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August 4, 2015 - Issue 31

LAST CALL! Friday is Deadline to Register for Next Week's News Design Workshop

Friday, August 14, 2015

Join the Minnesota News Media Institute and trainer Ed Henninger, one of the world’s leading design consultants for community newspapers, for a daylong workshop focused on news design.

Last summer, Ed's news design session sold out! This year, he's back in Minnesota for more.Ed has worked with newspapers all over the world and is bringing his expertise to MNA members for one day only!  Seats are limited so sign up today.  

Morning session:

You Call the Shots is a bold, new presentation idea offered nowhere else. Leave it to Ed Henninger to break the mold again!

The concept is simple: We ask those attending what topics are most important to them. What questions do they have about news design? What do they most want to know? What design points can we clear up for them?

Attendees will review Ed's list of 101 topics, and check off the items they most want to discuss. We will tabulate the returns, placing those topics that gain the most interest at the top of the list for Ed's presentation.

Some of the topics are more about philosophy, design thinking and approach. Others focus more on assembly, design details and getting the job done quickly and efficiently.

Click here to download Ed's list of 101 topics

Afternoon program:

Page Evaluation Session: participants will submit PDF files from their papers ahead of the workshop for on-the-spot evaluations on August 14:

  • Page 1.
  • Sports front.
  • Feature front.
  • And inside page of their choosing.

Ed HenningerAbout the presenter:

Ed Henninger has been an independent newspaper consultant since 1989 and is the Director of Henninger Consulting in Rock Hill, SC. He is universally recognized as the world’s leading design consultant for community newspapers.

Workshop Information:

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

Registration fee: $125 -- fee includes lunch

Friday is the deadline to register for this event!

Click here for more information and to register today!

"No Buts Digital" -- â€˜Quicksand’ and how to avoid it in social media

By: Jaci Smith

My husband, Jerry, is a huge fan of the movie, “The Replacements.” I would probably like it a lot more if it was about the Minnesota band, but it is instead about a group of NFL rejects who get the chance to play together on a pro team during an NFL strike.

There are actually a few interesting messages that come out in the movie, but one in particular resonated with me. In a team meeting, the coach, played by Gene Hackman, asks the players what they are most afraid of.

At first, the players don’t get the question. One starts up a conversation about his fear of spiders.

“No, no, no, that’s not the kind of fear I’m talking about,” the coach admonishes the team. “I’m talking about fear on the field, when you’re doing your job.

“What are you afraid of?”

“Quicksand,” replies the quarterback, played by Keanu Reeves.

What’s quicksand? Reeves explains it is what happens when one thing doesn’t go quite the way you expect, and then right away another thing doesn’t go well. And then another. And another. Suddenly, you’re intimidated, overwhelmed, indecisive. Afraid of failure. Afraid to move.


As a small town community newspaper editor, I can relate to that image. On any given day, I have so many hats I wear, I couldn’t imagine finding the time to pick up another one when my boss told me we needed to start a Facebook page for our newspaper.

And, what are the rules? Who’s going to edit what gets posted? What kind of content do we allow to be posted? Who’s going to watch the comments? Do we allow staff to post off their personal accounts? Reply to commenters? Do we link to stories, ads, businesses? Can followers see our content for free? Won’t I be siphoning off visits to our website by starting a Facebook page?

Too many questions that I didn’t have the time to find answers for. Better to just skip it, I thought.


The truth is, though it did take some additional time out of my day and out of the days of my team, using Facebook has been seamlessly integrated into our workflow.

The truth is, the audience on our Facebook page, which now exceeds the number of our paid print subscribers, is different in a number of ways from our print — and even our web — audience. This is, at least in part, a new audience to the Daily News.

The truth is, there are any number of stories I can point to that we wouldn’t have known about without our Facebook page.

The truth is, by the time I was putting up my first post under the Daily News’ Facebook page, I didn’t have all the answers. I still don’t. But one thing I quickly recognized: This was a channel of communication I could no longer avoid, not if I was serious about engaging my community.

Continue reading...

Pumarlo: Challenged by ‘big projects’? Broaden your definition

Brainstorm big editorial projects, and the mind-set often focuses on an in-depth series that can take weeks to research and write. The report will be published over multiple days in your print and digital platforms. The projects can energize your staff and deliver substantive content to your readers.

