Grist and the Center for Rural Strategies are excited to share the stories produced from the $100,000 in grants that were awarded last year to newsrooms and freelance reporters. The effort was part of the Rural Newswire project, a content-sharing service to support the rural U.S. news ecosystem, which both organizations launched in 2023. As part of the grant, these stories now live on the Rural Newswire website.

“These reporting grants showcase the power and potential of rural journalism,” said Tim Marema, vice president at the Center for Rural Strategies and editor of the Daily Yonder, the rural news platform published by the center. “The impressive work of these organizations can drive continued investment in news and media that support a healthy democracy.”

“We’re so pleased by the quality of stories and the incredible breadth of topics the grantees were able to cover,” said Katherine Bagley, Grist’s executive editor. “This was an amazing opportunity for us to be able to partner with the Center for Rural Strategies to support reporting on and in rural communities, areas that have often experienced an exodus in news coverage.”

Atmos Magazine (Cameron Oglesby and Tatum Larsen)

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Nourishing Roots in the Birthplace of Environmental Justice

Capital B (Aallyah Wright)

Digital Redlining and the Black Rural South

How Black Rural Americans Navigate Internet Issues

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Flatwater Free Press (Yanqi Xu, Evelyn Mejia, and Destiny Herbers)

Who’s Buying Nebraska? Corporations, investors grabbing giant chunks of Nebraska farmland

The top single buyer of land in Nebraska? The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Foreign companies are deeply involved in Nebraska agriculture, but not how you think.

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The water beneath Nebraskans’ feet boosts value of land

Bill Gates spent $113 million on Nebraska farmland

Three Native tribes are done losing land. Now they’re buying.

What’s going to happen to Ted Turner’s massive chunk of Nebraska land?

Why are tech giants buying up costly chunks of suburban Omaha and Lincoln?

KYUK (Emily Schwing)

A year after Typhoon Merbok, some coastal Alaskans struggle to find subsistence foods

Hooper Bay’s dunes, home to the community’s cultural history, are slipping into the sea 

Hooper Bay families displaced by Merbok could be without housing by the end of October 

Coastal communities look to the future one year after Typhoon Merbok 

A year later, Hooper Bay families displaced by Typhoon Merbok still don’t have a permanent solution

A year after Typhoon Merbok, Newtok’s infrastructure continues to decline as residents push forward on relocation

Kids find ways to ‘play out’ in coastal communities recovering from Typhoon Merbok

Subsistence gear lost during Typhoon Merbok still litters the tundra in Western Alaska

Minnesota Reformer (Madison McVan)

Sugarland: Inside Minnesota’s massive, powerful sugar industry

The Moab Times-Independent (Doug McMurdo and Sophia Fisher)

The nexus of housing, local policy and the state

‘Being on the defensive’: cities, counties see constraints on housing efforts

The state of Moab’s housing in 2023

To build housing, build rapport — and focus on the region

Nashua Digital and the Granite State News Collaborative (Anthony Payton)

Opioids in New Hampshire – Ms. Jaye Brewer

Opioids in New Hampshire – Ms. Jodi Newell

Opioids in New Hampshire – Frontline view

NCPR (Emily Russell and Zach Hirsch)

Episode 1: Far-right extremism is thriving in rural areas. Here’s what it looks like in Upstate NY 

Episode 2: How one Upstate NY sheriff’s oath led him down a far-right path 

Episode 3: A sheriff was recruited to a far-right group. Now he’s reconsidering 

Episode 4: This NY man went to prison for Jan. 6. Today he’s even more convinced he’s right 

Episode 5: We investigated the far-right in the North Country. Here’s what we found

Bonus Episode: New York’s top security official on the threat of domestic extremism

The NewsLab at Kent State with Ideastream

Norfolk Southern deploys high-speed inspection portal near East Palestine. Some say more is needed

Crews removed tons of contaminated soil from the East Palestine derailment. Here’s where it went

East Palestine, neighboring communities still bear the psychological weight of the derailment 

East Palestine train derailment reveals need for more first responder training 

After East Palestine derailment, efforts to improve railroad safety regulations creep along 

palabra with Northwest Public Broadcasting (Lygia Navarro and Johanna Bejarano)

What Recovery?


Public Health Watch, The Texas Observer, and The Daily Yonder (Jordan Gasse-Poore)

Uninsured Country: Affordable Health Care Eludes Many Family Farmers and Ranchers

The Spokesman-Review (James Hanlon and Orion Donovan Smith)

Even after the pandemic, broadband is critical for rural education. $1 billion won’t be enough to reach everyone in Washington.

With internet subsidies drying up, Eastern Washington broadband users call on Congress to replenish funds

Pomeroy School District hasn’t had a music teacher for nearly four years | The Spokesman-Review

The Standard-Journal (Matt Jones)

Eyes in the sky: Area fire departments operate drone task force

Strength in numbers: How the Warrior Run Area Fire Department was born

Tone Madison and Barn Raiser (John McCracken)

Bio-cash: How a cow-powered, controversial fuel ingests Wisconsin clean energy dollars 

Wyofile (Katie Klingsporn and Eda Uzunlar)

Moms and babies navigate risks in Wyoming maternity care desert

Rural Wyoming is losing OBs. Those who remain are spread thin.

Critics: Hospital owner’s actions exacerbated OB shortage

Before fixing Wyoming’s maternal health gaps, agencies aim to understand them

As nearby maternal care dwindles, tribal clinics build it up

Sara’s story: One woman’s birthing trials underscore broader challenges