Hello readers and welcome to a new series for the website. This is an outgrowth of a file that’s been sitting in my Google Drive for months now, so instead of laboring over it for another few months I thought I’d just break out some of the more important elements. That initial post was called “What’s a Reader For?” and was going to take a look at all the sources we bring into account each day as we try to understand the world. In the age of the internet and social media I realize that could be an infinite amount so I’m trying to break it down into the sources I try to follow.
To start I thought I would mention how this has changed for me over the past few years. I try to always start via my Gmail and then go to my other ways of getting information - feedly and Instapaper and some days, Twitter. I used to try and find out about world events first, but in the last few years have since tried to shift my focus to a more local angle, finding out what’s happening in Minnesota and more closely, Minneapolis.
So, what are some great sources for finding out what’s going on in this state? Well, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention two places I have contributed to: Streets.mn and the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder. StreetsMN has been around for over a decade and covers a lot of great transportation and land-use issues and many of their contributors write for other places too. The Spokesman-Recorder is one of the oldest Black-owned newspapers in the country and focuses on all types of important issues, both here and nationwide.
Another great place to get a rundown on what’s happening is MinnPost. I try to check their “Glean” page every day as their editors find many important local stories twice a day. I have cultivated a decent relationship with one of their reporters and try to check out what he writes as often as possible. I would highly recommend checking this site out every day if you want to know what’s going on at a state level. They also have a bevy of important e-newsletters that are worth your time.
I will also shout-out two other hyper local outlets that do a great job: Sahan Journal, which covers immigrant stories (and plenty of others) and Racket, run by former City Pages staff and attempting to create a sustainable model via subscription service. And I should also mention Wedge LIVE, another hyperlocal operation (and podcast) run by a single person that tries to encompass much of Minneapolis news. (John Edwards also gave me some quotes for an article I did a few years back.)
I know I’m leaving a few outlets from this post so I’m going to do one more in the coming weeks regarding a few other notable sources in the Twin Cities. You may have noticed I’m not including places like the Star Tribune or the other local corporate news outlets. If you know my journalistic side, you’ll understand why I didn’t include them, but I won’t berate you if those are your own sources. I just don’t think they’re very good compared to the wealth of independent news places that have come about in the Minnesota area over the last decade.
But again, feel free to post comments or reply to the email regarding your own source lists. This is not meant to be exhaustive, but there’s only so much time in the day to read. As writers we need to make the most of that time in order to understand the world. Thanks for reading!
John Abraham is a published author and freelance journalist who lives in the Twin Cities with his wife Mary and their cats. He is writing a speculative dystopian novel and is seeking representation and a publisher.