SAINT PAUL, November 27, 2017 – Twin Cities PBS (TPT), one of the most innovative public media organizations in the country, has received a $500,000 capacity–building grant from the Otto Bremer Trust to launch “One Greater Minnesota,” a new initiative aimed at informing, engaging and connecting Minnesotans around issues that affect communities across the state.
Support from the grant will enable TPT to strengthen and grow the impact of its flagship public affairs program, Almanac. Now in its 33rd year, Almanac is recognized – by viewers, policymakers, educators and others – as a pillar of responsible and trusted public affairs journalism. Specifically, funding supported the hiring of a full time dedicated journalist who will lead all reporting for “One Greater Minnesota,” focusing in particular on the topics and issues that affect communities across Greater Minnesota.
TPT is happy to announce, that after a considerable search, they have hired Kaomi Goetz as the full-time reporter dedicated to the initiative. Goetz grew up in rural, small town Minnesota and has extensive experience covering rural and regional topics in the Midwest. She is also a Fulbright Scholar having spent the past year in South Korea exploring issues of identity and culture. Goetz will begin work with “One Greater Minnesota” on December 4, 2017.
“Leveraging the power, reach and impact of Almanac, “One Greater Minnesota” is designed both to inform and to engage people across the state,” said Brendan Henehan, executive producer of Almanac. “There are deep and abiding interconnections among people and communities across Minnesota. Our communities are changing, but they are connected.”
TPT’s vision for “One Greater Minnesota” is to create an ongoing initiative that engages a broad, statewide audience in learning more about the many ways Minnesotans are interconnected, fosters civic participation and cultivates a more respectful civic environment. TPT envisions “One Greater Minnesota” as an ongoing initiative.
“High-quality journalism can inform citizens and play a role in better understanding the dynamics of issues to help them engage in meaningful ways that benefit their community,” said Charlotte Johnson, co-CEO and Trustee, Otto Bremer Trust. “We look forward to this new initiative that we believe will educate and inform community members across the state.”
In recent years, the demographics of urban and rural areas in Minnesota are becoming increasingly different: urban areas are much more diverse and home to nearly 90% of the state’s entire immigrant population. In non-urban areas, the population is not only less diverse, but also very likely to have been born in Minnesota (75%). Finally, there is a growing age divide between urban and rural communities. Not only are there higher percentages of people over age 50 in smaller towns and rural areas, but also residents are more than twice as likely as urban residents to be age 80 or older.
In spite of these changes, there are significant interconnections among people and communities across Minnesota. Almost half of the state’s manufacturing output comes from outside the Twin Cities metro area. Economic growth (and correspondingly, decline) in Greater Minnesota can and does impact the Twin Cities, affecting job growth/loss and overall business prosperity.
About Twin Cities PBS (TPT)
The mission of TPT is to “enrich lives and strengthen our community through the power of media.” As one of the nation’s leading public media organizations, Twin Cities PBS (TPT) uses television, interactive media and community engagement to advance education, culture and citizenship. Over its nearly 60-year history, TPT has been recognized for its innovation and creativity with numerous awards, including Peabody awards and national and regional Emmys.
Based in Saint Paul, MN, TPT is one of the most highly viewed public TV stations in the nation, reaching over 1.7 million people each month through multiple broadcast and online channels. The organization’s particular areas of focus include: the educational readiness of children; serving the needs and unleashing the potential of America’s aging population; engaging a new generation in the power of public media; and being the preferred media partner for organizations that align with our mission to enrich lives and strengthen community.
About Otto Bremer Trust (ottobremer.org)
Based in St. Paul, Minnesota, the Otto Bremer Trust is a private charitable trust established in 1944 by founder Otto Bremer, a successful banker and community business leader. OBT owns 92 percent of Bremer Bank and manages a diversified investment portfolio. The mission of OBT is to invest in people, places and opportunities in the Upper Midwest. Since its inception, OBT has invested more than $600 million in organizations throughout Minnesota, North Dakota and western Wisconsin.
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