Amplifying the stories and experiences of practitioners from rural communities and Native nations is key to fostering a truer narrative about America’s rural people, places, culture, and economy. Tuning into media sources that originate from these places can reflect the most accurate rural narratives when much of the discussion relies on incorrect data, tropes, and opinions uninformed by rural experience.
This is critical to the Thrive Rural Framework, which notes the necessity of Accurate Rural Narratives and Rural Voice in Design and Action to ensure that communities and Native nations across the rural US are healthy places where each and every person belongs, lives with dignity, and thrives.
There are many great media sources out there, and this is not an exhaustive list. Please contact us with more that should be included!
Ten Rural Media Sources:
- High Country News
- High Country News is an independent, reader-supported nonprofit media organization that covers the important issues and stories that define the Western United States. Their mission is to inform and inspire people to act on behalf of the West’s diverse natural and human communities. Twitter: @HighCountryNews
- Indian Country Today
- Indian Country Today (ICT) is an independent, nonprofit news enterprise with a mission to serve Indigenous communities with news, entertainment, and opinion. ICT was founded as the Lakota Times newspaper by Tim Giago, Oglala Lakota, on July 9, 1981. The publication was based in Pine Ridge, South Dakota. Twitter: @IndianCountry
- Investigate Midwest
- Investigate Midwest is an independent, nonprofit newsroom with a mission to serve the public interest by exposing dangerous and costly practices of influential agricultural corporations and institutions through in-depth and data-driven investigative journalism. Investigate Midwest collaborates with college journalism programs, nonprofit news organizations, citizens, and media outlets. Investigate Midwest is a member of the Institute for Nonprofit News. Twitter: @IMidwest
- Mountain State Spotlight
- Mountain State Spotlight is an independent, civic news organization that tells stories of importance to West Virginians about the issues and challenges facing our communities. With a team of seasoned editors and aggressive reporters, Mountain State Spotlight illustrates how public policy decisions affect real West Virginians and lift up the voices of those who might not otherwise be heard. Twitter: @MtnStSpotlight
- Ohio Valley ReSource
- The Ohio Valley ReSource is a regional journalism collaborative reporting on economic and social change in Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia. With founding support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, seven public media outlets across the three states have partnered to form the ReSource in order to strengthen news coverage of the area’s most important issues. Twitter: @OVReSRC
- Southerly [paused operations]
- Southerly is an independent, non-profit media organization that equips communities in the South facing environmental injustices with the journalism, resources, and information they need to make their communities more informed, equitable, and healthy. Twitter: @SoutherlyMag
- The Storm Lake Times
- The Storm Lake Times is a twice-weekly county seat newspaper in northwest Iowa, which published its inaugural issue on Friday, June 29, 1990, with a full-time staff of just three persons in a 20-by-20 foot one-room office at 521 Michigan Street. It is the only locally-owned newspaper in Buena Vista County. Twitter: @SLTimes
- The Daily Yonder
- The Daily Yonder provides news, commentary, and analysis about and for rural America. It is published by the nonprofit, nonpartisan Center for Rural Strategies. The Daily Yonder operates independently from other Rural Strategies projects and personnel in making editorial decisions. Twitter: @DailyYonder
- The News Reporter
- The News Reporter, founded in 1896, is a Pulitzer Prize-winning media company in Whiteville, NC. It continues to be recognized as one of the top community newspapers in North Carolina and is expanding into other publications and digital media, including digital newsletters and 954 and Flourish magazines. Twitter: @NRnews_NC
- The Rural News Network
- The Rural News Network is a consortium of 59 nonprofit and nonpartisan news organizations developing the broadest news alliance reporting on rural America. These newsrooms are pursuing coverage that provides a more complete picture of what it means to live in rural America today. Check out this interactive map featuring rural news organizations in each state.
Additional recommendations from partners and friends:
- Black By God
- Black By God is a community-led news organization that aims to provide a more nuanced portrayal of the Black Experience in West Virginia and Appalachia. Their name is a riff on the colloquial phrase West ‘by God’ Virginia that claims a unique place in central Appalachia. They note their target audience is Black West Virginians but readers across Appalachia, the West Virginia diaspora, and those concerned about the integrity of media information in American media will find great value.