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September 1, 2015 - Issue 35

The MNA Office will be closed on Monday, September 7 in observance of Labor Day.
Have a great holiday weekend!

Enter the 2014-2015 Better Newspaper Contest Today!! 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 last week! 

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

Court of Appeals Rules that Surveillance Video from Metro Transit Buses is Public Data

Last week, the Minnesota Court of Appeals issued an important decision in a case dealing with public access to government surveillance video.  The case, known as KSTP-TV vs. Metro Transit, was prompted by a request made by the television station for access to video-audio recordings of two incidents involving bus drivers that had occurred on Metro Transit buses in the Twin Cities.  The recordings existed because for the past few years, Metro Transit vehicles have been equipped with sophisticated cameras that capture most events occurring on or near the vehicles.
Metro Transit rejected the station’s request for access, claiming that since it had investigated complaints against the drivers in both incidents, and since no discipline was imposed, the portions of the surveillance recordings used in the investigations were permanently classified as private personnel data under §13.43 of the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act.
But KSTP-TV argued that because normally the surveillance recordings are treated as public data and are used for a variety of purposes, the MGDPA didn’t permit them to be reclassified as private data simply because some portions might relate to a personnel investigation.  The station contended that to accept Metro Transit’s interpretation of the law would allow potentially important and controversial public government records to be retroactively cloaked in secrecy, simply because the agency claimed they were consulted as part of an investigation.
In its decision last week, the Court of Appeals emphatically agreed with KSTP-TV.  According to the Court, the video recordings were not data “maintained because” the bus drivers were employees of Metro Transit, and therefore cannot be “personnel data.”  In the Court’s view, “the video recordings’ classification as public data is not forfeited because they are maintained in part for personnel purposes. Nor does the presence of a public employee change the classification of a recording of events that occurred in public when the recording was originally maintained by the government entity for many purposes.” 
Furthermore, “any concern for protecting a public employee’s personal information is lessened by the public setting and nature of the employee’s actions here. While driving a public transit bus throughout the public highways and byways of the metropolitan area, the driver’s actions are hardly private.”  In addition, “interpreting section 13.43 broadly to mean that data originally classified as public data can be converted, perhaps permanently, to private data because they are used in a personnel investigation that did not result in discipline may allow manipulation by government entities to prevent public access to certain government data.”
If not modified by the Supreme Court, the KSTP-TV decision means that a wide range of surveillance video and audio recorded by government agencies in public or semi-public places will likely be considered public data.  Metro Transit has until September 23 to request review of the decision by the Supreme Court; no word yet on whether that request will be made.  The full opinion is available on the Court of Appeals’ website.

Minnesota New Journalist award named in honor of Dave Pyle

The Minnesota Newspaper Association Board of Directors has voted to rename the organization's New Journalist award in honor of former AP Minneapolis bureau chief Dave Pyle, who passed away last April.
The Dave Pyle New Journalist Award will recognize high achievement and dedication to the craft of journalism by a reporter, copy editor, photojournalist, editor or designer who has worked at a professional paper for two years or less. Pyle was a longtime member of the MNA's Journalism Education Committee and worked to establish the new journalist award during his time as the Minneapolis AP bureau chief.
Journalists for both weeklies and dailies are eligible to compete for the prize.

In Minnesota, Dave is credited with creating and sustaining the AP Jobs Fair and the New Journalist Award. The AP newspaper awards contest was combined with the MNA Better Newspaper Contest many years ago. When it happened, Dave asked that MNA keep the AP New Journalist award as a category in its contest to recognize up-and-coming journalists.  The New Journalist Award is one of MNA's most prestigious awards.  Dave personally presented the award to the winners until he left AP. 

Pyle, a longtime bureau chief, news editor and reporter during his 33-year career with The Associated Press, died in April at the age of 61. He worked for the news cooperative in five states, most of it as bureau chief in Minnesota and Wisconsin.  

Pohlad Hours Due No Later Than Sept. 18!

The end of the summer is approaching and many of your interns are preparing to head back to school.  Please remember to submit your interns’ hours worked to MNA no later than Friday, September 18, 2015. If your intern position ends sooner – please submit your hours at that time. MNA needs to collect the total number of total hours worked through the end of the internship. Please submit hours worked, by email, to LuAnn:

Intern supervisors, please also remember to complete the required program survey. Just click here and answer a few short questions.  
Please also share some of the work that your intern has done for you/your paper: stories, photos, design, ads, etc. If you have any photos of your intern or you/your staff interacting with the intern – please send those as well. We also welcome any and all comments from you or your intern. We love to see the work of your talented young interns - and also share it with our friends at the Pohlad Family Foundation.  Please send any relevant materials to LuAnn:

Save the Date: 2015 Daily Newspaper Meeting

October 8 - 9, 2015

Presented by the Minnesota News Media Institute, in partnership with the Minnesota Newspaper Association and meeting chair Chris Knight, APG Media of Minnesota.

The annual MNA Daily meeting is always a participant favorite and will be held in Minneapolis this year!  Leaders from daily newspapers (and non-dailies too!) are invited to participate in this two-day summit.  The meeting will kick off around noon on Thursday (10/8)  adjourn by noon on Friday (10-9). More details and registration information will be forthcoming. Save the date!!

We have reserved a block of guest rooms at The Grand Hotel Minneapolis at a special rate ($179/night + tax) for the 2015 Daily Meeting. You may call 1-800-KIMPTON to reserve your room or visit and use the Meeting/Group Code: MNEWSA1008.

