Note: This is an updated version of the editorial that appears in the July/August 2016 issue.
We at Dakotafire Media are making changes in how we distribute our content—changes that we think, overall, will make us a stronger company and better able to do our central work: in-depth, solution-focused journalism that helps rural places thrive.
End of most newspaper partnerships
First, starting with the September/October issue, we will no longer distribute the magazine by inserting in weekly newspapers unless we’ve been able to find a sponsor in that community.
This change is a sad announcement for us, as it also means the end of the formal editorial partnership we’ve had with those newspapers. We’ve very much appreciated that connection to rural Dakota communities. Unfortunately, this distribution model isn’t working financially without grant funding. We still hope to work with area journalists on some stories, but we won’t be connecting as regularly.
We have sponsorship agreements in Arlington, Hoven, Ipswich, Roscoe and Redfield. Those communities will continue to receive the magazine through the rest of their sponsorship periods, and beyond, if they choose to renew. We would welcome sponsorship by organizations, businesses or individuals in other communities; the cost is $3.50 per household per year.
If you would like to ensure that your household continues to receive Dakotafire, regardless of whether a sponsor is found in your community, we invite you to subscribe ($25/year or $40/two years). You can do so at dakotafire.net/getfiredup.
You can also subscribe to the online version of the magazine, which has the same content as the magazine plus much more, at dakotafire.net/digital-issue-login.
Second, the format of the printed magazine will change. We love our horizontal format, but switching to a portrait format will allow us to print more efficiently.
Change is often hard, but even then, there is often opportunity in it. We have a couple other changes in the works that we’ll announce when they are closer to ready—changes we are pretty excited about.
UPDATE: We are pleased to announce the third change: We’re launching a new publication with a new distribution model.
Introducing Spark magazine
Spark magazine will be a sister publication to Dakotafire—a bimonthly coming out about two weeks after Dakotafire is distributed. It will include some of the same content from Dakotafire magazine, including the popular Community Spotlight feature, plus some content adapted to appeal to busy but community-minded people outside of our usual rural demographic. Spark will be distributed for free in community gathering places (coffee shops and restaurants) all over eastern North and South Dakota—including our cities. We hope to also include some puzzles or activities for people to enjoy as they wait for their coffee or meal.
We are pleased at the potential that this new publication offers for expanding our conversations about rural challenges and possibilities into the more urban places in our two states.
Advertisers will get the most bang for their buck by advertising in both Dakotafire and Spark magazines. Those interested can find more information on our rate sheet. We’re also giving business owners an incentive to try out advertising in these two publications—see details here.
We are working one more significant change, to be announced in coming weeks. This one is also getting us energized.
One thing that will not change is our mission: Dakotafire Media is still sparking a rural revival in the Dakotas and beyond by encouraging conversations that help people rethink what’s happening and reimagine what’s possible.
Thanks, readers, for all you have done to enrich those conversation up to the present! Let’s keep them going into a brighter future.