Where to get your rural news

In the current media climate, there is a lot of conversation about urban-rural divide, and plenty of thinkpieces published and pundits willing to go on air and talk about what it means. We’re committed to those stories, including rural voices in our Artists with Impact, supporting the Public Transformation story sharing project, and covering events like the Rural Arts and Culture Summit – the next one is this summer, June 6 – 8, 2017 at the University of Minnesota, Morris.

If you’re looking for resources to go deeper into the rural narrative – and connect with actual rural communities, not just the echo chamber – here are some of our best media resources.

The Center for Small Towns – The Center for Small Towns is a community outreach organization operated through the University of Minnesota, Morris. The Center prides itself on meeting the needs of small towns and organizations through a flexible, multi-faceted, community focused approach.

The Daily Yonder – The Daily Yonder has been published on the web since 2007 by the Center for Rural Strategies, a non-profit media organization based in Whitesburg, Kentucky, and Knoxville, Tennessee. The Daily Yonder covers breaking news, commentary, and reports from rural correspondents, bloggers, and photographers, including special reports with overviews of the big issues facing small communities — health, employment, broadband access, education, and economic development.

Dakotafire – Dakotafire is a magazine and online writing collective covering rural issues in North and South Dakota. Dakotafire was established in 2011 with the goal of sparking a revival in the Dakotas and beyond by encouraging conversations that help rural residents rethink what’s happening and what’s possible.

USDA Blog – The blog at the United States Department of Agriculture offers extensive writing on Federal policy and actions, as well as writing about trends and best practices in farming, conservation and rural development initiatives. It is regularly updated around important issues like the Farm Bill.

National Rural Assembly – The National Rural Assembly is a movement of people and organizations devoted to building a stronger, more vibrant rural America for children, families, and communities. Participants in the National Rural Assembly include grassroots service and development groups, state and regional networks, and national associations focused on key rural policy areas such as health, education, community development, and conservation.

Vision Maker Media – Vision Maker Media exists to serve Native producers and Indian country in partnership with public television and radio, working with Native producers to develop, produce and distribute educational telecommunications programs for all media including public television and public radio. Check out their podcasts and movies!

Center for Rural Affairs – For more than 40 years, the Center for Rural Affairs been engaging people around rural policy and development issues to build a better rural future.

Niijii Radio – Based in White Earth, MN, Niijii Broadcasting provides independent news and information for an independent nation to promote social environmental and economic justice.

National Native News – National Native News provides listeners with relevant, timely coverage on Native American and Indigenous communities. The program began in 1987 and is currently produced in Albuquerque, New Mexico. NNN appeals to radio listeners who are engaged in the world around them and who seek out a broader range of viewpoints.

Appalshop – Appalshop was founded in 1969 as a project of the United States government’s War on Poverty.The organization was one of ten Community Film Workshops started by a partnership between the federal Office of Economic Opportunity and the American Film Institute, and has grown to produce theater, music, spoken-word recordings, photography, multimedia, and books.

Art of the Rural – Art of the Rural is a collaborative organization with a mission to help build the field of the rural arts, create new narratives on rural culture and community, and contribute to the emerging rural arts and culture movement.

Dig Deep – Dig Deep is a feature of KAXE, community radio in Northern Minnesota, highlighting issues of rural towns, policy and cultural changes, and new directions.

Next Generation – Next Generation is a partnership around rural creative placemaking, led by Art of the Rural, the Rural Policy Research Institute, and the National Endowment for the Arts. The work includes a conference and conversations in Minnesota, Iowa and Kentucky.

Rural Design – The Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design™ (CIRD) provides communities access to the resources they need to convert their own good ideas into reality. CIRD works with communities with populations of 50,000 or less, and offers annual competitive funding to as many as six small towns or rural communities to host a two-and-a-half day community design workshop. Their newsletter is a great resource!

Have other resources? Add them in the comments below!

Above: Jetsonarama‘s “Gamma Goat” installation on the Navajo Nation.