Locally produced Dakota Spotlight to be first podcast preserved at State Archives

Staff Feature

Locally produced Dakota Spotlight to be first podcast preserved at State Archives

The State Historical Society of North Dakota has selected Hebron-based Dakota Spotlight to be the first podcast preserved for future researchers.

“Dakota Spotlight is a great candidate for inclusion in our collections because it reflects and preserves North Dakota history,” manuscript archivist Emily J. Kubischta said. “It documents for the historical record: the dynamic and innovative ways that research is being conducted and disseminated in 2021, crowdsourcing of data collection and investigation, listeners who are galvanized toward the causes of truth and justice, and the coming together of online and local communities.”

Dakota Spotlight was created by James Wolner of Hebron in 2019 and shares true crime stories of the Upper Midwest with a lens focused on investigative journalism, story-telling and a search for understanding. The podcast released its first season in 2019, investigating the suspicious death of Victor Newberry, Glen Ullin, N.D. Other seasons include unsolved or mysterious cases from Zeeland, Bismarck, Fargo and Williston, N.D.

“I am very humbled and honored to be chosen as the first podcast to be included in the North Dakota state archives,” Wolner said.

“The State Archives are excited to be the repository for the podcast, to ensure that its investigation, message, and impact are preserved and made available to current and future researchers,” Kubischta said.

The Dakota Spotlight podcast was started by James Wolner as a hobby, but it soon became a calling. As of April 1, 2020, Dakota Spotlight podcast is a production of Forum Communications Company, Fargo, N.D with all episodes still being researched, recorded and produced by James Wolner. All episodes, related articles, photos and videos are available on the Forum Communications’ InForum, Grand Forks Herald, Jamestown Sun and The Dickinson Press news sites. Episodes are also available to hear on Spotify, Apple, Google Podcasts and smartphone apps.

K. William Boyer is the Managing Editor of the Devils Lake News Journal. He can be reached at kboyer@gannett.com, or by phone at (701) 662-2127.  

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