Impact Report—January 2023
North Star Journey showcases culturally responsive journalism
Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) and MPR News have long had the goal of reflecting all the voices of the community. However, many of the community stories were left untold.
In March of 2022, MPR News launched a reporting project called the North Star Journey to explore and celebrate the history and culture of diverse communities across Minnesota.
Through a constellation of 56 stories and counting and dozens of voices, the project brought new understandings of the state—both past and present—while amplifying the voices of those working toward a better future for all Minnesotans. Since its inception, the North Star Journey has reached millions of people, in part because MPR presented it through multiple channels and platforms including broadcast, web, social media, podcast, video and audio segments on demand.
Initially the newsroom dedicated five months to telling two stories per week from all corners of the state. During this time, staff listened to complex community needs, recognized the power that inclusive stories shape for people, focused on culture and responded directly to the news and information needs of people across the state.
The outcome was the next level of public service journalism that furthered meaningful relationships with audiences and improved the diversity of sources.
The organization saw a need to continue this type of reporting and hired a community engagement reporter, a senior reporter, and a correspondent for the race, class and community team in the summer of 2022 to keep the project going. The team also launched a new podcast called “Untangled Roots” in June 2022. MPR News will continue to share stories with a community voice as culturally responsive journalism is imperative in achieving MPR’s mission.
Most popular web story:
Photo credit: Derek Montgomery for MPR News
Most popular video story:
Minnesota names reveal our connections, struggles for inclusion
—Brandt Williams, MPR News
1,919 YouTube views
8,900 Facebook views
13,435 Instagram views
The North Star Journey reporting project saw impressive organic digital data showing that the content resonates with the audience.
The audience spent over
Top two stories were about
Top three stories were about
Numbers reported reflect the data as of August 2022.
I am LOVING the North Star Journey pieces. Thank you for making this investment.”
– Anne, Saint Paul, MN
Having time to cultivate sources and work on stories that require some historical research has been very valuable, especially when able to do the work in an uninterrupted manner to really focus and make people feel seen and heard. I think our audiences are demanding more content like this from us and expect it, and they are also very grateful…”
– Nina Moini, MPR News Senior Reporter
Explore more ways donor support has powered MPR | APM’s mission.
Acknowledgement: North Star Journey was made possible, in part, with funds from the Legacy Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.