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March 7, 2017 - Issue 10

MNA Legislative Report - March 7, 2017

With the first committee deadline now only a few days away, legislators are working hard to complete their ever growing agendas by Friday, March 10.  That’s the date by which all policy bills must be approved by the committees in either the House or Senate having jurisdiction over them. 
This week MNA’s legislative representatives continue to monitor and engage with a wide variety of bills that remain active.  However, since our report in last week’s Bulletin, relatively little has occurred at the Capitol of real consequence. 
Several new bills have been introduced and added to our Tracking List. They include measures that would: direct the Legislative Commission on Data Practices to study options for expanding public access to legislative records and proceedings (SF 1553/HF 1814); ask Congress to proceed with revising the First Amendment so that its protections would apply only to “natural persons” and not corporations (SF 1082); require government entities to cite more than just the statute number supporting their position when denying access to data (SF 1718/HF 1544); remove current statutory language that authorizes state agencies to voluntarily publish notices of rule changes in newspapers in the course of agency rule making (HF 1433); and classify information about remuneration received by government employees from private sources that relate to their employment as public data (SF 1717/HF 2038). MNA supports the three data practices bills, and opposes the proposals to change the First Amendment and to remove the option to voluntarily publish notices during the state agency rule making process. 
We’re also carefully watching two different bills proposing amendments to the state’s sales tax law that could potentially affect news organizations.  One of the bills would expand the application of the sales tax in the context of so-called “digital products” (SF 726/HF 893).  However, in its current form the bill does not appear to cover any products or services provided by newspapers.  The other bill (SF 1164) is aimed at capturing more sales tax revenue from sales to Minnesota residents made by businesses not located in Minnesota that advertise with Minnesota-based web platforms.  It would only apply where a website operator collected payment from a person responding to a website advertisement and then transmitted the payment to the advertiser, which would not appear to impact newspapers.  But both bills still have a long road ahead through the legislative process.
Last week, MNA attorney Mark Anfinson attended a meeting at the Capitol with a large number of other parties interested in HF 1316, which seeks to simplify the data practices rules with respect to the burgeoning category of audio and video recordings obtained by government surveillance cameras.  Under current law, it can be argued that whenever a government employee appears in such a recording, even when in a totally public and accessible location, that portion of the recording would be considered private personnel data.  The bill would make the recordings public, regardless of whether government employees were visible.  However, many government groups had concerns about the bill in its original form, and the meeting last week was for the purpose of trying to narrow the language so that it could acquire broader support. 
As the committee deadlines approach, MNA’s legislative representatives will continue to carefully monitor developments at the Capitol and report any important developments to our members.  Meanwhile, be sure to let us know if you have questions, concerns, or comments about our legislative campaign. 
Click to view MNA's Legislative Bill Status Report

Sunshine Week Guest Column by John Bodette

Sunshine Week is a annual nationwide celebration of access to public information and what it means for you and your community. It is celebrated March 12-18, 2017 this year.  Plan ahead! Any newspapers are welcome to publish this guest column commissioned by MNA and written by John Bodette. Click here for a full toolkit of additional resources including editorial cartoons.

St. Cloud

Welcome to Sunshine Week, a national effort to promote openness in government.

Sunshine Week is brought to you by the American Society of News Editors and Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.

When we are experiencing “fake news,” “alternative facts,” frequent falsehoods and efforts to label journalists as “enemies of the people,” there is no better time to shine the light on government.

While I was executive editor of the St. Cloud Times, we did several in-depth reports on how citizens could access public information. The Times did reporting projects to request public information from city and county governments, including law enforcement, to make sure information that is required to be public was readily made available.

But rather than directing this column to the journalists who work hard to serve their communities, I want to ask all citizens to take part in Sunshine Week.

Most people don’t realize the wealth of information that is not only available to the public, but required by law to be provided.

Do you want a copy of your school superintendent’s employment contract? Ask for it. It is public.

Want to know who is in your county jail? You should be able to access the information online or request a list from local law enforcement.

Want a copy of your city or county budgets? Ask for it. Those are public records.

My best advice has always been to assume, with a few exceptions, that anything having to do with government actions is public. Some personnel matters and most juvenile court records aren’t public. But so many other documents are open. For example: Expense records for government officials are public. Government contracts with private companies and individuals are public.

Another good source of information are the legal notices published in daily and weekly newspapers, also required by law in many cases.

Need help on answering questions on whether information is public?

