From St. Paul to Guatemala, Laos and beyond – Round Earth Media redefines journalism in a digital age

by Tristan Pollock

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RoundEarthMediaAs the practice of journalism through traditional media outlets continues to experience obstacles that could result in complete collapse, there are numerous entrepreneurial initiatives sprouting up across the nation to fill the void. Round Earth Media is a perfect example of how and where twenty-first century journalism can be effective during our transition from legacy to new media.

Round Earth Media was founded six years ago by two veteran journalists, Mary Stucky and Mary Losure. This is not your typical news source. While Stucky and the Board of Directors reside in Minnesota, they operate via completely virtual means. That means no office, no local news room and contributors spread across the globe.

The telecommuting allows journalists to cover important local issues with global implications normally missed by the mainstream media. “Journalism is good at today’s — not every day’s — news,” said Stucky. “We are investing in the next generation, as well as ourselves.” And that not only means the next generation of journalism, but the next generation of journalists.

Round Earth gives special attention to developing 25- to 35-year-old writers. These younger writers are paired with experienced journalists and sent on assignments around the world. They’ve covered everything from the environmental implications of gold mining in El Salvador to Hmong culture throughout Minnesota (the latter which helped Stucky win a Peabody award).

Round Earth’s award-winning, high-quality stories have been broadcast on major public radio and TV stations nationwide. The W.K. Kellogg Foundation has also taken notice and provided a capacity-building grant to scale the organization even further.

Round Earth operates as a nonprofit and is constantly exploring new transformational models for sustainable global journalism, including innovative entrepreneurial and media collaborations.

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