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April 28, 2015 - Issue 17

MNA Legislative Report - April 28, 2015

The main stage at the Capitol continues to be occupied this week by the ongoing discussions among Democrat leaders in the Senate, Republican chiefs in the House, and Gov. Dayton about how to address the state’s tax and spending options.  Though some of the rhetoric being offered may be more a negotiating tactic than an accurate reflection of where the parties actually stand, there are significant differences in their positions.  A note of pessimism about whether a budget deal can efficiently be reached did creep into the comments of some leaders over the past few days, as the May 18 adjournment deadline moves ever closer.
Since last week’s Bulletin report on legislative activities, there really haven’t been many developments of consequence.  That’s fairly normal for this stage of the session, with policy bills awaiting action on the House and Senate floors and possible conference committee deliberations to resolve differences between versions of the bills.
We have received word that on Thursday, the full House will take up the MNA supported bill (SF 1147/HF 953) clarifying where mortgage foreclosure notices should be published.  We don’t expect serious controversy when the bill is heard, though that can never be assumed. 
Another bill promoted by MNA this year (SF 1645/HF 1693) which would reform the unclaimed property return procedures at the state Department of Commerce--including the addition of a new publication requirement--continues to move forward.  It’s now received approval by the full House, but has yet to be taken up on the Senate floor.  At this point it’s not clear whether a conference committee will be necessary in order to finalize the legislation.
With respect to major public access issues that remain unresolved, the Senate bill (SF 498) which would classify as private data most audio and video records captured by law enforcement body cameras is awaiting action on the Senate floor.  However, as we’ve reported, House leaders on the issue have concluded that it’s premature to try and deal with the complex questions surrounding body camera data this session, and it seems increasingly likely that the Senate approach will not be adopted by the time legislators adjourn.
On another open records issue where there appears to be a significant difference of opinion between the House and Senate, the measure that would restrict public access to the addresses of parents of newborns found in birth certificates was approved last week by the Senate as part of an omnibus bill (SF 1458).  However, as with the body camera legislation, the House has not taken any action to adopt the access restriction and right now it’s also unclear what might happen with the proposal this year. 
Our representatives at the Capitol lead by Sandy Neren remain vigilant, watching for any strange or unwelcome developments during the remaining three weeks of the session.  Meanwhile, we eagerly welcome comments and questions from our members—please do let us know if you have any.
Download the current Legislative Bill Status Report

Supreme Court Amends Rules of Public Access to Court Records

Last week, the Minnesota Supreme Court issued a series of orders updating public access rules to a wide spectrum of judicial records.  The orders conclude a process that has been underway for several months, in which the Court and several of its advisory committees studied public access issues, particularly to accommodate the steadily increasing use of electronic records.  As stated by the Court, the “electronic—information environment requires changes in procedures for identifying and accessing court records to ensure valid privacy interests are preserved  in that environment without diminishing  the commitment to public access.” 
The amended rules are effective July 1, 2015, and will generally apply to all court records as of that date.  However, in a few categories, the new rules will apply only to documents filed after July 1.
The amendments are mostly good news, and demonstrate that the current Court recognizes the value of public access.  In general terms, the amendments somewhat expand opportunities for electronic public access to Court records.  However, they do maintain the existing distinction between public records that can be accessed remotely through the internet, and those that can be reviewed only at courthouse terminals, reflecting the Court’s concern about data mining, as well as for online searches (particularly in criminal cases) which may cause harmful “collateral consequences,” such as the loss of employment or housing opportunities.  Thus most “preconviction” criminal records will continue to be publically accessible only at courthouse terminals.  But despite these kinds of concerns, the Court did not overreact to them and rejected requests from various groups that restrictions on remote access be expanded.  The Court also decided not to impose any fees for remote access to court records.
An especially notable feature of the amendments is that the Court rejected a proposal from one of its own advisory committees to cut off public access to certain key records in juvenile protection proceedings, such as reports submitted by guardian ad litems and social workers.  These records have been public for more than 10 years, since the Court adopted pioneering reforms premised on the notion that more public access to juvenile protection proceedings would better engage public awareness of that important process.  The Court acknowledged the arguments of those who advocated terminating public access to these records, but responded to them as follows:
“We recognize that the concerns to be balanced here are weighty. But we conclude that the correct balance is struck by retaining public access to the records that shed light on the steps taken by the State to protect the State’s children.”
It’s a conclusion for which the Court deserves much credit, given the strength of the advisory committee’s recommendation to the contrary.  MNA submitted comments to the Court as part of the review process, urging rejection of any reduction in public access to juvenile protection proceedings.
All of the orders issued by the Court last week are available on the website of the Minnesota court system (  While as noted, the orders cover several categories of records, the most important of the orders adopts amendments to the Rules of Public Access to Records of the Judicial Branch, which govern the majority of access issues that would be encountered by journalists.  

