“But as a reporter, it’s kind of like you get a little bit exhausted and tired of feeling very extractive when you just parachute into a town and talk to the three people you need to talk to, you know, maybe a couple others on background and then leave,” he said. “I wanted to move more slowly and talk to people I wouldn’t otherwise see in a car, cruising down a highway at 80 miles an hour.”
He thought it might be too crazy of an idea but pitched it to see what his editor would say.
“And luckily enough, I have a crazy enough editor that lets us do insane things like that,” he said.
The project comes at a time when Concannon believes journalism has never been more important.
“But it’s also a time when people aren’t listening to each other, right? And that’s what Nate’s doing,” she said. “He’s going around some very different communities around the region, you know, small ranching communities, small rural communities, agricultural communities, wealthy ski towns, college towns. And he’s listening to people and then telling us about what he’s hearing.”
Across the Great Divide is a deep dive into rural America in the Mountain West, where there are many and growing news deserts.
“And so it’s a way for us to get into these communities and listen to them and tell their stories, and as I said, listen to what they’re worried about, what their concerns are,” Concannon said.