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March 3, 2015 - Issue 9

MNA Legislative Report - March 3, 2015  

Last week’s news that the state’s projected budget surplus may be nearly twice as large as previously predicted has produced some additional drama at the Capitol, as legislators try and decide how the surplus should be dealt with—more spending, returning the money, or some combination of both.  However, most legislators from both parties see it as a good problem to have, compared to the deficits that had to be addressed in recent years.
Mortgage Foreclosure Notices.  Over the past several days, MNA’s legislative focus has been on trying to negotiate some workable language for a possible amendment to mortgage foreclosure law that would better describe where published mortgage foreclosure notices can appear.  As most members know, there have been a few recent lawsuits around the state brought by individuals whose property was being foreclosed who argued that the foreclosure was invalid because the notice was published in a newspaper having little or no circulation in the area where the property was located.   In at least two of these cases, the courts have agreed with the property owners. 
That litigation has caused understandable and increasing concern on the part of mortgage lenders and real estate attorneys, who want to avoid the expense of litigation as well as the potential uncertainty about property titles that the publication issue creates.   MNA has sought to avoid having the lenders and real estate lobbyists pursue their own bill at the Capitol, and instead we’ve taken the lead so that we have some control over the actual language of the legislation.  But the negotiations with interested parties have been challenging, dealing with some of the more esoteric technicalities involved in real estate law.  Not only have the lenders and real estate attorneys participated in those negotiations, but the Legal Aid Society as well.
The current approach is to amend mortgage law to simply state that the notice publication is sufficient if it occurs in a qualified legal newspaper having its known office of issue in the same county as the mortgaged premises.  That’s not MNA’s first choice, but the lenders and real estate attorneys strongly support this approach because above all, they want some reasonable level of clarity as to where the notices are published without having to investigate issues such as the adequacy of a newspaper’s circulation in a particular area.  They also argue that the approach used must be one that allows future property title examiners to be able to reasonably verify that the publication of a notice occurred properly.
The House bill addressing this issue gets its first hearing on Tuesday (March 3) in the Commerce Committee.  No Senate hearing has yet been scheduled.  We emphasize that the bill has a long ways to go yet, and there will be ample opportunity for amendments if we conclude that they may be warranted.  The bill numbers are HF 953/SF 1147.
Insurance Fraud Bill—Access to Incident Data.  Another bill we’re actively working on this week is HF 864/SF 782, which is promoted by the insurance industry and is aimed at reducing insurance fraud.  As we’ve reported, the bill includes a provision that would restrict access to public law enforcement incident data for 30 days, a measure that’s mainly designed to prevent certain parties (such as chiropractors, attorneys, and their agents) from quickly contacting people who’ve been involved in motor vehicle accidents.  We continue to negotiate with the bill’s proponents about removing or modifying this provision.
Unclaimed Property Notification.  MNA is also continuing to participate in discussions involving the best way to reform the state’s unclaimed property notification procedures.  We believe that if legislation moves forward this year, it will include some form of publication of notice to parties having unclaimed property held by the state, which experience suggests is the most effective way to attract people’s attention on the issue.
Don’t forget that all of the various legislative issues that MNA is dealing with this year are summarized on the tracking list prepared by our legislative counsel Sandy Neren.  It’s on the MNA website, and is updated at least weekly.
If you do have any questions or concerns about our legislative efforts—especially with respect to the mortgage foreclosure bill—please let us know.  We very much value input from our members. 

Download the current Legislative Bill Status Report

Ad-libs: What’s now? What’s next?

Not long ago, I was in the audience for a consultant’s presentation on today’s business climate. The thing I most remember was listed in the bullet points on one of her PowerPoint slides – the words “What’s now? What’s next?” She spent all of 30 seconds discussing them.

Although these four words were not the main emphasis of her speech – and although they were not used in a sales context – they provide a solution to a problem faced by many sales people. Let’s say you’ve worked with a new advertiser to set long-term goals and plan a campaign, and now the ads have started running. Your strategy is to meet with your client on a regular basis to discuss the state of the campaign and see if any tweaks are needed.

What do you say in those meetings? It’s vague and repetitive to ask, “So how’s your campaign going?” in every conversation. That’s where these two questions can be a good alternative. Simply establish the format in the first follow-up meeting by saying, “We both want you to get the best possible results from your advertising. So in order to focus our attention, let’s concentrate on two things: What’s happening now and what’s the next step to reach your overall objectives?”

Continue reading...

A Few Spots Remain Open -- Apply Today!  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

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...

Resources: The wonderful world of native advertising according to Jaci Smith 

Jaci Smith, managing editor of the Faribult Daily News, is the project leader for APG of Southern Minnesota’s 2014-2015 institutional fellowship at the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute. Her goal: create a native advertising model that can be implemented easily and successfully by smaller community papers.

