When she was four years old, Jayme Fraser convinced “The Ups Man” to deliver a case of construction-paper books to The Tattered Cover in Denver so she could begin her career as a novelist. Today, as a state projects reporter for Lee Enterprises’ Montana newspapers, she melds people-focused narratives, investigative reporting and interactive graphics to evaluate social and political issues. Jayme rarely travels without her Canon 7D, a companion that has documented her journalism and hiking adventures throughout the northwest and Texas flatland.
Jayme has covered higher education, nonprofits, wrongful convictions, medical marijuana, religion and governments, ranging from local and state to tribal and federal. She has interviewed teenagers as they ducked under church pews to evade gunfire, donned a blue sanitation suit to shuffle through 7,300 hens laying organic eggs in a methane-clouded barn and revealed that executive members of the Houston mayor’s staff used city funds to pay the bills of a floundering nonprofit that would eventually file for bankruptcy.
She graduated from The University of Montana’s School of Journalism in 2012 after studying multimedia storytelling and leading the Montana Kaimin, an independent campus news organization. She was a Houston Chronicle government reporter and Hearst Journalism Fellow after internships with The Seattle Times, the politics team at The Oregonian, the Missoulian and The Cody Enterprise. Jayme reported on the 2011 Montana State Legislature for a no-charge news service designed to ensure even the state’s smallest communities had access to journalism about their elected officials. Other projects as a writer and videographer won Jayme top recognition in the Society of Professional Journalists Region 10 Mark of Excellence Awards for three consecutive years, one 2010 story being named a national runner-up. In 2011, she was selected as one of the nation’s most promising college journalists for Investigative Reporters and Editors’ Campus Coverage Project.
When she’s not tapping a keyboard and or brandishing a recorder, Jayme roots for the Portland Timbers with her husband and cuddly green cheek conures. She also loves camping, watching movies, playing card games with family and eating cinnamon rolls.