Save $50 when you register for Kevin Slimp session by FRIDAY!

$75 - early bird fee
$125 - after May 1

Join the Minnesota News Media Institute and trainer Kevin Slimp, for a daylong training! Kevin has worked with newspapers all over the world and is bringing his expertise to Minnesota for one day only! Seats are limited so sign up today.  

The intensive, daylong workshop will cover the following areas:

10:00 - 12:00: Photo Editing and Color Correction Tips
12:00 - 12:30: Lunch (provided)
12:45 - 1:15: Making PDF Problems a Thing of the Past
1:30 - 3:30: InDesign Tips for Newspaper Designers

Workshop Information:

Date:  Friday, May 29
Registration begins at 9:30 a.m.
Session begins at 10:00 a.m. 

Where: Better Business Bureau Events Center
220 South River Ridge Circle
Burnsville, MN 55337

Registration fee: $75 (register by 5/1)/$125 -- includes lunch
Registration deadline:  Wednesday, May 27

Questions? Need overnight accommodations? Please contact Sarah Bauer at or 612-278-0250.

More information and register online now!

Directory Updates Missing from Papers Listed Below

MNA is currently finalizing details of the 2015-16 MNA Directory. A copy of your directory listing and contact information was mailed to each MNA publisher. Please update your listing and send back to MNA ASAP. Lost your copy? Email

