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February 24, 2015 - Issue 8

MNA Legislative Report- February 24, 2015  

As legislators near the end of the second month of the 2015 session, MNA continues to focus on several key issues that could affect our members.  These include possible legislation to clarify where mortgage foreclosure notices must be published, a bill that would restore some publication of the names of individuals who are the owners of unclaimed property being held by the state, and a variety of proposals dealing with access to government records and proceedings.
Mortgage Foreclosure Notices.  We continue to give considerable attention to a bill HF 953 that MNA helped draft, which would provide much clearer direction about which publications that mortgage foreclosure notices can appear in.  As many of you know, there has been considerable instability surrounding this issue for the last couple of years as a result of lawsuits brought by property owners being foreclosed who have claimed that the foreclosure notice was improperly published.  We are currently attempting to refine the language for the bill, consulting with mortgage lenders as well as attorneys who are directly involved in processing mortgage foreclosure actions.  However, striking the right balance and then placing it in clear English presents some challenges. 
On Monday, we received the good news that Sen. Ron Latz (DFL-St. Louis Park) has agreed to be the chief author of the bill in the Senate.  Latz is an influential and well respected senator.  We do hope to have final agreement on the optimal language for the bill in the next few days.
Unclaimed Property Notices.  Another important public notice issue that MNA has taken an active role in is legislation that would restore publication of the names of individuals who have unclaimed property held by the state.  This mainly consists of various types of financial accounts originally held by banks, insurance companies, and other private enterprises that the owner forgot about or neglected to collect.  State law provides that after a relatively short period of time, such property must be transferred to the state, where it is held indefinitely until the owner claims it (which often never occurs).  Until about 10 years ago, Minnesota law required that the Department of Commerce publish in newspapers on an annual basis lists of all owners of unclaimed property held by the state.  Those notices did get attention, and produced many inquiries to the state.  However, since that publication requirement was removed, the funds held by the state have burgeoned to hundreds of millions of dollars.  MNA is working with Rep. Joe Atkins (DFL-Inver Grove Heights) on a bill that would restore publication of individual names, which we are convinced is the most effective way to get the word out about money that should be returned.
Certificates of Assumed Name.  Another public notice bill that we continue to monitor is SF 376, which proposes to repeal the publication requirement for certificates of assumed name.  As of this week, the bill has not been scheduled for a hearing, nor has a House companion bill yet been introduced.
MNA Meeting with Secretary of State Simon.  On a related note, MNA representatives met last week with Steve Simon, the new Secretary of State, and his staff about issues involving the list that the Secretary of State’s office has posted for the last several years on its website, purportedly showing qualified legal newspapers in the state.  As many members know, that list contains a number of publications that are clearly not qualified newspapers, and it also doesn’t fully describe the areas where newspapers on the list are actually qualified to publish.  Secretary of State Simon was very receptive to our concerns, and agreed to support efforts to improve the accuracy and reliability of the posted newspaper list.  MNA will be working with the Secretary of State’s staff in order to see that this happens as soon as possible.
Anti-Insurance Fraud Bill.  On the public access front, a bill has been introduced in the House and Senate aimed at curbing insurance fraud (SF 782/HF 864).  It’s very similar to legislation attempted last session, and it includes the provision that we strongly opposed last year, which would delay access to public law enforcement incident data under §13.82, subd. 6 of the Data Practices Act for 30 days.  Proponents of the bill have attempted to address the news media’s concerns by adding language to the bill this year which would instead give licensed broadcasters and qualified newspapers access to accident reports.  However, we regard this approach as unacceptable, both because access to the accident reports would often be slow and difficult, might not contain all the incident data, and because the general public would be completely cut off for 30 days.  We intend to work with the bill’s authors to modify the provision in question, as we did last year.
Juvenile Court Access.  Another bill that we’ve developed concerns about is HF 714, which would significantly reduce public access to hearings and records in juvenile court involving 16 or 17 year olds accused of felony-level offenses.  Those records and proceedings have been public for more than 25 years, and are an important source of information about serious juvenile crime. 
Body Cam Bill Hearing.  Finally, MNA attorney Mark Anfinson testified last week before the Senate Judiciary Committee on the controversial “body cam” legislation. MNA opposes the bill in its present form, because it would establish a presumption that virtually all data (audio and video) collected by body cameras used by law enforcement agencies would not be public.  We believe that kind of a broad brush approach is inappropriate, and that more specific data classifications could be crafted to cover portions of the video and audio that truly should not be accessible by the public.  Many other groups and individuals appeared at the hearing to raise issues about the legislation
as well, and its prospects for passage this session—at least in anything resembling its present form—are uncertain. 
MNA and its legislative team will continue working hard to keep up with the increasing pace of activity at the Capitol, and we will provide you regular reports about important developments.  Meanwhile, be sure to let us know if you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions with respect to legislative matters.  

