This program is a partnership with teen journalists throughout the Iron Range to create a 4-page newspaper about the history and future of the Range through original research, oral history interviews, and conversation with teens and community leaders.
“Iron Times” is a unique newspaper supplement about the history of the Iron Range through the eyes of young journalists. Teen staff at Generation W newspaper conducted original interviews with long term residents of the region, miners, and politicians. They also analyzed historic documents and conducted original research and reflected on their own experiences on the Range. The final product is a 4 page feature about the mines, the people, the journalists, and hopes and expectations for the future. The piece ran in the March-April edition of Generation W, a newspaper created by teens in the region.
Background on the Iron Range
For more than half a century, Minnesota's iron ranges supplied the iron ore that fed the nation's steel mills. First mined in the 1880s, the three ranges - the Vermilion, Mesabi and Cuyuna - provided the economic underpinnings of northeastern Minnesota. They also drew waves of immigrant workers, creating the state's most diverse melting pot and a distinctive cultural legacy that still defines the region. Although mining has declined since the 1960s, the mines and the tight-knit communities they fostered have developed a new industry focused on cultural-heritage tourism.
Find more about the area at the Iron Range Historical Society.
Date: November 2011 - April 2012
Partner(s): Chis Ismil, Donna Leese, Iron Range Youth in Action; Carol Borich, Paul McLaughlin, Mesabi Range Community & Technical College; Minnesota Museum of Mining; Colin Kloecker, Shanai Mattson, Works Progress; Aleah Vinick, Minnesota Historical Society, Project Manager
Location: Virginia, MN