The state Department of Administration’s Information Policy Analysis Division is where to turn.

IPAD’s primary mission is to offer help and consultation on the Data Practices Act, the Open Meeting Law and other information policy state laws. The agency answers questions from residents, governments and groups and businesses interested in public records. You can find them here:

This is the time for all citizens to demand open access to government information. Transparency in government makes for stronger communities.

I think the Washington Post has hit the target by placing under its front page masthead the words “Democracy dies in the darkness.”

There is no better time to bring transparency to government at all levels than during Sunshine Week.

John Bodette recently retired as executive editor of the St. Cloud Times and Times Media.

Click here to view on the MNA website

Apply Now to the 2017 Editors & Publishers Community Leadership Program!

The Minnesota News Media Institute is pleased to present the 13th 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 2017! To learn more and to apply, editor-publisher teams interested in being considered for the program should send an email to Lisa Hills at or Sarah Jackson at

Click here to download 2017 program info

Click here to learn more about the program

2017/18 MN Newspaper Directory Print RFP

We're in the process of preparing the 2017/18 MN Newspaper Directory. If you would like to submit a print bid based on the specs below, please contact Dan Lind at

The deadline to submit a bid for review and consideration is April 1st, 2017.

Full color advertising opportunities in the print and electronic version are available. Premium space is limited. Please contact LuAnn Yattaw at for more details.  

80 pages + 4 Page Cover
8-1/4" x 10-3/4" Finished Size
Perfect Bind
Cover - 10PT C1S Cover - 4/4 + Varnish
Text - 50# Offset, White - 4/4 All Pages
Mail Prep - Polybag and Inkjet Slip Sheet (350 copies)
Freight Delivery to Minneapolis (550 copies)
Box and Skid Pack
Quantity: 900

MNI Sending NNA News Fellow to Washington 

Gabriel Sanchez has been selected as the Minnesota News Media Institute’s 2017 National Newspaper Association Foundation’s News Fellow. Gabriel is pursuing a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota School of Journalism and Mass Communications. Gabriel has been on the Dean’s list since 2014, has significant journalism experience and is the president of the University of MInnesota Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. 
MNA is partnering with the National Newspaper Association Foundation for its fifth annual NNAF News Fellows Program. The program will be held March 15-17, 2017, in Washington, D.C.  A small number of college journalists from across the country meet in the nation's capital to cover the Supreme Court and its impact on local communities. Assisted by professional mentors and veteran journalists, Fellows spend an intense two-and-a-half days interviewing experts and leaders in Washington, then return home to publish a story in their respective student publications or local newspapers. 

Gabriel was selected through an application process.  A journalism major, Gabriel has a professional resume working for KSTP-TV as a political reporter, he has worked at the St. Paul Pioneer Press as a business reporter and he currently is working at the Star Tribune covering the metro beat.
Before arriving at the University of Minnesota he served as a legal services specialist for the United States Marine Corps. His classwork has included media law courses that examine United States Supreme Court decisions concerning First Amendment Issues.
NNAF limits the number of News Fellows to eight students each year.  The purpose of the program is to develop news literacy skills in young journalists by looking at issues from a community newspaper perspective. Previous issues have tackled national security as well as terrorism.

The Minnesota News Media Institute is sponsoring Gabriel’s participation as part of its mission of education and training.  Sponsorship includes hotel accommodations, travel costs and tuition fees.  Fellows will enjoy dinner at the National Press Club, with other meals and local transportation also provided. 

Participate in Sunshine Week 2017

Sunshine Week 2017 is coming up and journalists around the nation will participate the week of March 12 through March 18. 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 look at policies and practices dealing with public information officers.

According to Washington D.C. freelance reporter Kathryn Foxhall, who blogged about the topic on the national SPJ website, there’s been a surge in government offices prohibiting staff from speaking with journalists unless they go through a public information officer.

She argued this silences public employees about sensitive topics. These policies also add a middleman to the equation which can cause massive delays.

According to surveys of journalists, government, science and education reporters confirm the same kinds of problems. And many police reporters say they can rarely or never talk to a police officer without involving a PIO.

Many of these PIOs say they must be injected in the process so reporters talk to the “correct people” or the organization can “complete and accurate information.”

The Minnesota Pro Chapter of SPJ and the Minnesota Newspaper Association are working together this year to highlight and combat the issue. To contribute to this year’s Sunshine Week event, which we are dubbing #SunshineMN, we are asking professional and student newsrooms around the state produce at least one story that raises awareness about the PIOs in your community and the rules that put them between their organization and the public.

