March 2, 2021

Steve Andrist worked as executive director of the North Dakota Newspaper Association until his retirement in December. His family’s community newspaper legacy in the state dates back to the 1910s.

The state association moved aggressively to protect its 86 newspapers in the early days of the pandemic. Using about $350,000 from an endowment, the association created a grant program that benefited almost every paper to help keep community reporting going. Furthermore, a newspaper advertising project promoted the importance of credible news during the pandemic.

“The purpose was to distribute an important message on the value of good news,” Andrist said. “The side benefit was that newspapers were able to get some revenue back that they had been missing from other sources.”

Listen to the oral history interview:

 

Read the transcript.

See the North Dakota Newspaper Association’s newsletter from March 2020.

See the North Dakota Newspaper Association’s newsletter from April 2020.

See the North Dakota Newspaper Association’s newsletter from May 2020.

See more from The Essential Workers, an oral history project tracking the experiences of locally owned newspapers in Mid-America during the pandemic.

Support high-integrity, independent journalism that serves democracy. Make a gift to Poynter today. The Poynter Institute is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, and your gift helps us make good journalism better.
Donate
Teri Finneman is an associate professor of journalism at the University of Kansas. She previously worked as a print journalist and multimedia correspondent covering state…
More by Teri Finneman

More News

Back to News