Or, despite your best intentions, projects can get bogged down by your everyday “must” reporting and may never materialize.

That doesn’t mean you should stop aiming for the big projects. It does, however, mean you should expand your definition. Identify opportunities to generate more substantive reports in everyday coverage.

Here’s one list of ways to expand what otherwise may be routine reports.

Annual reports are routinely presented at local government meetings – from a wrap-up of parent advisory council activities to residential and commercial/industrial building permits to public safety statistics. Identify the most compelling highlights. Showcase those in a story accompanied by a sidebar with the overall statistics.

Election coverage is an exhaustive, months-long process. Identify stories beyond the norm, for example: the diary of a first-time candidate; a breakdown of campaign contributions; the inner workings of a campaign committee.

Give attention to second-day stories. Broaden the conversation with individuals beyond those associated with the original report. These stories are also a great way to distinguish your coverage from that of “outside” media. Follow-up stories are especially worthwhile and effective when reporting on sensitive and challenging circumstances that may prompt charges of sensationalism.

Continue reading...

July Network Honor Rolls

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

Herald Journal Publishing - 7
Pope County Tribune, Glenwood  - 2
Mankato Free Press - 4
Montgomery Messenger - 1
Rochester Post-Bulletin - 5
St. James Plaindealer  - 1
Tracy Headlight- Herald - 2

Crookston Daily Times - 5
Herald Journal Publishing - 3

Herald Journal Publishing - 2

A bonus went to the following 10 salespeople who sold an ad into the networks. Congratulations!

Angela Cole Olson
Duane Durheim
Barb Flicker
Monica Hensley
Randy Heuer
Bruce Johnson
Chris Schultz
Lisa Sell
Brittany Stradtman
Wade Young

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

MNA Public Notice Site - House Ads Now Available!

In 2014, MNA successfully launched its online clearinghouse of Minnesota public notices. Many MNA-member newspapers are up and running on the site, posting public notices weekly - or more often - on the 

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 Bauer 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!

Editorial and Social Skills - August Webinars!

Check out the upcoming webinars from Online Media Campus!

How to Craft an Engaging Lede

Thursday, August 13
1:00 – 2:00 p.m. 

In this webinar, we will cover everything from how to write a basic news story in inverted pyramid style to the emotion-filled feature piece. This presentation includes an overview of several common and effective styles of ledes, as well as tips for how to keep ledes concise and compelling.

We will focus on:
  • The five basic ledes.
  • Writing effective summary ledes.
  • Second-day ledes.
  • What to avoid.
More information and register...

New Ways to Grow Audience Online: Social Stories for Snapchat, Periscope and Facebook

Thursday, August 20
1:00 – 2:00 p.m.

Reaching new audiences is easier than ever with social media. Knowing where to invest your time is the challenge. Periscope, Snapchat and Facebook’s deep dive into video are changing the way we reach our social readers. Learn how to use live video, Facebook video and Snapchat to mine new audiences and be creative with social stories. We will explore what new social mediums work best for attracting younger audiences and branding our content.

This session is recommended for anyone who has intermediate social media skills and is comfortable using basic video and photo skills on a mobile device.

More information and register...

Practical Use of eDoc

Thursday, August 13
10:00 a.m.

About the program: 
Brad Hill and Max Heath will focus on the practical use of eDoc. They will cover questions about how it affects entering the mail, postage payments and record keeping, and they will spend some time on creating a contingency plan, which is a MUST-know for anyone who does eDoc.

EXTRA! NNA Postal Committee Chair Max Heath will tell you how to use the new Service Hubs announced in July by USPS. Make sure you know how to improve your service to subscribers through Hubs!

Gust Stars:

Brad Hill is the president of Interlink, a privately owned circulation-management company serving the community newspaper industry. He’s also been named a National Newspaper Association representative on the Mailers’ Technical Advisory Committee, joining National Newspaper Association’s postal Chair Max Heath and NNA Chief Executive Officer Tonda F. Rush in that important postal-related group.