Continue reading...

Pumarlo: Are you ready for the new year? Take an inventory

It’s standard procedure at newspapers to chronicle the year. Headlines typically include the passing of noteworthy individuals; the success, or maybe failure, of a civic project; milestones in sports achievements, election results or key community benchmarks.

Convene a brainstorming session with your newsroom – better yet, with a cross-section of employees from your entire “newspaper family” – and you’ll quickly have a list of noteworthy headlines. You may well be surprised at the scope of stories.

That prompts the question: Are you ready for 2017? All newsrooms should prepare an editorial calendar and review it regularly. Many of the things you cover are the same year in and year out. Use the opportunity to explore new approaches for coverage.

Think across the spectrum of your community. Here are three areas.

Public affairs always demands attention. There are the regular meetings of city councils, county boards and school boards plus the numerous commissions and task forces. Do you preview the important agenda items? Do you go beyond the votes and report the impact of the actions in real and understandable terms? Think beyond the meetings as you examine how to broaden your coverage. The mayor presents a state of the city speech. Government bodies spend weeks, even months, reviewing and adopting budgets. Capital improvement projects are previewed.

Also, brainstorm stories that may warrant special coverage. Has a longtime elected official announced that this will be his or her last term of service? Are single issues dominating a government body? Did the election produce new voting blocs?

Continue reading...

February Network Honor Rolls

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

Cottonwood County Citizen, Windom - 1
Herald Journal Publishing - 6
Kerkhoven Banner - 3
Rochester Post-Bulletin – 7
Sauk Centre Herald - 3
The Review Messenger, Sebeka - 1
Wadena Pioneer Journal - 1

Herald Journal Publishing - 1
Kerkhoven Banner - 1
Kittson County Enterprise, Hallock - 2
St. James Plaindealer - 1
Westbrook Sentinel/Tribune - 4

Herald Journal Publishing - 2

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

Ted Almen
Dan Birkholz
Robin Burnell
Duane Durheim
Bernice Eckenrode
Barb Flicker
Monica Hensley
Bruce Johnson
Kari Jurrens
Chris Schultz
Terri Wall
Becky Wedde

Click here to read about our 2017 Network Ad Sales Incentive Program and you can earn a bonus next month!

Student Survey for Media Pros

San Diego State University graduate students are asking for a few minutes of your time to complete a survey about your experience with PR professionals. This few minutes of your time will greatly contribute to the success of our academic research, as well as, contribute to the professionalization and expansion of knowledge to the profession as whole.

Visit this link to take survey:

This survey will take less than 15 minutes. Participation in this research study is strictly anonymous. The study is open to professional journalists, broadcasters, photojournalists, editors, or similar, over the age of 18. The deadline is March 22.

(For more information about this study, or to receive the results of this study, you may contact me by phone at 303-883-0602 or via email at If you have any questions about the rights of participants in this study, you may contact the Division of Research Affairs at San Diego State University (telephone: 619-594- 6622; email: At any time during the research you can contact the IRB for questions about research rights, to discuss problems, concerns, or suggestions, or to offer input.)

Jamie C. Seibel, Graduate Student
San Diego State University
School of Journalism & Media Studies​

Call for Nominations for the Amos, McKinney & Phillips Awards

Every year, the National Newspaper Association announces the Call for Nominations for the Amos, McKinney & Phillips Awards, which are the highest honors awarded to working and retired newspapermen and women who have exhibited distinguished service to the community press.
The General James O. Amos Award was established in 1938 by E.C. Amos, publisher of The Sidney Daily News, to honor his father, General James O. Amos, a pioneer Ohio journalist and an early-day member of the National Editorial Association.
The Emma C. McKinney Award was created in 1966 to honor Emma C. McKinney, co-publisher and editor of the Hillsboro (OR) Argus for 58 years. In 1954 Mrs. McKinney was named dean of Oregon newspapermen and women and in 1957 received the Amos Voorhies Award, the highest state honor that can be awarded to an Oregon newspaper person. Mrs. McKinney was inducted into the Oregon Journalism Hall of Fame in 1982.
The Daniel M. Phillips Leadership Award was established in 2007 to honor Daniel Morris “Dan” Phillips, an award-winning writer and photographer who passed away in 2005 at the age of 47.
For more information and forms:

Essentials of Digital Media

April 26, 2017

Minnesota Magazine Publishers Association is extending its member rate to MNA members for the MMPA Essentials of Digital Mediaa course that will help increase online revenue by expanding your digital sales knowledge and skill. 

