Communications and Media
Montana may be remote, but you can use your cellular phone pretty much anywhere in the state. However, in more remote areas, the cell networks are often analog, not digital. Newer digital-only cell phones won’t be able to pick up a signal. Most towns have a business with a fax machine you can use. Public libraries usually have computers for public use, including Internet and e-mail connections. Larger towns have business centers with computers, e-mail and Internet connections, and fax machines.
The only national newspapers you can count on finding in Montana are USA Today and (to a more limited extent) the Wall Street Journal. Regional daily papers include the Billings Gazette, the Great Falls Tribune, the Butte Standard, and the Missoulian.
Regional newspapers do a poor job of reporting national and international news. If you don’t want to lose touch with the outside world, your best bet are the various National Public Radio affiliates across the state. These public radio stations are indicated in the text, usually under the Information heading. Translator stations carry public radio to pretty remote parts of Montana, so if you are hungry for Morning Edition or All Things Considered, try scrolling around the bottom end of the FM radio dial.
If you want to read up on Montana on a monthly basis, check out Montana Magazine, a high-quality monthly devoted to history, travel, and culture in the state. If you can’t find it on your newsstand, contact the magazine for a subscription at P.O. Box 5630, Helena, MT 59604-9930, 888/666-8624, www.montanamagazine.com.
© W.C. McRae & Judy Jewell from Moon Montana, 7th Edition