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Curriculum Vitae


Jonathan P. Thompson
Durango, Colorado

Personal Details:

Date of Birth: 20 September 1970
Nationality: American

Career Objective

I offer more than a decade of experience in journalism and publishing, as a reporter, editor, writer, teacher and manager. I am a big picture thinker with a meticulous eye for details. I am an indefatigable pursuer of the truth, and a sucker for a great story.
Work Experience

Senior Editor, High Country News: Durango, Colo. (July 2012 - )

• Full time staff member of this non-profit, independent magazine that covers issues concerning the American West. I am a senior member of the editorial team and write and edit cover stories and shorter articles. 

Ted Scripps Fellow in Environmental Journalism: Boulder, Colo. (Aug. 2011 - June 2012)

• Nine month fellowship at the University of Colorado in Boulder. I attended classes in data journalism, postmodern literature, energy and the environment, science policy, contemporary art and environmental philosophy & law. My focus was on integration of renewable resources into the electrical grid, and tribal resource development and environmental justice. 

Contributing Editor, High Country News: (July 2011 - June 2012)

• I wrote and blogged regularly for the magazine. 

Freelance Writer/Journalist: Based in Berlin, Germany. (July 2010-Aug. 2011)

• I worked as a writer, reporter and editor and published feature stories on U.S. politics and the environment and globalization, immigration and integration. I also do travel writing and freelance fiction and non-fiction editing.

Editor-in-Chief: High Country News. (Nov. 2007-June 2010)

• Steered overall editorial direction – both print and digital – of this award-winning news organization with a 22-times-per-year magazine and Web site.
• Supervised a full-time staff of eight, plus four contributing editors and a large team of accomplished freelance journalists spread across the region.
• Oversaw major redesigns of the print magazine and helped push a print-centric organization to embrace the Web.
• Helped move the organization into the digital age by successfully pushing social media initiatives, multimedia projects and other Web-only projects.
• Worked with and directed several award-winning journalists on in-depth, investigative stories from conception to print; also coached and taught interns and novice journalists.
• Managed a $500,000+ departmental budget.
• Wrote dozens of short news, analysis and opinion pieces, along with a handful of cover stories.
• Demonstrated leadership, versatility, humility, an ability to motivate and work with a team and an ability to multitask.
• Moderated panel discussions on energy development, economics and indigenous issues and presented papers to natural resource and journalism conferences.

Associate Editor: High Country News, Colorado (2006-2007)

• Oversaw and edited the front of the book.
• Spearheaded and implemented a front of the book redesign.
• Wrote several shorter news pieces as well as mid-length feature stories.

Editor/Publisher: Silverton Standard & the Miner, Silverton, Colorado (2002-2006)

• Owned and operated this weekly newspaper in a high mountain town in Colorado.
• Demonstrated a wide range of skills, from reporting and writing news and feature stories, to shooting photographs, to layout and design.
• Won 18 Colorado Press Association Awards for a variety of disciplines including news and sports photography; editorial, feature, column and sports writing; and layout and design.

Editor/Publisher: San Juan Mountain Journal, Silverton, Colorado (2000-2002)

• Started and operated this bimonthly literary/environmental/news journal.
• Demonstrated an entrepreneurial spirit and ability to work proficiently in a number of disciplines while under pressure.
• Utilized my ability to learn quickly to create, from scratch, a critically and popularly acclaimed publication.

Chief Baker: Old Town Bake Shop, Durango, Colorado (1998-2000)

• Helped start and operate this successful, artisan bakery and managed a staff of five +.

Reporter: Silverton Standard & the Miner newspaper, Silverton, Colorado (1996-1998)

• Reported local news, wrote straight news and features, and did all photography for this award-winning weekly.


Bachelor of Liberal Arts (Mathematics/Philosophy & History of Science): St. John’s College, Santa Fe, New Mexico, (1989-1994)

Mastered an interdisciplinary curriculum based on the “Great Books” of Western civilization. Analyzed source texts in the sciences and humanities. Wrote extensive essays and passed rigorous oral examinations. Presented and defended arguments in a seminar setting. Studied four years of philosophy, mathematics, and language, three years of laboratory sciences, and two years of music. Served on the college search and rescue team.

Other Training/Activities

Presenter: Rocky Mountain Association of Energy Engineers conference, 2013
Moderator: Rocky Mountain Transmission Summit, 2013
Moderator: Panel: "Power Struggle" on tribes and energy development. 2010
Moderator: Panel: Crash! What happens when an energy boom collides with an amenity boom? 2010
Attendee, Nieman Seminar for Narrative Editors, 2008 (
Presenter/Panelist, National Association of Science Writers conference, 2007
Presenter/Panelist, Natural Resources Law Center, University of Colorado, Boulder, 2008 (


• First Place, Political Reporting, 2013 Society of Professional Journalists Top of the Rockies Contest
• Special Citation, 2010 Knight-Risser Prize for Western Environmental Journalism
• 18 Colorado Press Association awards between 2002-2005 for work done at the Silverton Standard & the Miner
• During my tenure at High Country News, the publication and its writers won dozens of awards, including the 2006 Polk Award, the 2008 and 2010 Hillman Prize, the 2010 Utne Reader Independent Press Award for Best Environmental Coverage, and awards from the National Association of Science Writers, Society for Environmental Journalists, and the Native American Journalists Association.

Personal Skills and Competencies

English – Mother Tongue
German – Completed Level B1.2
French, Italian, Spanish – Basic User.

Computer Skills:
Microsoft Word/Office and other word processing programs – excellent command
Photoshop, Quark, InDesign – proficient
Final Cut Express/Pro, Soundtracks and other video editing software – basic knowledge
HTML – basic knowledge
Social media (twitter, Facebook, Flickr, etc) – strong command

Magazine and newspaper editing and writing; team leadership; editorial project management; writing coaching and teaching. My journalistic focus has been on immigration, renewable energy and the environment and politics, as well as land-use planning and the economy, but I also write humor, fiction and travel pieces.

Other information:
I’m married, with two daughters. When I’m not working, I read books, write fiction, cook, eat, dance, look at art, ride my bike and take photos. My family and I lived in Berlin from 2010 until 2012. Now we live in Durango, Colorado.

References available on request. Also, see recommendations at my LinkedIn profile:

Writing samples can be found at my samples page.