities made possible by [Big] Western culture, knows what he's doing.
Weber also appears to be working with the right team--witness Courtney Lowery's layered primer on the latest attempt to develop a ski area in the shadow of Lolo Peak. Not a story you can tell without, well, a user's knowledge of the Bitterroot.
That's my official position. Personally, as I sit here in the last pair of boots I bought at Western Outfitters and hatch my plan to age into one of those little old lady skiers Lowery describes, I'm just amazed to be able to catch up so authentically on what's happening at home. Goodbye, random, quasi-patronizing, almost-coverage of celebrity ranches, religious colonies and beasties. Hello New West.