Max Heath, chair of the NNA Postal Committee, is considered the newspaper industry’s postal guru. Heath also serves on the Mailers Technical Advisory Committee, which meets quarterly at USPS headquarters. Additionally, he’s a postal consultant for Athlon Media and Landmark Community Newspapers. Heath was executive editor of LCNI for 21 years, and circulation director for 23 years before retiring in 2008.

Leading the Discussion: 
HOST - Stan Schwartz, National Newspaper Association 

Registration fee: $30Register by Monday, August 10
(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

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

Lorenz reaches 50 years in the newspaper/printing biz
It was just days before his 20th birthday when Dave Lorenz received a call that, although he didn’t know at the time, would shape his life’s path for the next five decades.

The year was 1965 and he had recently graduated from college in Wahpeton, North Dakota, at what is now known as North Dakota State College of Science, with a degree in printing. He was working as a handyman of sorts at Park Region Echo in Alexandria after graduation when a phone call from George Etzell, editor of the Clarissa Independent, called him to town for his first “official” printing job.

He had originally come to the Alexandria area for the good fishing there in hopes of eventually securing a job in what he had been trained for. Continue reading...

New Staff at Dodge County Independent
Publisher Rick Bussler has announced several staffing changes, including the addition of two newly created positions. Bussler has named Annie Anderson as Shopper manager and advertising director. She joins the newspaper after working at Bussler's other publications, the Steele County Times and News Enterprise of West Concord, based in Blooming Prairie for nearly five years. Shannon Granholm has been named news editor of the Independent. She will be responsible for all news coverage in the newspaper and special sections. In addition, she will also handle the layout and design of the news pages. Granholm, 22, comes to the Independent after working the past year as county staff writer for the Times in Blooming Prairie. 

Focus hires new editor
The Perham Focus would like to announce the addition of Jackie Jenson as that newspaper’s new editor. A newspaper and writing veteran, Jenson started at the Focus on June 23 taking over Marie Johnson. Jenson brings to her new position over 20+ years of writing and management experience having previously worked for the Target Corporation as an Operations Manager, DL Newspapers as a business and feature writer and for a variety of regional magazines including Lake and Home and High School Sports Quarterly. More...

Member Classifieds:

Faribault Daily News – Reporter
The Faribault Daily News is looking for a reporter, but we won’t settle for the ordinary. We need someone who’s equally comfortable writing an enterprise piece on budget trends or a feature on an interesting resident, and who will tweet about it all the while. More...

General Assignment Reporter
The Litchfield Independent Review seeks a talented, energetic journalist to join our award-winning team. This is a general assignment reporter position. More...

News Reporter – Le Mars, IA
The Le Mars Daily Sentinel, a four-day-a-week newspaper in northwest Iowa, seeks a motivated news reporter who can generate ideas, turn in accurate and well-organized stories, meet daily deadlines and work well with our newsroom. More...

Digital Editor
The Post-Bulletin Co. is seeking a creative, dynamic individual to fill the role of Digital Editor, a key newsroom leadership position. More... 

Print Production/Graphic Artist
African American weekly community newspaper seeks motivated individual with experience to design and lay out newspaper pages and in-house material. More...

Weekly Quick Clicks

5 types of photos that make for strong photo essays, audio slideshows
(Courtesy of Poynter)

You Can't Upsell to Unhappy Customers
(Courtesy of Customer Think)

How to Recover From a Bad Sales Call
(Courtesy of Business to Community)

Alas, Time to Say Good-bye to Paywalls
(Courtesy of Media Life Magazine)

What The Ad Blocker Debate Reveals
(Courtesy of Monday Note)

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Username: Member
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Upcoming Events

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

Editors & Publishers Community Leadership Program Workshop II
August 13-14

How to Craft an Engaging Lede
August 13 | 1-2 p.m.

Design Workshop with Ed Henninger
August 14 

New Ways to Grow Audience Online: Social Stories for Snapchat, Periscope and Facebook
August 20 | 1-2 p.m.

National Newspaper Association 129th Annual Convention and Trade Show
October 1-3

MNA Board Meeting
October 15-16
MNA/MNI Event Calendar
MNA/MNI Event Calendar
MNA Member Classifieds
This Week's Network Ads
Recent Press Releases
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