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September 22, 2015 - Issue 38

No Buts Digital: Enlightenment from the social media talk circuit

I am straying from the game plan this week. I was supposed to write about monetizing Facebook, and I promise I will, but I had forgotten when I wrote my last column that I was slated to speak last week about two of my favorite topics — social media and native advertising — at the Missouri Press Association’s annual conference.

There are a lot of parallels between media folk in Missouri and here in Minnesota. Other than a few larger metro papers, the vast majority of those attending the conference were from smaller community papers.

They attend the conference to laud each other’s best work, to network and to find ideas for generating revenue and building audience (and efficiencies). And, like us here in Minnesota, their involvement in the digital realm runs the gamut from not having a website or social media presence at all to running a streamlined, digital first operation.

They had a lot of questions, and raised a lot of great points that, in thinking about later, are worth sharing.

So, here are a few of the themes that came up and sparked interesting discussion:

Social media is not just content we post on the platform of our choice. It represents a culture change.

I have to give credit to Joy Mayer, former professor at the University of Missouri journalism school, for this insight, which I share whenever I get the chance, because it is so true. Think about it: If you use social media after you’ve done the “real” journalism work, you’re not using it correctly and you’ll struggle to get the dividends you’re looking for from it — namely engagement. And social media isn’t just happening on the Internet. Now, there’s a real mind-blower. How do you build community and interaction in print?

Continue reading...

BNC Entries due by September 30!

The 2014-2015 Better Newspaper Contest is NOW OPEN for entries! Better Newspaper Contest rule and instruction packets were mailed to all MNA member newspapers and collegiate publications. 

The deadline for the professional contest is Wednesday, September 30. The deadline for the college contest is Tuesday, October 13. Entries in this year’s contest will be judged by experienced members of the Wisconsin Newspaper Association.

All work, published September 1, 2014 - August 31, 2015 is eligible for the contest.  

If you have any questions, please contact LuAnn Yattaw at or 612-278-0235.

Visit our Better Newspaper Contest page for more info

Registration Still Open for Daily Meeting

October 8 - 9, 2015

The annual MNA Daily meeting is always a participant favorite. Leaders from daily newspapers (and non-dailies too!) are invited to participate in this two-day summit. The program will kick off Thursday at noon with lunch at the Historic Lumber Exchange Building, home of the Minnesota Newspaper Association (10 S. 5th St., Minneapolis).

The afternoon will feature lively and interactive discussions focused on revenue, innovation and current best practices in advertising, editorial and management.  Returning again this year will be the popular Daily Meeting Idea Exchange. Prizes will be awarded to the participant who brings the best idea from the past year.

MNA Attorney Mark Anfinson will join the meeting Friday morning to provide a legal update for attendees.

The meeting will adjourn at noon on Friday.

More information and register...

Just announced! 2015 Circulation Workshop: Everything you need to know about carrier contracting

October 29, St. Cloud
Early Bird Registration: $55

The Minnesota News Media Institute is excited to partner again with the Northern States Circulation Managers Association to present a day-long training workshop developed for newspaper circulation professionals. Last year's session was a hit -- this year you'll learn everything you need to know about carrier contracting! All MNA and NSCMA members are welcome to attend.

Program Description:

"Independent Contractor - From Beginning to Termination" – Mark Johnson (The Post-Crescent, Appleton WI) and Matthew Wolcanski (The Post-Crescent, Appleton WI) will teach you everything you've ever wanted to know about carrier contracting. 

The session will entail the entire scoop of the independent contractor/carrier process from recruiting, contracting, managing the contract agreement, retention and termination of the contract agreement.

The session will run from 9:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. There will be a break for lunch and networking at noon (lunch will be provided). 

Register online now:

3rd Quarter MCAN/2x2 Tracking Forms Due by September 30th

The 3rd quarter tracking information for 2015 is due back by Wednesday, September 30th.

The forms were emailed to ALL participating members earlier this year.

If you did not get the form, it is available on the MNA website HERE all year long.

NNA Welcomes Strong Start on Postal Reform from Sen. Carper

WASHINGTON—The National Newspaper Association took a big step forward in its decade-long efforts to preserve universal mail service as Sen. Tom Carper, D-DE, introduced the Improving Postal Operations, Service & Transparency Act, iPOST. NNA said it believed the bill would set a positive tone in the 114th Congress to provide the U.S. Postal Service with cash flow flexibility while focusing much needed attention on rural mail service.

NNA President John Edgecombe Jr., publisher of The Nebraska Signal in Geneva, NE, said he believed Carper’s requirement for USPS to work with the Postal Regulatory Commission to measure on-time rural mail service would be welcomed in America’s small towns.

“Service to small towns has demonstrably declined since USPS slowed the mail down by lowering service standards and cutting about half of its mail processing plants out of its network. My concern about this problem has occupied a good portion of my year as NNA president as I have urged our members to keep pushing for change,” Edgecombe said. “We hear complaints from our members about newspaper delivery that have been long-standing and are now intensified. Even more alarming, we get reports about problems with First Class and Priority Mail. When the mail doesn’t work, small towns are isolated and handicapped in their economic development.”

