The High Plains Reader is an independent weekly news and entertainment paper printed in Fargo, North Dakota and distributed, free of charge, across the Red River Valley region of North Dakota and Minnesota, with an estimated readership of 20,000 to 30,000 weekly between print and online readers. The tabloid was founded in 1994 by Ian Swenson, Peter Ryan, and Len Schmid in Grand Forks, North Dakota and is currently owned by Raul Gomez and John Strand, who purchased the paper in late December of 1996. After a flood and fire destroyed their Grand Forks office, the Reader moved its office to Fargo, while still covering both Fargo and Grand Forks.
The paper features reviews of local and visiting bands, movies, and theatre in Fargo-Moorhead, and includes a calendar of weekly events. The editorials, usually written by John Strand, generally espouse a more progressive vision than those published in the Forum of Fargo-Moorhead.
In 2004, the Reader celebrated its 10th Birthday Party in different venues in Fargo-Moorhead, including Ralph's Corner Bar.
Regular features of the High Plains Reader include the weekly editorial, the "Dear John" section for letters to the editor, the cover feature story, a theater column, movie reviews by Greg Carlson and Christopher Jacobs, a "Best Bets" section highlighting upcoming events (especially shows by local musicians), and a calendar section which contains a detailed list of daily events for the upcoming week.
- High Plains Reader website