West St. Paul Reader is highlighted prominently in the latest episode of the En Route podcast talking about hyper-local news. The hour-long episode features an interview with yours truly, the founder and editor of West St. Paul Reader, Kevin D. Hendricks.
My conversation with host Dennis Sanders covers a range of local journalism topics, from how West St. Paul Reader started to funding models for community news. I also talk about the partisan divide and how it impacts local news and also talk briefly about my latest book, Better Politics Please.
We cover the lack of local news coverage:
“So unless your city was on fire, the Twin Cities media wasn’t going to cover us.”
How the national partisan divide impacts the local:
“We’re in this weird partisan space where everything is hyper divided and it’s hard to know facts. … It’s almost like the bottom drops out because you don’t know what’s going on in your community down the street, so it’s hard to have any sort of anchor.”
Sanders asked why some of these local stories about community members matter:
“These stories of what individual people are doing—that is our community. That’s our people. … A high school student doing [a softball clinic], leading the charge on that is just an inspiring story of our community coming together. I mean, talk about hope—hope for the future and where things are going.”
Wider Local Journalism
It’s always interesting to be part of the wider conversation about local journalism, so I’m grateful for the opportunity to talk with Sanders.
Since Sanders is originally from Flint, he talks briefly about the Flint Beat, a local journalism project that launched in 2017. Here’s a fascinating interview with founder Jiquanda Johnson, which gives you a much broader perspective on hyper-local news from a more established and larger effort.
The hyperlocal journalism of West St. Paul Reader only happens with your support.