Today, Grist and the Center for Rural Strategies are proud to announce the launch of the Rural Newswire, a website to support the rural U.S. news ecosystem. 

The Rural Newswire was created to help newsrooms that serve rural communities by providing a platform to both find and share stories that can be republished for free. Editors can use the Rural Newswire to source stories to syndicate, and they can also upload links to their own coverage. As part of this project, together the Center for Rural Strategies and Grist are providing $100,000 in grants to report on rural America. The grants are open to both newsrooms and freelancers.

“As we saw rural reporting across the U.S. declining because of media consolidation, we organized a team of journalists and started the Daily Yonder, an online newsroom to fill the gaps,” said Dee Davis, president of the Center for Rural Strategies. “But there is still plenty to do. We are committed to the sustained work of building new civic infrastructure and lasting relationships with rural publishers and audiences.” 

Local journalism in the U.S. remains at a crisis point: Newsrooms that existed for decades have vanished or are at risk of disappearing. At the same time, there are urgent crises — including both climate change and the threat to democracy itself — that make the need for communities to receive information all the more critical. Thanks to a grant, both organizations came together to create a resource to address the decline in rural coverage.

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“Climate change is an all-hands-on-deck issue, and responding to it will also involve a pretty massive cultural shift — one that can’t be achieved by only serving climate news to audiences on the coasts,“ said Grist CEO Nikhil Swaminathan. “Rural communities are experiencing the impacts of climate change through increased flooding, hotter temperatures, and more, but many times they’re also people who can be on the front line of the changes we need to take hold, from how rural electric cooperatives generate electricity for their members to regenerative agriculture practices that can cut down on carbon. We’re proud to partner with our friends at the Center for Rural Strategies to strengthen the information, including climate information, reaching the U.S.’s rural communities.”

The Center for Rural Strategies and Grist are also proud to work with the Institute for Nonprofit News, home of the Rural News Network. The Rural News Network is a consortium of more than 60 nonprofit and nonpartisan news organizations, and reflects the broadest news alliance reporting on rural America. INN, Grist, and the Center for Rural Strategies will work together to feed content to Rural Newswire and coordinate efforts to support rural media.

“Rural Newswire is yet another valuable investment in newsrooms serving remote populations across the country. It’s an awesome resource for editors to share quality coverage with their audiences,” said Jonathan Kealing, INN’s chief network officer.

Grist is a nonprofit, independent media organization dedicated to telling stories of climate solutions and a just future.

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The Center for Rural Strategies is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving economic and social conditions in the countryside through creative and innovative use of media and communications. The Center is the publisher of the Daily Yonder, a leading national news  platform for news and information about rural people, places, and issues.