Download the current Legislative Bill Status Report

Apply Now! 2015 Editors & Publishers Community Leadership Program

The Minnesota News Media Institute is pleased to present the 11th year of the Editors & Publishers Community Leadership Program. Funded in part by a generous grant from the Blandin Foundation, the program was founded in 2005 and modeled after the successful Blandin Community Leadership Program.

Annually, MNI recruits editor-publisher teams who want to develop their community leadership and vision skills. The program encourages newspapers to develop and strengthen social capital within their communities, to learn of the power they have to frame issues and mobilize action and ultimately helps them to advance the health and vibrancy of their communities.

Program participants gain inclusive access to the program, including tuition, meals, and lodging. All costs are covered by the Minnesota Newspaper Association, the Minnesota News Media Institute and the Blandin Foundation.

Each year, eight newspapers are selected to participate in the Editors & Publishers Community Leadership Program. We are currently accepting applications for those interested in participating in 2015! To apply, editor-publisher teams interested in being considered for the program should send an email to Lisa Hills at or Sarah Bauer at

Click here to learn more about the 2015 Program

Henninger: Page 1 models help you get started

“Well, the design works great. We love the new look. And our readers do, too. But we need some help. We’re concerned about page 1 not looking too much the same all the time. Can you help us with that?”


When I receive that kind of note from a client, I get to work creating page models for them to emulate. The page 1 models give them something they can look at and follow to help them create well-balanced, focused fronts.

I usually create at least six models: three with a vertical lead photo and three with a horizontal lead photo. There’s an example of each in the illustration accompanying this column.

These are not InDesign or Quark templates. There’s no formatting involved. No style sheets. Just pages with rectangles on them to serve as a guide for creating a good front page.

If you want models for other pages, such as your sports front or opinion page, well, we can create those, too.

Continue reading...

Newspaper media are vital for compelling storytelling

By Caroline Little, president and CEO, NAA

We live in a world of instant gratification. 

We have an abundance of information at our fingertips and the ability to stay up-to-date on world events within seconds.  We embrace new digital technologies and they are revolutionizing the ways in which news media is consumed and stories are told.  It is an exciting time to be a part of the newspaper media industry.

In an era with a “shorter is better” mentality, newspapers provide valuable context for stories. In fact, recent findings from the American Press Institute have found that readers prefer longer stories with more analysis.

Yes, it may look different than it did 50 years ago, but newspaper media’s importance in their local communities is unsurpassed.

In March, the newspaper industry will gather for its annual conference at NAA mediaXchange 2015 in Nashville to discuss new ideas and best practices, setting the stage for the rest of the year.
What do industry leaders think newspaper storytelling will look like in 2015?

Continue reading or download column

February Network Honor Rolls

Four newspapers placed 2×2 ads, four newspapers placed MCAN ads and one newspaper placed MINN ads in the month of February.

Herald Journal Publishing - 15
Pope County Tribune, Glenwood  - 1
Press Publications - 1
Rochester Post-Bulletin - 5

Crookston Daily Times - 1
Herald Journal Publishing - 4
Sherburne County Citizen, Becker - 1

The Free Press, Mankato - 2

Herald Journal Publishing - 2

A bonus went to the following 7 salespeople who sold an ad into the networks. Congratulations!