As of January, she’s half way through the fellowship and she’s scored several successes in Southern Minnesota. The resource page (an ongoing work in progress) is a compilation of blog posts and samples, plus templates and guidelines so you can launch a native advertising program now.

Click here to view the Native Advertising Resource Page

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!

Journalism’s past, present, future converge at conference in Missouri

The world’s first school of journalism at the first public university west of the Mississippi River will be the setting for the 2015 conference of the International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors (ISWNE).

Non-members are welcome.

The conference will be June 24-28 at the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute (RJI), part of the Missouri School of Journalism in Columbia.

The University’s journalism history and Columbia’s unusual journalism present -- it has competing daily newspapers -- will be the focus of the conference’s first day with programs and tours of the J-School, the Missouri Press Association office and both the Missourian, the daily published by the School of Journalism, and the family-owned Columbia Daily Tribune, which also prints the Midwest edition of The New York Times.

Thursday features visits to the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum and the National World War I Museum.

Friday is a full day of journalism past, present and future.

Presenters include Mark Horvit, executive director of Investigative Reporters & Editors; the staff of the St. Louis American on “Ferguson – How an African-American weekly covered an international story in its backyard;” Bill Miller Sr. of the twice-weekly Washington Missourian and Hank Waters of the Columbia Daily Tribune, the deans of editorial writing in Missouri; Doug Crews, executive director of the Missouri Press Association, on “Dean Walter Williams and The Journalist’s Creed;” Dr. Clyde Bentley on “Where are we going to get our editorial writers of the future?” and a panel of RJI fellows on their projects that could impact how we cover news in the future.
The editorial critiques – the highlight of every ISWNE conference -- will be Saturdaymorning. The awards banquet is Saturday evening.

Full conference registration is $525, which includes all programs and activities on and off campus, shared-suite housing in College Avenue Residence Hall and most meals from Wednesday lunch to Sunday breakfast.

Friday-Saturday registration is available for editors from Missouri and adjoining states who are unable to attend the full conference. Two-day registration is $159, which includes all programs, activities and meals on Friday and Saturday, except Saturday lunch. Housing is not included in the two-day package.

Two-day registrants may book rooms at Hampton Inn & Suites, just south of campus, for $109 per night only when reservations are placed by phone. Call (573) 214-2222 and use code “ISW” by May 31 for this rate.

The registration deadline is May 13, but early registration is encouraged.

ISWNE was founded in 1955 to encourage and promote high standards of editorial writing, facilitate the exchange of ideas and foster freedom of the press in all nations. It is headquartered at Missouri Southern State University in Joplin.

For more information, contact conference coordinators Gary and Helen Sosniecki at or see for the registration form, schedules and updates.

2015 Midwest Journalism Conference

The Midwest Journalism Conference is fast approaching, and the conference planning group has been hard at work planning a great conference for 2015.  Click here to preview the conference schedule and information. Registration information, forms and much, much more can be found on the conference site:  

A  block of rooms has been reserved at the Crowne Plaza MSP Airport Mall of America for conference attendees.  Rooms are only $105.  To ensure that you get the promotional conference rate, please click on the link below and reserve your room by March 17.  Attendees staying at the hotel will enjoy a conference registration discount.

Click here to reserve your hotel room.

Click here for more information or to register.

Learn Valuable Skills for your Newsroom in Upcoming Webinars!

Check out upcoming webinars from Online Media Campus!

Successful Interviewing in Emotional Situations

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...

Mobile Video Editing

Thursday, April 9
1:00 – 2:00 p.m.

Short, timely video is in high demand at all media companies.

Video editing on mobile or on a computer is an important skill for telling good stories. In this 60-minute session, you will learn to quickly edit short form news and entertainment videos using iMovie for iOS8 on the iPhone or iPad.

No matter what device you have or how you plan to edit your video, this session will teach you the most efficient way to edit video stories for multiple platforms.

More information and register...

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


New ad director joins Southwest
Jennifer Hiltunen joined Southwest News Media Feb. 16 as the advertising director. Southwest News Media includes the newspapers and associated websites of the Chanhassen Villager, Chaska Herald, Eden Prairie News, Jordan Independent, Lakeshore Weekly News, Prior Lake American, Savage Pacer and Shakopee Valley News. Hiltunen has been in sales and sales management for more than 10 years. More...


Member Classifieds

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

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...

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Upcoming Events

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

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.

Mobile Video Editing
April 9 | 1-2 p.m.

MNA Board Meeting
April 9-10

Editors & Publishers Community Leadership Program Retreat
April 16-18
MNA/MNI Event Calendar
MNA/MNI Event Calendar
MNA Member Classifieds
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