Adams - The Monitor Review
Aitkin Independent Age
Albany Enterprise
Alden Advance
Appleton Press
Askov - Askov American
Barnesville Record-Review
Baudette - Northern Light Region
Belgrade - The Observer
Belle Plaine Herald
Bemidji - The Bemidji Pioneer
Benson - Swift County Monitor-News
Blackduck - The American
Bloomington Sun Current
Bovey - Scenic Range News Forum
Brainerd - NewsHopper
Brainerd Dispatch
Brandon - West Douglas County Record
Brooklyn Center / Brooklyn Park Sun Post
Buffalo - Wright County Journal-Press
Caledonia Argus
Cass Lake Times
Champlin - Dayton Press
Clara City Herald
Clinton - The Northern Star
Columbia Heights / Fridley Sun Focus
Cottage Grove - South Washington Co. Bulletin
Cottonwood Tri-County News
Crystal / Robbinsdale / New Hope / Golden Valley Sun Post
Deer River - Western Itasca Review
Duluth - Zenith News**
Duluth Reader**
Eden Prairie Sun Current
Edina Sun Current
Elbow Lake - Grant County Herald
Elysian Enterprise
Excelsior / Shorewood Sun Sailor
Fairfax Standard-Gazette Messenger
Faribault Daily News
Farmington/Rosemount Independent Town Pages
Fertile Journal
Floodwood - The Forum
Grand Meadow - Meadow Area News
Granite Falls/Clarkfield Advocate-Tribune
Hallock - Kittson County Enterprise
Hanska Herald
Hastings Star Gazette
Hawley Herald
Henderson Independent
Hermantown Star
Hibbing Daily Tribune
Hinckley News
Hopkins / Minnetonka Sun-Sailor
Hutchinson Leader
International Falls Journal
Isle - Mille Lacs Messenger
Jordan Independent
Kasson - Dodge County Independent
Kenyon Leader
Kerkhoven - The Kerkhoven Banner
Kiester - Courier-Sentinel
La Crescent - Houston County Newspapers, Inc.
Lafayette - Nicollet Ledger
Lake City Graphic
Lake Park Journal
LeRoy Independent
Lindstrom - Chisago County Press
Litchfield Independent Review
Long Lake - The Pioneer
Lonsdale Area News-Review
Madelia Times-Messenger
Madison Lake - Lake Region Times
Mahnomen Pioneer
Mankato - The Free Press
McGregor - The Voyageur Press
Melrose Beacon
Milaca - Mille Lacs County Times
Minneapolis - Finance & Commerce
Minneapolis - Insight News
Minneapolis - Minnesota Lawyer
Minneapolis - Southwest Journal
Minneapolis - Star Tribune
Minneapolis - The Circle**
Minneapolis - The Journal
Minneota Mascot
Minnesota Lake Tribune
Minnesota Legionnaire**
Montevideo American-News
Montgomery Messenger
Monticello Times
Moorhead - The Extra Newspaper
Moose Lake - Star-Gazette
Mound - The Laker
Mounds View / New Brighton Sun Focus
Nevis - Northwoods Press
New Brighton Bulletin
New London/Spicer - Lakes Area Review
New Prague - The New Prague Times
New Richland - NRHEG Star Eagle
North St. Paul - Ramsey County Review
Northfield News
Norwood Young America Times
Oakdale - Lake Elmo Review
Ortonville Independent
Osseo-Maple Grove Press
Outing - Northland Press
Pequot Lakes - Pineandlakes Echo Journal
Prior Lake American
Proctor Journal
Raymond/Prinsburg - The News
Red Lake Falls - The Gazette
Richfield Sun Current
Roseville Review
Sandstone - Pine County Courier
Sauk Centre Herald
Sauk Rapids Herald
Savage Pacer
Sebeka - The Review Messenger
Shakopee Valley News
Slayton - Murray County Wheel-Herald
South St. Paul - South West Review
St. Louis Park Sun Sailor
St. Michael/Rockford Crow River News
St. Paul - East Side Review
St. Paul - Saint Paul Pioneer Press
St. Paul Legal Ledger
Stephen Messenger
Truman Tribune
Two Harbors - Lake County News-Chronicle
Ulen - Clay County Union
Waconia Patriot
Walker Pilot-Independent
Waseca County News
Watertown - Carver County News
Waterville - Lake Region Life
Wayzata - Lakeshore Weekly News
Wayzata / Orono / Plymouth / Long Lake Sun Sailor
Wells Mirror
Westbrook Sentinel/Tribune
Wheaton Gazette
Winona Daily News
Winthrop News
Woodbury / South Maplewood Review
Woodbury Bulletin

MNA Directory opportunities

The Minnesota Newspaper Association is getting ready to print the 2015-2016 MNA Newspaper Directory and we have some amazing advertising opportunities! 
  • Be included in the list of Minnesota Shoppers! Calling all Shoppers in the state – get your name listed with the markets you serve as well as other pertinent information about your shopper.
  • Showcase your position and/or company by placing a Business Card ad!! Simple and cost effective.
  • Quarter and Full page ads also available.
Want more information & pricing? Contact LuAnn at 612-278-0235 or

Over The Top

By: Dan Lind

A few weeks ago I attended an annual cycling training camp in Ponca, Arkansas. This was the fifth year the team I ride for has ventured south to find warmer temperatures and grueling climbs up steep slopes of the Ozark Mountains.

Many of the climbs are 4-5 miles long, with average gradients of 8-12%. Such ascents are not only physically challenging, but also psychologically intimidating. You approach each section thinking to yourself “can I actually make it to the top?”