Tim Douglass
Barb Flicker
Monica Hensley
Randy Heuer
Bruce Johnson
Mary Nehring
Chris Schultz

Click here to read about our 2015 Network Ad Sales Incentive Program and you can earn a bonus next month!

Sunshine Week 2015

This year, the Minnesota Newspaper Association has teamed up with the Minnesota Professional Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists to celebrate Sunshine Week across the state of Minnesota.

Sunshine Week 2015 is coming up and journalists around the nation will participate the week of March 15 through March 21. An annual event, Sunshine Week calls on journalists to shed light on issues of open government and have conversations with their readers about the importance of open and transparent government, whether that government body is a municipality or a large federal agency.

This year, the Minnesota chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, in collaboration with the Minnesota Newspaper Association, is reaching out to newsrooms and student journalists across the state to cover and look into the increasing amount of public work that is being done by private organizations. Private charter schools, surveying firms, even private police forces are being used more and more to conduct business that was once the purview of public officials. College campuses are not immune to this phenomenon either, increasingly relying on private foundations to raise revenue and communicate on behalf of the university or partnering with private companies to handle student services like policing, dining or financial aid.

To contribute to this year’s Sunshine Week event, which we are dubbing #SunshineMN, we are asking professional and student newsrooms around the state to produce at least one story that raises awareness in your community about public work that is being done by private organizations. Our aim is to shed a light on transparency and accountability issues that may arise as a result of these public-private partnerships.

More information - continue reading...


1 For All First Amendment Challenge

Picture yourself being eligible to win a $1,000 scholarship by simply posting a photo, illustration or other image to social media. That’s how easy it is to enter Picture Freedom, a national contest from Feb. 22 to 28 that calls on students 13 and older to celebrate the First Amendment and free speech in America.

The First Amendment and its five freedoms – speech, press, religion, assembly and petition – give us the right to be ourselves. Picture Freedom encourages you to tap into your individuality and creativity to make a visual statement about liberty.

All you have to do is post an original image – something you’ve photographed, drawn or designed – to Instagram, Twitter or Facebook with the hashtag #PictureFreedom. Posts should be public, and if a post is shared on Facebook, the account also needs to allow “everybody” to follow it.

It’s that easy. We’ll compile all of the entries, and a panel of educators and First Amendment experts will pick the top 25 posts based on originality, creativity and clarity in conveying the theme of freedom.

Picture Freedom is supported by the American Society of News Editors, the Journalism Education Association, the John Seigenthaler Chair of Excellence in First Amendment Studies at Middle Tennessee State University, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Newseum Institute’s First Amendment Center, and hundreds of teachers and journalists.

Click here to download the official rules. A guest column by Ken Paulson, president of the Newseum Institute’s First Amendment Center, and the contest’s media ads are available for publishing in print and online. Winners will be announced in April.

More information...

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!

Successful Interviewing in Emotional Situations

Check out the upcoming webinar from Online Media Campus!

Thursday, March 26
1:00 – 2:00 p.m.

They are upset.

  • At what just happened that changed their lives.
  • At themselves.
  • At someone else.
  • At you.
  • At anyone.

And you have to interview them.

This webinar can give you tips on how to handle sensitive interviews that even you might rather not have to do, but which are necessary to do your job.

More information and register...

Survey: Community Newspapers Circulation Needs and Opportunities

Community newspapers have strong reader appeal. NNA's readership surveys demonstrate that. But circulation sales and distribution have changed in recent years. NNA wants to know how your company has been affected, and your views on the challenges and opportunities ahead.

If you have more than one title, we would appreciate a response for as many as you have time to identify. If you have time for only one, please choose your best newspaper.

Thank you for your time!

2015 Murrow Press Fellowship

The Council on Foreign Relations is seeking applicants for the 2015–2016 Edward R. Murrow Press Fellowship

Application Deadline: March 1, 2015

Launched in 1949 with support from the Carnegie Corporation, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) Edward R. Murrow Press Fellowship seeks to promote the quality of responsible and discerning journalism that exemplified the work of Edward R. Murrow. In 1965, the program was renamed in his honor and is supported by the CBS Foundation and Ford Foundation. One CFR resident fellowship is awarded each year to a distinguished foreign correspondent or editor.
The Edward R. Murrow Press Fellow spends nine months full-time in residence at CFR’s headquarters in New York. The program enables the fellow to engage in sustained analysis and writing, expand his or her intellectual and professional horizons, and extensively participate in CFR’s active program of meetings and events. The fellow will be part of the David Rockefeller Studies Program, CFR’s think tank, alongside the program’s full-time, adjunct, and visiting fellows, whose expertise extends across the broad range of significant foreign policy issues facing the United States and the international community.

