Bennet Goldstein, Wisconsin Watch, Mississippi River Basin Agriculture and Water Desk (Report for America)

Season 1 | Episode 158
35m | Jan 23, 2024

On this episode, we’re joined by Bennet Goldstein. Bennet covers agriculture and the environment in the heartland for Wisconsin Watch as part of Report for America. He works on the Mississippi River Basin Agriculture and Water Desk – a collaborative reporting group. He previously worked for newspapers in Iowa and Nebraska.

Bennett talked about the purpose of the Ag and Water Desk, which covers 31 states, and the 10 command-prompts that help guide the desk’s mission of covering important, impactful stories. He explained the desk’s collaborative approach

He gave examples of stories he worked on, including

- Opposition to the starting of a pig farm in a small Wisconsin town

- The pollution in Lake Superior, whose water is important to the fishing industry for the Ojibwe Native American tribe.

- LGBTQ farmers in the Midwest and how that challenges the traditional husband and wife own the farm, son inherits it stereotype. He also wrote about how doing the story changed his perception about being gay and covering what he covers.

And he shared the important (and humorous) role that gossip has played in his career path.

We hope you're inspired by this episode and others we've done recently to learn more about Report for America.

Report for America is a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms to report on under-covered issues and communities.

They are accepting applications to be part of their next reporter class through January 31st.

If you're interested, I recommend visiting their website at

And check out the video promoting the Ag and Water Desk.

Bennett’s salute: Lane DeGregory, Tampa Bay Times

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