By Melody Kramer, Wikimedia Foundation
(Melody Kramer leads audience growth and development for the Wikimedia Foundation and frequently works with journalism organizations on projects related to audience development, engagement, and analytics.)
In February 1942, The Atlantic published an essay by Arthur Morgan, a civil engineer and educator who had previously served as the first chairman of the Tennessee Valley Authority. Morgan argued that all Americans should care about the future of struggling small towns, which he said had become “orphan[s] in an unfriendly world … despised, neglected, exploited, and robbed.”
I first learned about Morgan’s essay on The Rural Blog, which highlighted Brian Alexander’s homage to Morgan in a “featured post,” noting that it was a “fascinating read worth your time.” It was, and I’ve found that to be a consistent theme with the topics and issues that Rural Journalism posts about on a daily basis: The curated collection of stories by and about rural America, from mainly journalists who live and work in small communities, has been worth my time.
The Rural Blog turned 10 earlier this year, and I wanted to find out what Al Cross — who directs the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues — thought about the changing media landscape, rural coverage since the election, and how he manages to stay on top of seemingly hundreds of stories on a daily basis. Our conversation is below.