Storm Lake


Over the past 15 years, with more Americans getting their news from Facebook one in four newspapers have closed in the U.S. With a circulation of almost 3,000 readers, the Storm Lake Times in Storm Lake, Iowa, is one of the last of its kind. Through the insightful observations of Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Art Cullen and the on-the-ground actions of his family and the Times’s staff, Storm Lake reveals what is lost by the proliferation of “news deserts,” defined as counties with only one local newspaper or none at all. Filmed against a shifting backdrop of newsworthy events—from a Mexican immigrant’s bid for fame on the TV show Tengo Talento, Mucho Talento (I Have Talent, Lots of Talent) to the lead-up to the 2020 U.S. presidential election—we follow Cullen and the Times as they fight for what turn out to be interconnected issues: the continued survival of their biweekly small-town newspaper, an informed electorate, and a functioning democracy.  ER


Filmmaker Q&A available

Closed Captioning available

This film is only available to viewers in the United States


Jerry Risius, Beth Levison


Beth Levison

Executive Producers

Katy Drake Bettner, Sam Bisbee, Pamela Tanner Boll, Sally Jo Fifer, Megan Gelstein, Lois Vossen, Jamie Wolf


Rachel Shuman


Leah Boatright


Jerry Risius

Release Year


Festival Year



United States

Run Time

85 minutes


World Premiere