Riding a bike up a mountain pass is eerily similar to achieving sales success. There are times that both seem unobtainable, but the reward is always worth the effort. There are times when you’re exhausted and simply want to stop. But winners gut it out and find a way to keep going, while the weak bow their heads and simply give up.

Like sales, technical skills and experience are crucial. As I’ve mentioned many times before, sales is a science…a series of repeatable events designed to produce a desired outcome. Every cog in the sales cycle relies on the one before it – and the one after it – to ensure a smooth transition from acquiring a prospect to closing the sale. PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT!

Continue reading...

Minutes from the latest MNA Meetings

MNA Board of Directors (April 9-10, 2015)

MNI Board of Directors (April 9, 2015)

Why strengthening the Freedom of Information Act is so important

By Caroline Little, president and CEO, NAA

President Obama has routinely promised greater transparency within the federal government. Now, Congress is making strides towards achieving this critical goal.

The House of Representatives and Senate are currently considering nearly identical bills to strengthen the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), which provides the general public, including journalists, with access to federal government records.

This legislation has received broad support across media organizations, including the Sunshine in Government Initiative, a coalition of which the Newspaper Association of America is a member. And here’s why:

Openness instead of secrecy would be the “default” key within the government. 

The legislation would require agencies to release documents under a “presumption of openness,” reaffirming the principle that information should never be kept confidential to protect government interests at the expense of the public. Agencies would need to prove specific harm that could result from disclosures before withholding documents. While this policy has been in place since 2009, the legislation would ensure future administrations honor this objective for openness. 

Continue reading or download column for publication...

Reprint of Ernie Pyle’s Last Column Available

Dear Publisher or editor:

Ernie PyleApril 18 marks the 70th anniversary of the death of famous World War II correspondent Ernie Pyle by a machine-gunner on Ie Shima in the Pacific Ocean. To mark this occasion, the Ernie Pyle World War II Museum in Dana, Indiana, and Scripps Howard Foundation offer this reprint of the last column written by Ernie Pyle. The uncompleted work was found in the shirt pocket on his body on that date in 1945. Ironically the subject matter was the anticipated end of hostilities in Europe, or V-E Day, which actually occurred on May 8, 1945.

We think it is an appropriate time for us to recall the sacrifices made by those serving and who had served in our Armed Forces. It’s a reminder to all of the ultimate sacrifice made by so many Americans to maintain the freedoms we enjoy.

If you decide to use the materials provided for your recognition of either the 70th anniversary of Ernie Pyle’s death or V-E Day, we ask that you consider adding a paragraph about the Ernie Pyle World War II Museum. Donations may be made through the museum website at

Included in this post are a copy of his last column, a short bio of Pyle, headshots, and mention of the Museum that you could use.

If you want to expose your readers to additional columns by Ernie Pyle, you could include the following link to the Indiana University School of Journalism, where your readers can access additional stories written by him:

If you have any questions about this 70th anniversary commemoration or about the Friends of Ernie Pyle or the Ernie Pyle World War II Museum, feel free to contact me at

I also ask that you consider making a donation to the museum, either personally or as the newspaper. It only seems proper that efforts to preserve the legacy of the most famous World War II correspondent be supported by current journalists.

Click here to download the column and photos (.zip file of all materials).

Visit the MNA website for more info.

Thanks for considering this tribute to veterans and Ernie Pyle.

Stephen Key, Executive Director and General Counsel
Hoosier State Press Association and Member of the Board of Directors of the Friends of Ernie Pyle

It's Here! 2015 Pohlad Internship Program

MNA is excited to announce the 11th year of the Pohlad Internship Program. Thanks to a generous grant from the Pohlad Family Foundation, MNA is pleased to once again provide members with a program that will help reduce the costs associated with hiring high school-aged summer in-terns. In 2014, we placed 65 interns at member newspapers.

