The UpTake is an independent, nonprofit (501 c 3) online news organization that began its work in 2007 with a few simple ideas: That media should find and tell the truth without fear or favor; that citizens have the tools to report and explain events without relying on news controlled by large corporations; and that it is the duty of citizens to hold power accountable and to make government transparent to the governed.
Founded in St. Paul, Minnesota, but with a broad focus that has taken our staff from California to Copenhagen, The UpTake was baptized in the turmoil of the 2008 Republican National Convention and the prolonged 2008-09 recount battle between Republican U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman and Democratic challenger (and eventual winner) Al Franken. The innovative and hard-nosed citizen journalists of The UpTake played a central role in bringing these history-making stories to a national audience.
The UpTake tells the stories of communities and people whose voices are seldom heard in the corridors of power or the legacy press, capturing the birth of the Occupy Wall Street and Occupy Homes movements in the Twin Cities, ongoing labor and immigrant struggles and Minnesota’s somber commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the 1862 Dakota Indian war, the execution of 38 Dakota warriors and the forced exile of the Dakota from their home.
For its ground-breaking work, The UpTake has earned a reputation for pioneering many of the new-media techniques that have become synonymous with citizen journalism -– live-streamed news events and public meetings, crowd-sourced reporting, and a social-media-driven audience base. This has brought recognition and awards from such groups as the Center for Public Integrity, the Society of Professional Journalists, and the Freedom of The Press Foundation.
The UpTake has championed First Amendment rights and freedoms, fighting and winning principled battles to gain access to news events, including a fight for recognition as a legitimate news organization with a right to office alongside members of for-profit media in the Minnesota State Capitol.
The UpTake believes an informed public is the cornerstone of a healthy democracy, and that social media, independent reporting and technological innovation hold the promise of bringing about positive change. The UpTake has helped make citizen journalism not only credible but also indispensable to anyone seeking the truth about the issues and events that both unite and divide our nation.