In small towns in New Mexico and the West, life is changing quickly. More young people are moving away from rural places than into them. Some New Mexico communities are trying to escape generations-long boom-and-bust cycles, while others struggle to retain their identity in an economy flooded with tourists and newcomers. Internet connections that could power remote businesses in rural places lag behind urban centers.New Mexico, along with the rest of the rural West, is in a state of change. Over the past year, a group of New Mexico news organizations investigated the challenges to building resilient rural communities, and found a lack of high speed internet holds communities back. Now, they bring you stories about the complex barriers to launching internet connections in most rural areas, and show you the tribes, towns and schools who are doing it better. This project is supported by High Country News and the Solutions Journalism Network, and is funded by the LOR Foundation.Our stories examine what rural communities are trying to keep their towns stitched together and how well those efforts appear to be working. Read, watch and listen along at hcn.org or at your local news outlet. Share your thoughts on what small towns should try or what you think of the responses we highlight on Twitter using #NMresilience or on Facebook at your local news source’s page or at www.facebook.com/highcountrynews/.Kate SchimelDeputy editor-digital, High Country NewsProject editor, State of Change
Let's Talk Solutions To New Mexico's Digital Divide
Let's Talk New Mexico 4/5 8a: Internet access is expensive and often slow in rural communities across New Mexico. How might improving internet speed and access help all New Mexicans pursue educational and economic opportunities?
This year KUNM and our media partners are reporting on potential solutions for longstanding concerns in rural communities. The State of Change project is a partnership with the Solutions Journalism Network. Tune in to hear what we’ve found in our reporting on internet access and what you would like to see happen next.
- Marisa Demarco, reporter at KUNM
- Antonia Gonzales, anchor/producer of National Native News
- Leah Todd, Mountain West coordinator for the Solutions Journalism Network