Mission, Development, and Recruitment
The Rural News Network is a news publication model dedicated to supporting rural news outlets to better serve rural readers and to export rural stories of relevance to a broader audience.
The Rural News Network provides free or sliding scale supporting coverage of regional, state, and national news relevant to rural communities, developing programs to provide financial support and training for these outlets, creating an interface to share research and news content, and co-publishing with local, regional, and national publications to provide nuanced coverage of rural news to national and regional audiences.
Rural news outlets face significant capacity barriers that prevent coverage outside local politics and events. In aggregate, the absence of news sources providing consistent, in-depth coverage of issues relevant to rural readership represents a deficit in the function of journalism at a core level. The Rural News Network (RNN) aims to address this gap by supporting existing news sources through collaborative effort and co-publication, enabling relevant news such as natural resource, economic, policy, and political content to reach underserved rural audiences, informing them about the broader forces that shape their lives, and addressing a systemic gap in journalistic reach.
The RNN is working with the Trinity Journal, a rural newspaper in Hayfork, CA, and the Northern California regional editor for Digital First Media, which owns 12 daily and seven weekly newspapers from Monterey to Eureka, to pioneer a pilot publication structure. We have also secured co-publishing support from the Economic Hardship Reporting Project.
We are currently recruiting for our board and are in the process of becoming an established nonprofit. Development efforts will be supported by the California Newspaper Publishers Association and academic resources at the University of Oregon journalism graduate program. We are seeking financial support through fellowships, grants, and foundations. We are currently working with potential outlets to develop a series of pilot stories to begin in early 2018.
We are seeking partners for potential collaboration in our pilot structure, and for input that will inform our development and help us better serve rural news sources. Our goal is to grow this project into a vital source of support for rural news outlets that adds to their reach and capacity, and creates partnerships with regional and national outlets that will allow rural issues to be better represented in mainstream media. If you would like to learn more or participate in this exciting project, contact me, project founder and director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.