The iPOST bill would require USPS to attach a geographic tag to each ZIP code, identifying it as rural, urban or suburban, and work with the PRC on regular service reports for on-time delivery. The bill also would impose a five-year moratorium on more processing plant closings while the PRC examines whether cuts from 2010 to 2013 took a bigger bite from service than necessary. For fiscal relief, USPS would see an easing of its requirement to prepay retiree health benefits, a push for some employees that take the USPS health plan over the already-paid Medicare benefits, and recalculation by the federal government of actuarial requirements.

For mailers’ pocketbooks, the bill would freeze postal rates through Jan. 1, 2018, while the PRC examines today’s cost-of-living-based price cap to see whether the cap is sustainable. A much-contested 4.3 percent emergency or “exigency” price increase instituted two years ago would remain in the rate base, despite the PRC’s order for USPS to lower rates in April, 2016.

NNA Postal Committee Chair Max Heath said his committee welcomed the Carper bill. The proposal will recast the congressional debate on what to do about USPS’ long-standing financial problems.

“All of us who work closely with USPS appreciate the efforts of Postmaster General Megan Brennan to address NNA’s concerns. I have no doubt that this Postmaster General understands that service cuts have harmed the postal franchise severely and we have appreciated her open door. We are eager for Congress to get moving with a reform bill that gives USPS some financial wiggle room. At the end of the day, this is the nation’s Postal Service and it is up to Congress to set the terms of its performance. NNA is ready to help Congress get the job done, and we thank Senator Carper for getting us off on the right foot,” Heath said.

Edgecombe said NNA’s Congressional Action Team would be rolled into service in the fall to push congressional delegations to complete postal reform.

National Newspaper Week Oct. 4-10
National Newspaper Week (NNW) is October 4-10, 2015. This marks the 75th anniversary of National Newspaper Week, which observes the importance of newspapers to communities large and small. NNW materials are now available at no charge to MN newspapers! Visit the the link below to download the logo, ads, editorial cartoons and op-ed pieces for you to use.
The theme of this year's National Newspaper Week is: â€œPower of the Press"
Plan ahead! National Newspaper Week is a great time to tell readers about your government watchdog role, investigative journalism, providing timely public notices, etc. Editorialize locally about how your newspaper is important and relevant to your community.

Click here for more information and to download materials.

2015 AP Jobs Fair

Jobs and Internships FairThe Associated Press Jobs and Internships Fair is back for another year. The 2015 edition returns to the University of Minnesota campus on Saturday, Nov. 7, at Murphy Hall.
Doors open at 7:30 a.m., with pastries and coffee at 8 a.m. and recruiting starting very soon after. The event will wrap up around noon.
This is a great opportunity for both students and recruiters alike. Students can expect to meet recruiters from 10-15 of the state’s top newspapers. For recruiters, it’s a chance to make your next hire, survey some potential interns or just build up your stack of promising talent for your next hiring chance.
Cost remains the same: $10 for students, $20 for recruiters. New this year is online registration, visit:

If you have questions, please contact Quierston Shepherd,

Publishers: Statement of Ownership Due to USPS and MNA

The publisher of each publication sent Periodicals Class Mail, including foreign publications accepted at Periodicals rates, must file Form 3526 by Oct. 1, of each year at the original entry post office. If Oct. 1 falls on a Saturday, the post office would expect to receive it by close of business on Sept. 30.
The information provided on Form 3526 allows the U.S. Postal Service to determine whether the publication meets the standards of Periodicals mailing privileges. Newspapers with electronic subscriptions to claim will also use Form 3526.

The required information also must appear in an issue of the publication whose primary mailed distribution is produced:
  • Not later than Oct. 10 for publications issued more frequently than weekly.
  • Not later than Oct. 31 for publications issued weekly or less frequently, but more frequently than monthly.
  • For all other publications, in the first issue whose primary mailed distribution is produced after Oct. 1. 
All forms can be found on the USPS website:

Please also send a copy of your 2015 Statement of Ownership to MNA. We use this information to keep your circulation number accurate in our newspaper directory.

Forward a copy by email to Cynthia: or, fax to: 612-342-2958.

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 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!

30th Annual Silha Lecture, "Clear and Present Danger: Covering National Security Issues in the Post-9/11 World"

Monday, October 19 
7:30 - 9:30 p.m.
Coffman Memorial Union, Theater 
University of Minnesota, East Bank
Since the attacks of September 11, 2001, government officials often justify secrecy as necessary to protect national security. But without information, how can citizens hold their government accountable? To gather the news the public needs to know, journalists may turn to sources who will speak only on the condition that their identities are kept confidential. When leaks trigger criminal investigations, zealous prosecutors subpoena reporters to force them to reveal their sources. Journalists who refuse to testify face the threat of fines and jail. The result is a no-win situation for sources, for journalists, and for the public. One journalist who has faced this predicament is New York Times investigative reporter and Pulitzer Prize-winner James Risen. Risen and his attorney, Joel Kurtzberg, will discuss the legal and journalistic challenges that arise when reporting the national security beat and using confidential sources.

