The Slice is a digital project from WDSE•WRPT that showcases the personalities, events, and experiences that give Northern Minnesota and Wisconsin its distinct character. With topics ranging from international shipping on Lake Superior to Anishinaabe fashion shows to the experience of transgender students at local universities, each 90-second episode captures “a slice of life” in our region.
WDSE•WRPT launched The Slice in the summer of 2018 as part of our station’s effort to ensure that the full diversity of our community is reflected in our coverage. The region we serve covers almost 17,000 square miles, one of the largest geographic areas served by any PBS-affiliate nationwide. By producing three episodes of The Slice each week and distributing them both digitally and over-the-air, WDSE•WRPT has been able to feature many more voices and communities without the constraints of traditional programming. The Slice is easy to watch and easy to share on social media, and after three years it has helped to make our expansive region feel a more like a small town. In the words of one viewer, “The Slice makes me feel connected to our community in ways that I’m not. I see things that are happening that I am not aware of. I feel better informed.”
The Slice has also given WDSE•WRPT a platform for new partnerships. In 2020, producers from our station worked with film students from the University of Minnesota-Duluth to create five original episodes of The Slice. Opportunities like this are rare for student filmmakers and, not-coincidentally, student perspectives are rarely featured in community discourse. This collaboration addressed each of these deficiencies and our station plans to continue our work with student filmmakers as a new semester begins.
It takes delicate work to capture “a slice of life” in any place. Based on the feedback we have collected, we believe that our effort to do this with The Slice has been a success so-far. Our viewers also remind us that there is more share, more to experience, and more stories to tell. We are excited to capture these stories and share them in future seasons of The Slice.