Longtime readers of the Daily Journal are familiar with the name Mathew Holding Eagle, who began his journey with the publication after walking into the office off the street about five years ago.
Holding Eagle began his career with the Daily Journal as a photographer and was hired as a reporter after former employee, Zach Stich, moved into the role of managing editor. Holding Eagle later moved into the role of sports editor — the position he held until his departure at the end of 2021.
Holding Eagle holds a degree in mass communications and was an integral member of the Newsroom staff. If anything needed to be done, Holding Eagle would be the first to volunteer his time and efforts. “I’ve been involved in every level of production of the paper as far as the newsroom is concerned,” he explained. “I cut my journalistic teeth here, I learned how to grind day in and day out, with a lot of what I did here behind the scenes. I was the person that if something needed to be done I’d do it — holidays, weekends, inclement weather, my children’s functions — it didn’t matter to me, just the assignment.”
When Holding Eagle was in college he worked as an associate producer on a documentary called “Black Gold Boom” about the oil boom in western North Dakota. The documentary aired on PBS. During production of the documentary, Holding Eagle met journalist and author Todd Melby, who became his mentor.
During the summer of 2021, Melby published his book “A Lot Can Happen in the Middle of Nowhere,” a title that examined the making of the movie “Fargo.” Holding Eagle attended Melby’s book signing and was encouraged to look into a reporter position that had opened through MPR News.
”I used to listen to MPR on my daily commute to college,” Holding Eagle shared, following the announcement that he would be joining MPR News in 2022. “I started my working career as a blue collar guy doing construction, getting razzed for reading on my lunch breaks by co-workers to now joining the second largest public news outlet in the U.S. with the second largest audience. This is like a dream come true.”
Holding Eagle will be replacing John Enger, who was a classmate of his at Minnesota State University Moorhead. Covering large swaths of Greater Minnesota, including a dozen or so counties in north-central Minnesota and stretching to the Canadian border and the Northwest Angle, Holding Eagle will cover topics as varied as forestry and natural resources to politics and religion.
”I’m looking forward to being able to do stories without the constraints that come with being part of a community newspaper,” he expressed. “There are issues and stories I see all around me that I believe are worth being told. As a father of three girls I’m also passionate about bringing attention to the MMIW (missing and murdered Indigenous women) human rights crisis.”
Holding Eagle’s first day with MPR News is officially Jan. 17, though it is uncertain when he will first be on the air due to the transitional period and training that comes along with the move from print to radio.
”Best wishes to Holding Eagle as he begins the next chapter of his journalism career,” said Daily Journal publisher, Ken Harty. “It is very exciting to have him move on to MPR and we know he will do a good job.”
Holding Eagle wrapped up his time at the Daily Journal on Dec. 31 and the staff wish him all the best in his new endeavor, anxiously awaiting his first on-air appearance.