Essentials of Digital Media course goes beyond the basics and covers the topics and issues necessary to understand how digital media is valued and transacted. This course is an absolute requirement if your work involves understanding the assets, terminology, and best practices for how digital media is bought and sold, how it is measured, and how to value media to achieve campaign and client objectives.

This course provides the concepts and best practices that will dramatically and immediately improve your job performance.  Plus, all students will receive a certificate of completion and earn credit hours that can be applied for anyone wishing to study for and pass the IAB Digital Sales Certification Exam.

Registration & Cost:
The cost to attend this all-day course is separate from the Summit & Expo registration fee, but will also be held at McNamara Alumni Center.

  • MMPA and MNA Members: $399
More information and register online

Upcoming Online Media Campus Training

Check out the upcoming webinar from Online Media Campus!

Engaging Readers Through Your Editorial Page

Thursday, March 23
1:00 – 2:00 p.m. 

Award-winning editorial writer Michael Smith of the Spartanburg (S.C.) Herald-Journal explains how he crafts his editorials, and offers pointers for keeping the community conversation vibrant, all while maintaining a fast-paced newsroom.

More information and register...

Communicating and Collaborating Across Generations

Thursday, April 20
1:00 – 2:00 p.m. 

Does your workplace look like your last family picnic?
Does your customer and co-worker look and act different than 10 years ago?
Do you experience challenges working with others from different generations?

If you answered yes to these questions, then this practical, real-life situational seminar is for you!

With the country’s changing demographics – the workplace is different than five, 10 and 15 years ago. This program will help you understand not only yourself, but the other generations, and give you specific tips on how to be more successful with a diverse workplace. You will leave with a renewed sense of your working relationships.

Learning objectives for the day:

– Understanding the different generations
– Old School, Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millenniums or Gen Y
– Techniques on creating a more productive workplace
– How to communicate effectively with each generation
– Techniques on what motivates each generation

More information and register...

Midwest Journalism Conference: Registration Now Open, Updated Schedule Available

Journalists from across the Midwest will gather for two days of training sessions, awards ceremonies and networking March 31-April 1, 2017 at the Crowne Plaza MSP Airport at 34th Avenue South and American Boulevard in Bloomington, Minnesota.

Click here for information about reserving a booth at the conference career fair!

Along with the founding partners of the Midwest Journalism Conference, including the Midwest Broadcast Journalists Association, Region 6 of the Society of Professional Journalists, the Minnesota Associated Press, the Upper Midwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, the National Press Photographers Association, the Radio Television Digital News Association/Foundation and the University of Minnesota, we have now teamed up with local chapters of the Asian American Journalists Association, the Online News Association, the National Association of Black Journalists, as well as the American Copy Editors Society. All of our partner groups help to produce training sessions, invite their members to take part in the conference, and enjoy the fellowship of friends old and new. As always, the Midwest Journalism Conference provides national-caliber training seminars at a fraction of the price of national conferences, along with prestigious awards programs, all within driving distance from anywhere in our six-state service area.

Click here for more info and to register...

Google and Facebook: New tools to enhance storytelling, reach and engage local audiences

Both Google and Facebook have created – and continue to develop – tools to help journalists, including those in the smallest news organizations, do better work, improve workflow issues and track results.

Plan now to join your peers April 6 to 8 at the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute on the beautiful campus of the University of Missouri in Columbia. During this latest edition of the Walter B. Potter Sr. Conferences you’ll learn how community news organizations – weeklies, small dailies and their websites – can reach deeper into their audiences, and grow their audience with new opportunities created with tools from Google and Facebook.

Register by March 31 to attend.

Click for more information and to register...

2017 John R. Finnegan FOI Award Ceremony

When: Thursday, March 16, 2016, 12:00pm – ­1:00pm
Where:  Minneapolis Central Library, Pohlad Hall, 300 Nicollet Mall, Mpls, MN 55401

The award will be presented at MNCOGI’s annual Freedom of Information Day event Thursday, March 16 from noon to 1 pm, at Minneapolis Central Library’s Pohlad Hall, 300 Nicollet Mall.

