In my end-of-year editorial, I stated I would not write a “year-in-review” piece because others would cover that idea better than I ever could. Nevertheless, as we ring in the New Year, it’s worth reviewing at the very least what we’ve specifically accomplished at The Dakotan in the last ten weeks of 2021.
Last year at this time, the concept of The Dakotan hadn’t even been conceived. On the one hand, nearly every North Dakotan knew that outside of Bismarck and Fargo, it had become almost impossible to read, watch, or hear much local news anymore. The consolidation of television stations under large, out-of-state media conglomerates, combined with print media’s march toward obsolescence, has made local news coverage nearly as scarce as butterflies in January.
Additionally, many North Dakotans have also realized that certain news stories go untold, or at the very least are told only on the most superficial level. The desire to reinvigorate the field of journalism, along with a hunger for more local news, gave birth to The Dakotan.
Since our launch on Oct. 25, The Dakotan has begun to make a name for itself in the Peace Garden State. Right out of the gate we covered the special session of the North Dakota legislature in November with unparalleled depth. And when dissension in the state Republican party began to reach a boiling point in mid-December, we were there, covering not only the initial events in depth, but much of the early fallout as well. We were the only news outlet to provide any deeper-than-superficial coverage to the Minot School Bond Election and its results.
Not content to be pigeonholed as a “politico,” we also covered the effects of local, statewide, and national policies on our communities, especially as it related to federal vaccine mandates on health care workers and mask mandates on students and teachers.
On the lighter side of life, we’ve held true to our goal of giving a voice to many small towns across North Dakota, featuring some of the sights and the people that make up our beloved state. From Maddock to Tioga, from Powers Lake to Granville, from Garrison and Mohall and Kenmare to Bottineau and Minot and Parshall, we’ve covered quite a bit of North Dakota’s territory, and we hope to get out and cover even more geographic ground, featuring more inspiring North Dakotans, in the year ahead.
On the subject of inspiring North Dakotans, we recently introduced our very first One on One with The Dakotan podcasts, featuring Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-ND. We plan to continue these one-on-one podcasts in 2022, not only with other political figures, but also with a variety of North Dakotans who have blessed our state.
In the past month, we’ve introduced a few columnists into our stable of writers as well. Charlene Nelson, Fargo, has been educating us on personal preparedness. Geremy Olson, Washburn, has been sharing outdoor lessons for the real world, and Charlie Adams, Mohall, has brought the farm into your home via The Dakotan. And from the beginning Kim Fundingsland, Minot, has been sharing his broad expertise on the news, outdoors, you name it.
The Dakotan even dove into sports and entertainment in late 2021. Jason Spain has already begun to share stories about players and coaches who have proudly represented their schools and their sports. In 2022, The Dakotan aspires to become the go-to site for high school sports scores across the state of North Dakota. Keep your eyes peeled for that announcement.
In a similar vein, we have been highlighting special entertainment events and opportunities. From symphony to ballet to panoramic documentary, and from the latest technological advances in indoor golf to the excitement of the North Dakota State Poker Title Tournament to the thrill of a saltwater fishing vacation, we bring you a broad variety of topics that describe life in North Dakota.
In 2022, please like and share our posts on Facebook, subscribe to our YouTube channel, and visit The Dakotan on the web every day for your latest Real, Honest, Local news. You can even download our app directly from our mobile website. Help The Dakotan bring back “local” into news coverage.