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Nonprofit hires journalist to serve North Dakota newspapers

Michael Standaert, who most recently was employed as a correspondent based in China with the Bloomberg Industry Group, was hired by North Dakota News Cooperative to work on in-depth stories for newspapers in the state.

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Michael Standaert.
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BISMARCK — North Dakota News Cooperative, a new nonprofit organization that aims to build news literacy and readership, has hired a journalist whose work may appear in all North Dakota newspapers.

Michael Standaert, who most recently was employed as a correspondent based in China with the Bloomberg Industry Group, was hired by North Dakota News Cooperative to work on in-depth stories for newspapers in the state.

All newspapers in North Dakota, including those owned by Forum Communications — The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, The Grand Forks Herald, The Jamestown Sun and The Dickinson Press — may use the content produced by Standaert in their publications.

"Michael will hit the ground running. Although he will need to acclimate to North Dakota, he already has story ideas and recently worked with one of the state's newspapers on a story," Jill Denning Gackle, North Dakota News Cooperative co-chair, said in a statement. "His world experience will serve North Dakota well and give us the in-depth reporting that we are seeking."

Standaert has worked as a journalist and writer for 24 years, including over 14 years with Bloomberg. From China, he also freelanced for publications including The Washington Post, The Guardian and Al Jazeera. He has a master's degree in journalism from Cardiff University in the United Kingdom and has published one nonfiction book and a novel.

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Standaert is originally from northwest Illinois, and he said in a statement that he is excited to get back to the Midwest to cover North Dakota and raise his young family in the state.

North Dakota News Cooperative said it interviewed about 20 applicants for the position.

"Michael was an exciting candidate for the position; he has an extensive background in journalism with global experience," said North Dakota News Cooperative board member Eric Hardmeyer in a statement. "He will bring a fresh perspective to issues critical to North Dakotans."

Standaert, his wife and two children plan to move to Bismarck in June.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Michelle Griffith, a Report for America corps member, at mgriffith@forumcomm.com.

Michelle (she/her, English speaker) is a Bismarck-based journalist for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead and Report for America, a national service organization that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on under-covered topics and communities.
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