Founded by veteran award-winning investigative and political reporter John S. Adams, MTFP seeks to uncover the truth and bring to light important news stories by studying arcane bureaucratic processes, seeking out dark corners of major institutions, digging deep into data and documents, and holding those in power accountable to the people.
Our coverage spans the Big Sky State with an emphasis on government, politics, natural resources, energy, social justice, health care, and the environment.
We work independently and in collaboration with other news outlets around Montana to produce meaningful news stories that have an impact on the lives and livelihoods of local communities.
Editorial Independence Policy
We subscribe to standards of editorial independence adopted by the Institute for Nonprofit News:
MTFP is supported by individuals and organizations who value in-depth, investigative news coverage and analysis. We are an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit news organization that retains 100% authority over our editorial content to protect the best journalistic and business interests of our organization. We maintain a firewall between news coverage decisions and sources of all revenue. Acceptance of financial support does not constitute implied or actual endorsement of donors or their products, services or opinions.
MTFP accepts gifts, grants and sponsorships from individuals and organizations for the general support of our activities, but our news judgments are made independently and not on the basis of donor support.
MTFP may consider donations to support the coverage of particular topics, but our organization maintains editorial control of the coverage. We will cede no right of review or influence of editorial content, nor of unauthorized distribution of editorial content.
Our organization will make public all donors who give a total of $5,000 or more per year. We will accept anonymous donations for general support only if it is clear that sufficient safeguards have been put into place that the expenditure of that donation is made independently by our organization and in compliance with INN’s Membership Standards.
We are committed to transparency in every aspect of funding our organization.
Accepting financial support does not mean we endorse donors or their products, services or opinions.
We accept gifts, grants and sponsorships from individuals, organizations and foundations to help with our general operations, coverage of specific topics, and special projects. Our news judgments are made independently – not based on or influenced by donors. We do not give supporters the rights to assign, review or edit content.
We will make public all donors who give $5,000 or more per year. As a nonprofit, we will avoid accepting donations from anonymous sources, and we will not accept donations from government entities, political parties, elected officials or candidates actively seeking public office. We will not accept donations from sources who, deemed by our board of directors, present a conflict of interest with our work or compromise our independence.
Major Support Provided By
Daylight Foundation – $65,000
David & Linda Cornfield – $20,000
Philip I. Kent Foundation – $10,000
Silicon Valley Community Foundation – $11,000
Montana Health Care Foundation – $10,000
Cloud Mountain Foundation – $5,000
Montana Free Press Board of Directors
Montana Free Press is led by veteran political and investigative reporter John S. Adams. Adams was formerly the Capital Bureau Chief of the Great Falls Tribune and a correspondent for USA TODAY. His award-winning, hard-hitting news stories have appeared nationally and even internationally. Adams is known throughout the state as a dogged investigator whose unbiased reporting has changed the shape of Montana politics. Adams brings that energy, enthusiasm and expertise to Montana Free Press as its founding Editor-in-Chief and President of the MTFP Board of Directors.
Jessie Schandelson is an award-winning investigative journalist, licensed private investigator, and founding director of the Montana Innocence Project. Schandelson brings her years of journalism, investigative, nonprofit and grant-writing experience to MTFP’s board as the organization’s Treasurer.
Andrew Geiger is a consultant specializing in human resource management and governmental affairs, with a focus on local and state government. He has more than twenty years of experience in working with private and public sector organizations. Geiger is a former policy analyst for the National Conference of State Legislatures, and served as Communications Director for the Montana Department of Commerce. Geiger was also former lead staff to the Montana Legislature’s Economic Affairs Committee. Geiger serves as the organization’s Secretary.
Greg Lind is a Missoula anesthesiologist and former Democratic state senator who served two terms in the Montana Legislature. Lind is a passionate advocate for transparency and openness in government and brings that passion as a founding member of the MTFP Board of Directors.
John Brueggeman is a successful businessman and entrepreneur with extensive experience in the public and private sectors. Brueggeman is the Oregon-based executive vice-president of the Motor Vehicle Software Corporation. Before that he served 10 years as a Republican in the Montana Legislature. He was first elected to the House at age 21, and went on to serve in the State Senate where he chaired the Transportation Committee.
Skylar Browning is an award-winning writer and editor, published author and communications director for one the nation’s leading multifamily real estate firms. His work has been honored by the Montana Newspaper Association and the Society of Professional Journalists, and he received an NEA Fellowship from the Arts Journalism Institute at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. Montana Baseball History, his first book, co-authored by Jeremy Watterson, was published in 2015.
Past Board Members
Editorial Advisory Committee
Charles S. Johnson, Retired Statehouse Bureau Chief, Lee Newspapers
Brad Tyer, Former Editor, Missoula Independent
Chad Harder, Photojournalist, Adventurer
Montana Free Press Advisers
Sidney Armstrong, Senior Adviser
Lawrence Pettit, Senior Adviser
Jim Rickman, Senior Adviser
We are a proud member of the Institute for Nonprofit News and an associate member of the Montana Newspaper Association.
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Advertising Acceptability Policy
Montana Free Press reserves the right to accept or decline any advertisement or sponsorship it is offered.
Montana Free Press will decline to accept advertising that it knows or believes to be misleading, inaccurate, fraudulent or illegal, or that fails to comply, in Montana Free Press’s sole discretion, with its standards of decency, taste or dignity.
Montana Free Press, like all quality publishers of original journalism, maintains a clear separation between news and advertising content. Advertising that attempts to blur this distinction in a manner that, in Montana Free Press’s sole judgment, confuses readers will be rejected.