Tang Jinglei follows Indy reporter Jessica Mayrer

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I went to the Missoula Independent, a free weekly alternative newspaper in Missoula. My assignment was to follow veteran reporter Jessica Mayrer, who often tackled complicated and controversial stories. In the most recent Missoula Independent newspaper, she wrote an environmental story about  legal struggles over water resources in Montana’s Flathead Valley.

For next week’s issue, she is gathering materials about the courts and the legal problems divorced couples have over such controversial problems as parenting, money and property. I followed her to interview an attorney for West Montana Bar Association, who knows about such things.

After that I attended the newspaper’s weekly planning session, which is supervised by editor Skylar Browning. Reporters and editors shared their thoughts about the stories they were following and hoping to finish for the next issue.

On the second day Jessica and I went to court and attended a hearing on some of the family problems she is interested in learning about. Unfortunately, the couple involved didn’t show up, so we interviewed the judge instead about  problems with the family law. It was a great experience.

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