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MNA Bulletin
March 17, 2015 - Issue 11

MNA Legislative Report - March 17, 2015  

Legislators, legislative staffers, lobbyists, and the many other people involved in the legislative process are working long hours this week as the first committee deadline relentlessly approaches at the Capitol.  That deadline is Friday, March 20, and if a bill isn’t approved by all of the policy committees that it must pass through in either the House or Senate by then, it’s not likely to be acted on this session.
MNA’s focus this week is on two important pieces of legislation, one aimed at clarifying the law on where mortgage foreclosures notices can be published, the other seeking to restore some effective level of published notice covering unclaimed property held by the state.
Mortgage Foreclosure Notices.  The mortgage foreclosure bill (HF 953/SF1147) has gone through many revisions, the result of input not only from newspapers, but also from lenders, the state bar association and its real estate attorneys, and the Secretary of State’s office.  Balancing all of these different interests and perspectives while still crafting a statute that is both workable and reasonably specific has proved to be no easy task.  However, we believe that we have now achieved relatively good language for the bill, which will be offered as an amendment when the bill is heard later this week (probably Thursday evening) in the House Civil Law Committee.
The revised, current language states as follows:
Section 1. [580.033]  WHERE NOTICE PUBLISHED
          Subdivision 1.  For purposes of this chapter, publication of the notice of sale shall be sufficient if it occurs (1) in a qualified newspaper having its known office of issue located in the county where the mortgaged premises, or some part thereof, are located; or (2) in a qualified newspaper having its known office of issue located in an adjoining county and the publisher of the newspaper in the sworn affidavit of publication required by section 331A.07 states that a substantial portion of the newspaper’s circulation is in the county where the mortgaged premises, or some part thereof, are located.  In both cases, the affidavit of publication shall also state the city and county where the newspaper’s known office of issue is located, and that the newspaper complies with the conditions described in clauses (1) or (2) of this subdivision.
          Subd. 2.  As used in this section, “known office of issue” is defined as provided in section 331A.01, subdivision 2, and “qualified newspaper” is defined as provided in section 331A.01, subdivision 8.
This would be all new law—it comes as a surprise to many people that the state’s mortgage foreclosure statutes have never contained a provision stating where notices should be published, and a series of recent court actions have thrown considerable doubt on the traditional practice.  The Senate version of the bill will probably be heard in committee next week.
Unclaimed Property Notices.  The bill to restore some degree of published notice for unclaimed property (HF 1693/SF 1645) has also provoked a number of difficult issues, which include how best to format the published lists of owners, which names should appear on it, how much funding for publication can the Legislature realistically be expected to appropriate, and how to efficiently distribute the lists.
MNA is fortunate that the bill’s chief House author is Rep. Joe Atkins (DFL-Inver Grove Heights).  Atkins is not only a formidable legislative advocate, but he fully grasps the absurdity of the current unclaimed property system.  The unclaimed property funds held by the state now total hundreds of millions of dollars, and that total is rising significantly every year, as the amount of money annually returned to owners represents only a small percentage of the sums collected by the state.  With Rep. Atkin’s leadership, for the first time in many years there is a realistic chance that legislation can be enacted which will really improve unclaimed property refunds, in part by publishing notices that people will actually see, read, and respond to. 
It needs to be emphasized, however, that our chances of success will be much enhanced if newspapers across the state call attention to the unclaimed property issue.  MNA has many informational resources about this topic if you would like to review them.  And if you do write something about the unclaimed property situation, please consider recognizing Rep. Atkins for his initiative.
The Public Notice Bill.  Inevitably, a bill has been introduced in the House and Senate that would authorize local government bodies to post public notices on their websites rather than publish them in newspapers. The bills are HF 1679/SF 1660.  Though it does not appear that they will be seriously considered for enactment this year, the bills will still be around when legislators return to the Capitol in 2016.
There’s a host of other bills we’re watching carefully this week, mostly involving a variety of public records issues, but some public notice bills as well.  All of them are described on the MNA Legislative Bill Status Report (aka the Tracking List), which can be found on MNA’s website.
Meanwhile, please contact us if you have any questions or concerns about the legislation that MNA is working on—especially the mortgage foreclosure notice bill described above.  Your input is critical in helping us insure that the positions we take at the Capitol best reflect the goals of our members.    

Download the current Legislative Bill Status Report

Happy Sunshine Week!

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 here, and journalists across the nation are participating. 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.

Send us your special Sunshine Week material  -- columns, editorial cartoons, special stories or features -- and we'll share your work. Email or tweet @mn_newspapers with the hashtag #SunshineMN.

More information - continue reading...

ONE SPOT left in the 2015 Editors & Publishers Community Leadership Program!

If you're interested in participating in the 2015 Editors & Publishers Community Leadership Program, don't delay! We've got room in the program for one more editor-publisher pair in the 11th program cohort.

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

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!

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.

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.

Sponsored Contests: Enhance your newspaper's visibility

Thursday, April 2 
10:00 a.m.

About the program: 
Sponsored contests are a low-cost, low-effort way to increase visibility for both your newspaper and your sponsors. In this session, learn how the Brentwood (CA) Press & Publishing Co. has used a variety of contests – both print and online – to add value for its clients; and learn how you too can put sponsored contests into play at your paper. 

Leading the Discussion: 
HOST - Stan Schwartz, National Newspaper Association 
GUEST STAR - Michele Chatburn, Brentwood (CA) Press & Publishing Co.

Registration fee: $30, Register by Monday, March 30 
(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

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...

Live-streamed Event: Dissecting Engagement: What’s working and what’s next?

Some of the media industry’s thought leaders and influencers will be coming together at the Reynolds Journalism Institute at the end of the month to talk about engagement: What’s working and what’s next? In person registration has closed but the event will be will be live streamed so people can enjoy the presentations from the comforts of their offices. 

Engagement. We covet it. We build structures to foster it. We measure it. How do we optimize engagement in a rapidly shifting media ecosystem? We look at metrics: Time spent, click through and bounce rates, sharing, push notifications, geo-location tagging, user generated content, and more, all to foster engagement. But who is developing the most agile and best engagement methods and models? Is it a spectrum, an end point, or an agile process? How do we take these models and apply them to our own efforts to encourage deeper and more loyal engagement? We cull together some of the media industry’s thought leaders and influencers in “Dissecting Engagement: What’s working and what’s next?” 

When: March 30-31

There is no fee to participate, but registration is required.

Who’s speaking? RJI will have guests from Chartbeat, Mather Economics, The Texas Tribune, Al Jazeera, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Hacks/Hackers, The Center for Investigative Reporting, Bloomberg and more…

Click here to learn more

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


Member Classifieds

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...

The Montevideo American News is looking for an energetic, hard-working, creative and dedicated person to lead our news team as the editor. More...

News Reporter/Feature Writer 
The Minnesota Lake Tribune, serving the small, south central community of Minnesota Lake, is looking to expand its award-winning coverage by creating the part-time position of News Reporter/Feature Writer. More...

Community Journalist
We’re looking for a talented journalist to join an award winning newspaper staff. More...

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...

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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

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

Midwest Journalism Conference
April 10-11

Editors & Publishers Community Leadership Program Retreat
April 16-18

Out-Servicing the Competition: Adding value for your customers
April 23 | 1-2 p.m.

International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors Conference
June 24-28
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