More info and application details...

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

Free Press publisher retiring
When Jim Santori, publisher of The Free Press, was starting out in journalism in southern Illinois, the local newspaper was "the enemy." 

That's because Santori was among a group trying to start a competing city magazine. But Santori, starting a family and a career, soon turned to that newspaper for a job.

"I was broke and I needed a real job, so I went to the enemy," said Santori, who in April will retire as Free Press publisher after nearly 40 years in journalism.

“I’m 65 and more than half of that time I’ve been with newspapers. I thought if I want to do something different while enjoying the second half of my life, I better start now. As author Ken Blanchard says, ‘It’s not retired but refired.’ "

Santori spent 27 years with Lee Enterprises and the past 12 years with Community Newspaper Holdings Inc., the parent company of The Free Press. He has worked at seven newspapers during his career and spent 15 years working in newsrooms before moving into marketing and then management. He became publisher of The Free Press in February 2007. 

Steve McPhaul, executive vice president and chief operating officer of CNHI, said a national search is underway for a replacement for Santori. Continue reading...

David Carr, Times Critic and Champion of Media, Dies at 58
David Michael Carr was born on Sept. 8, 1956, in Minneapolis, and grew up just outside the city in Hopkins, Minn. His father, John, a haberdasher, had his own struggles with alcoholism and was an advocate of recovery programs; David’s mother, Joan, was a schoolteacher.

He graduated from the University of Minnesota, where he majored in psychology and journalism. He worked for an alternative weekly, Twin Cities Reader, and later Washington City Paper before moving to New York. He wrote about media for a website,, and before joining The Times was a contributing writer to The Atlantic Monthly and New York magazine.

Mr. Carr lived in Montclair, N.J. His survivors include his wife, Jill Rooney Carr, international operations manager for Shake Shack; his daughters, Maddie, Erin and Meagan; and five siblings, Jim, John Jr., Joe, Missy and Lisa.

Read full New York Times Obit
Read MinnPost rememberance

Member Classifieds

Advertising Sales Executive
The Marshall Independent is looking for a highly-motivated sales professional to join our team selling print and online advertising. More...

Weekly Newspaper For Sale
Weekly newspaper for sale, 1,700 circulation, town of 840, member of Southwest Peach, modern computer systems, commercial printing, office products. SW Minnesota. More...

Staff Writing Position
Southern Minnesota weekly newspaper with a circulation of over 3,000 is seeking a staff writer. More...

Outside Sales Representative
Newly created full-time advertising sales position in Central Minnesota. Looking for an aggressive, independent person that can manage a sales territory without a lot of supervision. More...

Outside Sales Representative
Love Dairy? We are looking to add a motivated advertising sales representative to our staff to call on dairy businesses accounts in central Minnesota.  More...

Editor Needed
Editor needed for an award-winning newspaper group. This position – editor of the Jordan Independent – requires a journalist with demonstrated experience that includes reporting, photography, video, social-media and multi-platform work. More...

The St. Cloud Times is looking for a producer with strong copy editing and digitial skills to provide sophistication and polish to presentation and storytelling in a digital-first environment.  More...

Page1 Printers Seeking pressman who operates non-heat set web printing press and crew. More...

Circulation Manager
The Marshall Independent is seeking a hands-on Circulation Manager to lead our team and manage all aspects of our circulation department. More...

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Sunshine Week
March 15-21

NNA’s We Believe in Newspapers Leadership Summit
March 18-19

Webinar: Successful Interviewing in Emotional Situations
March 26 | 1-2 p.m.

MNA Board Meeting
April 9-10

Editors & Publishers Community Leadership Program Retreat
April 16-18
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