Photography & Digital Strategy Sessions On Deck!

Check out the upcoming webinars from Online Media Campus!

Photography for Reporters

Thursday, September 24
1:00 – 2:00 p.m. 

Shooting with a creative eye takes effort. In this session we will review photo composition, lighting and strategy, and offer tips from some of GateHouse’s top professional photographers. Plus, we will cover technical training for those beginning to use SLRs, including how to adjust ISO, shutter speed and aperture.

Who should attend: This is an intermediate course, for reporters or editors who are comfortable behind a camera, but are looking for fresh ideas and ways to make their photography look more professional.

More information and register...

Mapping Your Digital Strategy

Thursday, October 15
1:00 – 2:00 p.m. 

You plan for your print paper; why wouldn’t you plan for digital? You don’t just produce a newspaper anymore — so you should know what you have and what you need to provide news on all platforms.

This presentation will answer questions, including:

  • When should your staff meet, and how often?
  • What should you discuss?
  • How should you share information?
  • How should you put your plan to work?
  • What tools can you use?

As a bonus, we also will include tips and best practices from GateHouse Media’s Digital Transformation project.

Who should attend: Digital editors, managing editors and anyone with a hand in shaping the day.

More information and register...

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

Former Waseca news editor remembered for caring, humor
Ruth Ann Hager had a keen ear and a knack for bringing stories to life. She was a good listener and she cared about what she was being told. She was an historian, painter, reader, writer, storyteller, friend, sister and mother. Hager died Saturday, Aug. 29 from liver cancer at 68 years old. â€œRuth Ann was passionate about her work and handled the toughest stories with compassion and professionalism,” said Julie Frazier, County News publisher, and 13-year work colleague to Hager. Continue reading...

Former Fairmont Sentinel Publisher Passed Away
Richard "Dick" W. Norman, 91, passed away Monday evening, Sept. 7, 2015, at Mayo Clinic Health Systems-Lutz Wing in Fairmont. Dick worked for the Fairmont Sentinel for 34 years. He began his career working as a sales representative, working his way up to advertising director and, finally, publisher before retiring on Jan. 31, 1986. He was an extremely active member of the community serving on many various boards. When not busy with meetings, Dick found time to officiate basketball and football games for over 20 years.  Continue reading...

Member Classifieds:

Sports writer
The Marshall Independent, an award-winning six-day-a-week Ogden newspaper in southwest Minnesota, is seeking an energetic full-time sports reporter with strong people skills and an ability to work independently, as well as with a small team. More...

Weekly Newspaper For Sale
1,700 circulation, member of Southwestern Peach, modern computer system, commercial printing, office products, SW Minnesota.  More...

Reporter - Morrison County Record
The Morrison County Record in Little Falls, MN, and the Dairyland Peach, in Sauk Centre, MN, two award-winning free distribution newspapers under common ownership, are looking for a full-time general assignment reporter to cover the news and work on special projects. More...

Advertising Director
APG Media of Southern Minnesota, LLC is seeking a dynamic person to lead its multimedia salesforce at its largest daily newspaper, Owatonna People’s Press, located one hour south of the Twin Cities in the vibrant, economically thriving community of Owatonna, Minnesota. More...

Reporter - Hibbing
The Hibbing Daily Tribune, a six days a week daily covering the heart of the Iron Range, is seeking an energetic, well-rounded general assignment reporter for print and digital formats.  More...

Reporter - Spring Grove Herald
THE BLUFF COUNTRY NEWSPAPER GROUP is seeking a reporter for the Spring Grove, Mabel and Canton areas to cover government, human interest and sports. More...

Reporter - Austin
The Austin Daily Herald, a daily newspaper in southern Minnesota, is seeking a journalist with strong writing skills. More...

Reporter - Cottage Grove
The South Washington County Bulletin in Cottage Grove is seeking a qualified candidate to be our next full-time reporter. More...

Digital Sales Specialist
The Digital Sales Specialist will work closely with our sales teams based at our media properties in Minnesota and North Dakota. More...

New Listings: Newspapers for Sale
Superb Weekly in Prime Lakes Country in Minnesota. Gross revenue app. $400,000 with nice profit margin. More...

Publishing – For Sale (MN & SD)
Weekly newspapers for sale in Minnesota and South Dakota. Photos available. 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

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Upcoming Events

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

Photography for Reporters
September 24

Exploring Conflict-Sensitive Journalism
September 29

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

2015 Daily Newspaper Meeting
October 8-9

Data visualizations – Beyond the software
October 9

MNA Committee Meetings
October 14

Mapping Your Digital Strategy
October 15

MNA Board Meeting
October 15-16

What You Need to Know About Overtime and Independent Contractor Laws and Regulations
October 16 

30th Annual Silha Lecture, “Clear and Present Danger: Covering National Security Issues in the Post-9/11 World”
October 19

Exploring Respect in Reporting
October 22

2015 Circulation Workshop: Everything you need to know about carrier contracting
October 29
MNA/MNI Event Calendar
MNA/MNI Event Calendar
MNA Member Classifieds
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