How the program works:

  • You choose a high school student, age 16-19, who will work for your newspaper in any aspect of the business half-time for 10 weeks; recent high school graduates are eligible.
  • Complete an enrollment form stating that you will hire a high school intern and wish to participate in the Summer Youth Employment subsidy program. Forms are available on the MNA website, and can be submitted by mail, fax, or email.
  • College students and relatives of newspaper staff do not qualify for this program.
  • The Pohlad Family Foundation requires that newspapers pay a portion of the intern’s wage to ensure a strong commitment from the participants and recommends an hourly wage of $8.00/hour for interns participating in the program.

Download 2015 Program Application
Download Frequently Asked Questions

isit our website for more information and for a 2015 recap...

MNA Public Notice Site Training

In 2014, MNA successfully launched an online clearinghouse – an aggregate collection – of Minnesota public notices. Many MNA-member newspapers are up and running on the site, posting public notices weekly - or more often - on the 
At the MNA Convention, MNA Program Director Sarah Bauer lead two sessions for attendees, giving a tour of the site, and providing a hands-on tutorial of the notice-posting process. 

If you've just signed up or are interested in getting started, MNA will provide training and support. We are available to answer questions and walk you through the process of posting your notices. Please contact Sarah Bauer to set up training for you or your staff - there are a variety of options, in person, by phone or Google Hangout. 

Our goal is to have 100% participation by MNA member newspapers and we're getting closer every day. Please sign up today, or give us a call to learn more about the site.

Continue reading and sign up today!

Data-Driven Coverage...Driving Digital Dollars. Don't miss these upcoming sessions!

Check out upcoming webinars from Online Media Campus!

Data-Driven, In-Depth Coverage

Thursday, May 7
1:00 – 2:00 p.m. 

Presented in partnership with GateHouse Media 

Using data in your coverage can give your reporting credibility and hold local officials and governments accountable. Learn how to find good, reliable sources of data – along with tips and best practices on how to turn that data into stories.

More information and register...

Arming, Incenting and Organizing Your Sales Teams – And Driving Digital Dollars Too!

Thursday, May 21
1:00 – 2:00 p.m.

In the disrupted media advertising space, finding balance between reinforcing the value of core products while effectively growing the emerging digital offerings is extremely difficult.

In this webinar, Chris Edwards will give an overview of how his group has evolved to address these challenges. He will share the unique organizational approach used with his sales teams as well as specifics on how the compensation plans work and what they are designed to drive with each unique assignment of the various sales positions and responsibilities. As always, there will be candid feedback about what DID NOT work along the way to developing this current structure.

More information and register...

Obtaining Government Grants to Help Pay for Staff Training

Thursday, May 7
10:00 a.m.

About the program: 
Rob Dump, owner of six Nebraska community newspapers ranging in circulation from 312 to 2,000, saw an opportunity through government grants to bring professional training to his staff. As budgets are tight, many community papers do not have funds allocated to hire trainers. Dump searched for opportunities to apply for government grants specifically for training. The information provided in this case is state-specific, but the idea of seeking and finding money for training is transferable to all communities. 

Leading the Discussion: 
HOST - Stan Schwartz, National Newspaper Association 
GUEST STAR - Rob Dump, Northeast Nebraska News Co.

Registration fee: $30Register by Monday, May 4
(Registrations submitted after this date are subject to a $10 late fee)

PUB AUX LIVE, featuring revenue-generating ideas for community newspapers, is brought to you by The National Newspaper Association, in partnership with the Iowa Newspaper Foundation.

Register online now

Potter listening tour of community newspapers underway now In Missouri

Walt Potter, who works with the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute to explore the future of community newspapers, is visiting newspapers in Missouri this month and next as part of what’s known informally as The Potter Listening Tour. 

The tour name is inspired by trips politicians sometimes take to visit potential voters, ostensibly to learn their stories and how to help them. Potter’s tour, however, is strictly nonpolitical and focused on the needs of community newspapers.

Helping small newspapers is in his DNA: the Potter Fund is an endowment named after Potter’s father, a longtime community newspaper publisher. Indeed, Potter’s whole family has been involved with newspapers starting with his grandfather and down through Potter himself, who ran a small newspaper in Virginia.

