ST. PAUL, Minn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Minnesota Public Radio News (MPR News) today launched a new e-book, “Fighting for An American Countryside,” which explores the work being done by civic leaders and everyday people to reinvent rural living in Minnesota. A culmination of a three-year reporting project by MPR News Ground Level reporter Jennifer Vogel and editor Dave Peters, the e-book showcases the small, local efforts made by farmers, entrepreneurs, artists, immigrants and others to revitalize and transform their communities for the 21st century. The e-book describes the work of a dozen people to make their hometowns more economically vibrant, culturally inclusive and politically relevant. From the waters of the North Shore to the prairies of southwest Minnesota, “Fighting for An American Countryside” profiles residents of Lutsen, Bemidji, Baxter, Hewitt, Long Prairie, Morris, Hancock, Milan, Montevideo, Redwood Falls and Northfield.
“Over the past three years, while traveling to small towns across Minnesota, I have been stunned by the dedication and drive shown by people working to breathe life into once-abandoned Main Streets, empty industrial parks, forsaken rivers and vacant schools,” said the writer, MPR News reporter Jennifer Vogel. “Many of these people are building real futures for their towns, one bucket of paint or field of organic tomatoes at a time.”
Dave Peters, the editor, says that the most exciting part of the project was combining multimedia to tell this important story of the millions of Minnesotans who live outside of the Twin Cities metro area. “We have Jennifer Vogel’s strong reporting and writing combined with evocative video storytelling and graphics and, ultimately, the voices and faces of Minnesotans who are putting their shoulders to the wheel,” said Peters. “We were able to take advantage of technology to break some ground for Minnesota audiences.”
Chris Worthington, managing director of news, says that MPR was uniquely capable of delivering such a sweeping account because of its statewide reach. “Yet the stories in this e-book can be found from all around rural America,” said Worthington. “MPR News was able to give voice to these imaginative, tenacious and indefatigable Minnesotans who are imagining a new rural American landscape.”
Ground Level is an MPR News project providing news analysis, information, connections and conversations on important topics in Minnesota communities. It’s supported by funding from the Bush Foundation.
The e-book is available for free download at the following online retailers: iBookstore (iPad and iPhone), Amazon (Kindle), Barnes and Noble (Nook) and Vook. The e-book is also available at on the MPR News website.
Minnesota Public Radio® (MPR) operates a 44-station radio network serving nearly all of Minnesota and parts of surrounding states. Reaching one million listeners each week, MPR and its three regional services—MPR News, Classical MPR and The Current—produce programming for radio, online and face-to-face audiences. Programs produced by MPR’s parent company, American Public Media™, reach 17 million listeners on more than 900 radio stations nationwide each week. A complete list of stations, programs and additional services can be found at minnesotapublicradio.org.
Source: Data are copyright Arbitron, Inc. Arbitron data are estimates only.