Prairie Public | Prairie Public Broadcasting

Prairie Public

Public media organization

Prairie Public Broadcasting is a trusted public service dedicated to building an exciting and productive future for the prairie and its people. Prairie Public Broadcasting offers a window on the world through national and regional television and radio programming; creates a forum for the most important issues facing our region with locally produced, topical programming; partners with others to foster education for all ages; and utilizes digital technology and Web services to expand those valued services. Beginning with a single television transmitter in Fargo, Prairie Public Broadcasting has grown to become the premier broadcaster of public television and radio services throughout the prairie region.

Tuesday, April 6, 2021 - Donald Johnson, assistant professor of history has been awarded the 2021 Distinguished Book Prize in U.S. History from the Society for Military History. The book is “Occupied America: British Military Rule and the Experience of Revolution.” On the occasion of this honor, we share an encore conversation from last October when we spoke with Dr. Johnson about the book, which chronicles the everyday experience for people under occupation as the British sought to end the revolution. ~~~ A North Dakota legislator recently spoke of transgenderism as “obviously unnatural,” but is it really? Joining us to share some transgender history and science is activist Faye Seidler. She is also administrator and co-founder of the Harbor Health Clinic.


The 1918 flu pandemic devastated the Standing Rock Indian Reservation.  When the flu struck that fall, Sioux County’s Board of Health closed all public meetings and gatherings. The outbreak was expected to last two weeks, but Fort Yates schools remained closed for several weeks and the Fort Yates Agency closed. The agency superintendent discontinued enrollments at the Indian boarding schools and farm school, and ordered all tribal members who were camped to disperse.

Monday, April 5, 2021 - April 11 marks a tough anniversary for anyone close to Williston’s Barbara Louise Cotton. The kind-hearted 15-year-old disappeared on that date, 40 years ago, never to be seen or heard from again. Season five of the Dakota Spotlight podcast shines new light on the cold case, including finding sisters of a person of interest who say they have no doubt of their brother’s guilt. Ashley Thornberg visits with creator and host James Wolner, and Cotton’s childhood friend Sandee Evanson. ~~~ In an excerpt from the Prairie Pulse Television show, host John Harris visits with Lisa Edison-Smith about sexual harassment in the workplace.


Salena Godden is an English poet, author, activist, broadcaster, essayist, and memoirist. 

Her debut novel Mrs Death Misses Death has been picked as a Bookseller Editor’s Choice, a NetGalley Book of the Month, and recommended on the Sky Arts Book Club. It's described by the publisher as “intoxicating and life-affirming” and in The Bookseller as “an original, exuberant novel, freewheeling from prose to poetry to non fiction, truly one of a kind.” 

Kenmare Killing

Apr 5, 2021


A shocking murder gripped Ward County in the 1900s. The story played out over many years, with two trials, a false name and a prison escape.

R.S. Noah was hired in March of 1908 to work on Gus Johnson’s farm near Kenmare, North Dakota. A few weeks later, neighbors began to wonder about Johnson’s whereabouts after he wasn’t seen for several days. Noah said Johnson had returned to Sweden, but authorities grew suspicious when Noah and another man began selling Johnson’s grain.

Design by DLT

The Great American Folk Show is a little place on the radio where we commune with you to share stories, sing songs, and talk to some good people with great voices.

In Episode 12, host Tom Brosseau is joined by "Mrs. Death Misses Death" author Salena Godden; poets Madelyn Camrud and Shadd Piehl; Actress Noel Wells; and musicians SurrijaMark Erelli, and Michael Gay.

Plus, Bill Palanuk on Ukrainians in North Dakota, and “Notes from the Badlands” by Joe Wiegand.


A week ago I confessed to being an unabashed academic, and I’ll tell you what’s more: I work in the academic area known sometimes as “the liberal arts” (a term so difficult to explain in the current social climate that I’m going to skip it for the moment) and otherwise known as “the humanities” (also a term fraught with misunderstanding, but one I will go with for now).

Bird Longevity

Apr 3, 2021


Some of you may have heard the news recently about the seventy-year-old albatross that hatched another chick.  It got me thinking about the life span of our feathered friends.  I have wondered for example if it is the same bald eagle I have been seeing during the spring and fall migration in the same tree on the shoreline of Lake Metigoshe, or the wrens in our birdhouse are the same birds as last year.  We may have a tendency to think that some of these birds are the same ones, but that is probably not accurate.

Sunday, April 4, 2021 - Every Sunday we kick off Main Street Weekend with an extended news summary from Dave Thompson. ~~~ Our new monthly conversation with UND professor Jack Russell Weinstein called “Philosophical Currents” debuts with a discussion of hate crimes, particularly the recent spike in violence directed at Asian Americans. ~~~ Darcy Bakkegard spent a decade as a teacher before joining Prairie Public’s education department. To help teachers turn ideas into classroom realities, she co-authored the “The Startup Teacher Playbook.” She visits with Ashley Thornberg.


On this date in 1881, a Sentinel Man read the back page of his newspaper to notice its very last advertisement for two million acres of Red River Valley Wheat Lands being sold by the St. Paul, Minneapolis, and Manitoba Railway Company.