Simplified: The local news landscape in Sioux Falls is seeing legacy, corporately-owned media outlets shrink as startup, locally-owned news outlets grow. The latest example is The Dakota Scout, a new print and digital newspaper that launched this week.
Why it matters
- The local news scene in Sioux Falls reflects what's happening nationally. A "Project Oasis" study published last spring showed that between 2010 and 2021, the number of digital-native local news outlets in the country jumped from about 120 to more than 700.
- Many of these local news founders – including yours truly and other local Sioux Falls startups – have a background in legacy media outlets and a desire to find a more sustainable business model for local news.
- Sioux Falls has seen three new local news sites in the last two years, including Pigeon605, Sioux Falls Simplified (hi!) and – launched this week – The Dakota Scout, which offers both a print and digital newspaper.
"No one knows a local audience like publishers who live and breathe the local market, which is why it’s encouraging to see local news entrepreneurship," said Jodi Schwan, publisher of SiouxFalls.Business and Pigeon605. "I hope the community continues to support it as strongly as I've experienced it."
Tell me more about the new newspaper
The Dakota Scout was founded by longtime Argus Leader journalists Joe Sneve and Jonathan Ellis.
Their goal is to create an independent print and digital newspaper focused on politics, government and culture.
"We're just two guys," Sneve said. "But we want to be the go-to for political and government journalism."
- The free print product comes out weekly, and full stories on the website are available for paying subscribers for $5 per month.
- They also want to go out of their way to support fellow local businesses in the process, from buying business cards to printing their newspaper.
The Dakota Scout print edition is also already forming partnerships with other local independent news outlets and local writers.
- SiouxFalls.Business shares local business stories in the weekly print edition of The Dakota Scout.
- Sneve and Ellis also said they plan to feature other writers including local historians and political columnists.
"It's become apparent that legacy media, by and large, are not getting the job done ... in terms of staying with the times," Ellis said.
Nice. Ok, and is this story also independent local news?
Sioux Falls Simplified launched in early 2021 with the goal of bringing smarter, easier local news to town.
- It's owned by me, Megan Raposa, another former Argus Leader journalist. (Forgive the first- to third-person switch. Writing about myself is weird).
In the last year and a half, this publication has brought more than 500 local stories through 90 email newsletters.
- And, last fall, Sioux Falls Simplified was a finalist for LION Publishers' "New Publisher of the Year" award.
How can I support locally owned local news?
You're already doing it by reading this right now. Look at you! (Now, go tell your friends).
If you want to support The Dakota Scout, you can learn more on their website and start a subscription.