Sahan Journal today won a national award that recognizes innovative and creative local journalism produced by public and nonprofit media organizations. The one-year-old digital newsroom provides news for, by, and about Minnesota’s immigrants, refugees, and new Americans.
The “Local That Works” contest, in its fourth year, included entries from major market public media outlets like KQED in San Francisco, as well as public service projects from Maine Public and Detroit Public Television. Sponsored by Current, the longstanding public media trade paper, the “Local That Works” competition was funded by the Wyncote Foundation.
The contest drew 133 submissions, competing for a $20,000 prize. More than 100 of these entries came from public radio and public TV stations.
Sahan Journal and four other organizations reached the contest’s final round. They include Detroit Public Television for COVID313, a series of town halls; KALW-FM, in the the San Francisco Bay Area, for Uncuffed, a radio production training program inside prisons; KQED for California Reporting Project, a journalism collaboration investigating police misconduct; and Maine Public for The Learning Space, a series of video lessons from the state’s teacher of the year winners.
The “Local That Works” winner was selected by voters who registered to attend a free virtual gala, hosted by Jenn White, the seasoned journalist and host of NPR’s 1A.
During the virtual gala, each of the finalists, including Sahan Journal, shared a video showing the backstory of their organization, the impact of their work, and how they’ve been meeting the informational needs of their communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sahan Journal’s video showed scenes of journalists covering immigrant and refugee lives in Minnesota, from a recent walkout at the Amazon fulfillment center to a public gathering of East African youth breaking the silence about the ravages of opioid addiction on the community.
Since its founding a year ago, Sahan has emerged as an innovator in the field of digital nonprofit journalism with strong community support, and a young, diverse readership. Its five-person newsroom has constantly produced stories that shed light on the lives and experiences of Minnesota’s new Americans.