The Rural Digital Resilience Project is an independent nonprofit reporting and research organization that advances public understanding of the unique systems, technology, networks, socio-economic and cultural conditions that influence resilience and susceptibility to mis/disinformation, polarization and domestic violent extremism in rural communities. We assemble different perspectives, research methods, and engaged journalism practices to illuminate these challenges. We foster independent media to increase access to and trust in community information, and we prioritize collaborations between journalism, academic and civil society orgs to better serve the public interest and strengthen democracy.

Our work seeks to support the conditions for healthier communities on and offline. This includes community media production, reporting, trainings, and programs within Appalachia and in rural communities nationwide. We bring a community-based, trauma-informed perspective to all the work that we do, and we emphasize strategic collaborations to scale work with partners across the country to be responsive to local and regional needs.

Core Programming

In addition to publishing original research and reporting projects, we share "face-to-face" journalism and briefings in settings that meet affected community members where they are. These include presentations to clinicians, social workers and mental health professionals; workshops with affected community members; and briefings and trainings to the field and collaborating organizations.

We support local newsrooms and civic organizations in their efforts to effectively document threats to democratic processes in their communities and are committed to building a community of safe, ethical practice with experts, resources and trainings aimed at supporting local organization, including digital and physical safety for small newsrooms.

We work with partners across journalism, academic, civil society, public health and technology sectors, and focus on building cohesion and intention among our collaborators to achieve widespread public impact in rural and local communities nationwide.

Our priorities across all our programming includes documenting, narrating and ensuring rural and local perspectives are represented with a trauma-informed, empathy-based lens in the larger media and research ecosystem, including investing in youth-led narration and media production.

Funders and Partners

The Rural Digital Resiliency Project is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. We are grateful for the programmatic support from collaborating organizations, volunteers, community members and the funding community. RDYR is made possible with operating support from Democracy Fund, The Ford Foundation, Hearthland and the Macarthur Foundation.