Potter established the Missouri School of Journalism’s Walter B. Potter Fund for Innovation in Local Journalism in 2010 to help journalists in small communities make the transition from print to new means of communication. Chief among its activities so far are a series of conferences that connect new technology experts from RJI and elsewhere with small-town newspaper people.

Potter and RJI Executive Director Randy Picht believe the next step in making Potter Fund efforts more effective and focused is to conduct newspaper site visits. Potter is meeting with publishers, editors, ad salespeople and others to learn what they want from future Potter Conferences. He is also seeing first hand what these newspapers are doing with new technology, and convey information about RJI projects that might help them thrive.

Potter, 65, is also be learning about new technology during the tour, using social media and blogs to describe his visits. His Twitter handle is @PotterConf and he’ll post to the Potter Conferences Facebook page. Join and follow the conversation at #PotterListen. You can also read his blog online and subscribe to his newsletter “Walter B. Potter Sr. Conferences,” to get his updates. 

If you have news to share in the MNA Tradewinds,
please email us:

Member Classifieds

Sports Reporter
RESPONSIBILITIES INCLUDE: Build a rapport with news sources on assigned beats to develop stories & story ideas. More...

Multimedia Sales Manager
RESPONSIBILITIES INCLUDE: Effectively initiate, direct and manage multimedia advertising initiatives to increase revenues while providing effective solutions for our customers. More...

Advertising Sales Representative – North Metro
ECM Publishers, Inc. has a unique opportunity for a talented and high energy Advertising Sales Representative working out of our Coon Rapids office.  More...

Publishing – For Sale
Weekly newspapers in Minnesota and South Dakota for sale. More...

Page 1 Publications
Page 1 Publications in Northwestern Minnesota is looking for someone to work in our East Grand Forks (MN) office. Perfect candidate would have reporting/pagination skills and be interested in managing a community newspaper. More...

Copy Editor/Page Designer
If you have a knack for laying out pages that people can’t help but pick up, we want to talk to you. We’re looking for a full-time page designer who will become part of a team responsible for the look of several of our publications. More...

Full Time Reporter
The Jamestown Sun in Jamestown, N.D., is looking for a full-time reporter to join our award-winning news department. This reporter will write general news and feature stories, along with enterprise reporting. More...

Full Time Sports Editor
The South Washington County Bulletin in Cottage Grove, Minn., and the Woodbury Bulletin in Woodbury, Minn., are hiring a full-time sports editor. More...

Reporter – La Crosse, WI
This position would based out of La Crosse and would cover everything from features and profiles, government meetings and breaking news. More...

Full-time news reporter
The Journal, an award winning twice weekly located in the outdoor paradise of International Falls, is seeking a full-time news reporter who would be responsible for covering area governments and other hard news stories, as well as writing  feature stories, taking photographs, online reporting and audience-building efforts. More...

Managing Editor
Managing Editor for The Waconia Patriot, Carver County News, Norwood Young America Times, Mound Laker, Long Lake Pioneer and the Gold Miner, located in the west metro. More...

General Assignment Editor
The McLeod County Chronicle in Glencoe, Minnesota, is seeking a full-time general assignment reporter. More...

Multimedia Sales Consultant
The Echo Press, a division of Forum Communications Company is looking for an energetic, results-oriented Multimedia Sales Consultant that understands our vision and wants to grow along with us. More...

Weekly Newspapers For Sale
Strong Weekly and Companion Shopper in Southern Minnesota near Rochester, MN. This one is set to grow with the vibrant economy in the region. More...

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Upcoming Events

Check out upcoming training events from the Local Media Association
Discounted rates for MNA Members!

Data-Driven, In-Depth Coverage
May 7 | 1-2 p.m.

See Change Conference
May 13

Arming, Incenting and Organizing Your Sales Teams – And Driving Digital Dollars Too!
May 21 | 1-2 p.m.

Adobe Creative Suite Training with Kevin Slimp
May 29 

International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors Conference
June 24-28
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