Town Square Television and The UpTake create new partnership
March 3, 2023 - Inver Grove Heights, MN – Town Square Television, an award-winning regional community television and video production facility, is proud to announce a strategic partnership with The UpTake, a nonprofit news organization focused on using community journalism as a tool to build racial and social justice. The two organizations share some common goals, but each brings a unique strength, which leverages the other partner for improved mission outcomes for their communities.
Town Square Television is a stalwart of the northern Dakota County community, providing local video content and production facilities for its seven Member Cities since 1987. News has been a strong part of this programming, but the amount of local production has been limited by available funding and training dollars. The UpTake began in 2007 as a volunteer journalism effort, to teach citizen-journalists how to bring more stories to the public. The UpTake has a long history of expanding coverage of the Minnesota Legislature, but partnering with Town Square Television provides access to video production equipment and networks not previously available to its journalists-in-training.
The first phase of the partnership includes two primary efforts between January and May of 2023. Live legislative proceedings from the Minnesota Capitol are now available on TST’s local Government Channel 19 for Comcast Xfinity subscribers, focusing on committees and issues especially relevant to the seven-city area. And a new series of FREE training workshops will be hosted at the TST facility teaching basic community journalism skills combined with video production tools.
“This is the perfect time for our two nonprofits to join forces,” said Jodie Miller, Executive Director of Town Square Television. “Our two missions can help bring more local coverage to the residents of our service area, and facilitate more local grassroots reporters-in-training who may add video production skills to their toolbox.”
"The UpTake is very excited for this collaboration with Town Square Television,” said Dr. Cirien Saadeh, Executive Director of The UpTake. “The UpTake is committed to using community journalism as a tool to build racial and social justice. We also believe that community journalism is a tool that we must all have access to. The UpTake uses these training workshops to welcome students into our organization and to support these student reporters in becoming community journalists-in-training. Leveraging this collaboration will help us reach more community members and to provide an even more well-rounded community journalism education."
Residents of northern Dakota County will learn about reporting on local topics and the availability of the public access video services of Town Square Television to produce and distribute their stories. Adding more structure from the journalism side, as well as tactics to reach audiences via both Town Square Television and The UpTake’s networks, will expand training, content and viewership opportunities for supporters of both organizations.