Tony Webster to receive John R. Finnegan Freedom Of Information Award

Tony Webster, a self-proclaimed “web engineer, public records researcher, and policy nerd” wins this year’s Finnegan FOI Award. As a private citizen, Webster exercises the Data Practices Act with a rigor that rivals, and often supersedes, that of professional journalists and researchers. Webster’s requests concern data across a range of topics, including government surveillance, housing fraud, restaurant inspection data, and government responses to protests. Webster publishes much of the government data he receives on his website, optimized to be discovered by search engines. This has led to the data being used in the reporting of professional journalists.  Using his website,, and tweets, @webster, Webster  regularly works to increase public access to government data via tools, reporting, and his own experience. “Tony Webster is a shining example of the power of a single individual to make government more transparent and hold it accountable,” said MNCOGI chair Gary Hill.

Patrice McDermott’s keynote “Secrecy and Accountability – Looking Forward, Looking Back”

As Executive Director of, Dr. McDermott aggressively promotes their mission “to advance the public’s right to know and to reduce unnecessary secrecy in government.” Her remarks will reflect sixteen years of working in Washington, D.C. through several administrations in the face of unpredictable and often difficult challenges. She is the author of Who Needs to Know? The State of Public Access to Federal Government Information.  In 2011 she received the James Madison Award from the American Library Association in recognition of her work to champion, protect, and promote public access to government information and she was inducted into the National Freedom of Information Act Hall of Fame in 2001.

Click here for more info...

Don't forget: Upload your public notices today!

In 2014, MNA successfully launched its online clearinghouse of Minnesota public notices. Since then, 120 MNA member newspapers have posted more than 35,000 public notices on the site. 

Now, MNA has developed a series of house ads you can use to promote in your newspaper and on your website. 
If you haven't started posting your public notices yet, and 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 Jackson to sign up and also 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.

Click here for more info and to view/download ads!

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

Member Classifieds:

The Sentinel of Fairmont, Minnesota, is seeking a full-time news reporter. The Sentinel is published six days per week. More...

The Mille Lacs Messenger in Isle Minnesota is looking for a full-time or part-time reporter. The ideal candidate will love to write a human interest story about a local artist, a feature story about fishing the big lake, cover a city council or school board meeting, take photos and post stories to our website and social media. More...

The La Crosse Tribune is looking for a reporter who loves watchdog journalism and good storytelling that connects the functions of government with people’s lives. More...

The Winona Daily News is seeking an editor who will continue our heritage of strong local coverage and community leadership. More...

FREE Web Press Supplies
All Free. Approximately 70 30# pails of Flint pms cold set web press ink. More...

Mankato Area Weekly
Profitable Mankato area weekly covering growing communities. Great operation for husband/wife team. More...

Freelance Photographer Available

Graphic Designer
Wanted: Gifted Graphic Designer. Proficient in InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator. Must be able to work under pressure quickly and efficiently while meeting deadlines. More...

Access to the MNA Member Classifieds Page is free to MNA members.  To submit an ad, please click the “Submit a Job Posting” or “Submit a For Sale/Wanted Posting” buttons on the Member Classifieds page.  MNA Members are also encouraged to post ads for available internships (submit as a Job Posting).  Non-members may send an ad by e-mail to:  The charge for non-members to place ads is $25 per week (payable by check or credit card).  If you have any questions, please email or call MNA: or 612-332-8844.

NOTE:  Once jobs are filled, or For sale/Wanted postings expired, please ask MNA to remove your post from the Member Classifieds. You can send an e-mail to

Weekly Quick Clicks

How to Collaborate With Your Prospect to Close More Deals
(Courtesy of HubSpot)

Sales Prospecting: Tips, Techniques, & Tools to Succeed
(Courtesy of HubSpot)

Use These 4 Phrases When Overcoming These Objections
(Courtesy of MTD Sales Training)

Gitomer: Proper, Pointed, Precise, Purposeful Response Shortens The Sales Cycle
(Courtesy of Media Sales Today)

Listening – The Forgotten Twin of Sales Success
(Courtesy of Sales Training Connection)

Breaking News 4: When real news is fake
(Courtesy of Reynolds Journalism Institute)

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Username: Member
Password: Newspaper

Upcoming Events

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

Sunshine Week
March 12-18

Engaging Readers Through Your Editorial Page
March 23

Midwest Journalism Conference
March 31-April 1

Communicating and Collaborating Across Generations
April 20

Editors & Publishers Community Leadership Program Retreat
April 20-22

MNA Board Meeting
April 27-28
MNA/MNI Event Calendar
MNA Member Classifieds
This Week's Network Ads
Recent Press Releases
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