The deadline to make your reservation and secure the discounted rate is Thursday, September 17.

More information on our website

Do you have a BNC Award on your wall? Sign up today to be a contest judge!! 

Thank you to those of you who've responded to our call for judges! We need several more judges! Please enlist the help of your colleagues.

Have you won a Better Newspaper Contest award in the past few years? Yes? Then we need you! We're looking for several award-winning contest judges to help choose the winners of the Wisconsin Newspaper Association's Better Newspaper Contest. Will you help??

Better Newspaper Contests from all states rely on the help of volunteer judges to make the contests work! If you've won an award, pay it forward today!

MNA’s 2014-2015 contest partner is the Wisconsin Newspaper Association.  We need 50+ MNA members, with Editorial, Advertising, Photo/Multimedia expertise, to review and judge entries submitted in the WNA Better Newspaper Contest. The vast majority of judging will be completed online, using - the same system MNA uses for its contest. Some categories will be mailed out to judges for review. All results will be entered online.

You will receive judging assignments in early October and your results will be due back in early November. Please keep these deadlines in mind when committing to judging! We suggest that you enlist the help of your talented coworkers as well!

Professionals from the Wisconsin Newspaper Association will be providing the judging expertise for the 2014-2015 Minnesota Newspaper Association contest in exchange for our members judging their work.

Please let us know as soon as possible if you would be interested in judging.

Email LuAnn Yattaw, or call 612-278-0235 to sign up. Thank you!  

No Buts Digital: Find out who your audience is on Facebook

By: Jaci Smith

There was big news in the world of Facebook last week.

The social media giant hit 1 billion users in one day, founder Mark Zuckerberg announced late last week.

That’s 1 in 7 people on the planet.

Here are two more mind-blowing stats: The typical user is on Facebook about 240 hours — or the equivalent of 10 full days — a year. Facebook is a factor in 1 in 3 divorces in the UK.

I’ve found that the way to the heart of an advertiser, reader — heck, even my publisher — is with data. And with Facebook, you’ve really hit the motherlode of data. Knowing how to find that data and share it is critical to determining the kind of content to post, when to post it and how to make money off it.

Let’s look at different stats you can access through Facebook and what they can tell you. I’ll use the Insights from my paper’s page to illustrate.

How to get there

If you’ve set up your Facebook page as a business page, and you are listed as a manager or administrator, you can access analytics by clicking on the “Insights” tab at the top of your page.

It will take you to a page that looks like this:


This gives you the basics in a week’s snapshot: How many people like your page, how many of those “likes” are new, what is your “reach” — that’s how many people see your post whether they click on it or not, and how many people engage with it.

This is good for an overall snapshot of interaction with your page. For example, you could tell a prospective advertiser that your page gets an “organic” reach of nearly 20,000 people in a typical week (you can also broaden the timeframe to suit your needs by clicking on each of the individual boxes and setting a date range). For smaller papers like mine, this is a HUGE number that usually raises advertisers’ eyebrows.

Continue reading...

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.

Hard-copy Address Change Notice refund info provided by NNA

From Max Heath, NNA postal consultant

QUESTION: I get multiple copies of the hard-copy Address Change Notice, Form 3579, some months old, at a cost of 59 cents each. Is there any way to get my money back?

ANSWER: Yes. Domestic Mail Manual (DMM) 507.1.5.2 provides in paragraph (f) that “A publisher may request a refund of the fees paid for duplicate address correction notices on Forms 3579 provided by the USPS if the customer submitted a change-of-address order and the first and duplicate notices are provided on magnetic tape by ACS or on printed copy by a Computerized Forwarding System (CFS) unit. The refund request must be supported by documentation showing the number of duplicate notices received.”

That means you can present all duplicates to the primary post office where you pay postage, and they should refund the fees for all copies except one from a designated deposit account. The postmaster does NOT have to send these elsewhere for handling, but should honor the language above.

If refused, NNA members can contact the postal hotline via NNA has contacts in the Memphis Address Information Center who have assisted newspapers in getting the refunds for which they are entitled.

There is no way for a newspaper to get a Form 3579 unless it has been processed by a CFS site, other than some locally-generated by post offices. Current USPS policy discourages local offices from doing so, and requires that Undeliverable As Addressed (UAA) mail be processed by a CFS site. NNA is not particularly supportive, since these sites are notoriously slow in getting through backlog of Periodicals and other mail, thus the multiple copies coming over long periods of time.

Continue reading...

Next Tuesday: International Literacy Day

September 8 is International Literacy Day, established in 1965 to focus attention on worldwide literacy needs. More than 780 million of the world's adults do not know how to read or write, and more than 94 million children lack access to education.
Missouri Press Association has joined a national effort by the International Reading Association to encourage kids to Start a Literacy Movement in their communities.  Missouri Press has created a feature that promotes using the newspaper to meet this challenge by promoting reading.
You are welcome to use this feature in your newspaper. The content is not specific to Missouri. Special thanks to our friends in MO for sharing this feature with newspapers across the U.S. 

Click here for more details and to download

August Network Honor Rolls

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

Swift County Monitor News, Benson - 2
Pope County Tribune, Glenwood  - 1
Herald Journal Publishing - 9
Kerkhoven Banner - 1
Mankato Free Press - 1
Rochester Post-Bulletin - 6
St. James Plaindealer  - 1

Crookston Daily Times - 3
Grant County Herald, Elbow Lake - 1
Herald Journal Publishing - 7
Kerkhoven Banner - 2
Mankato Free Press - 1
Pelican Rapids Press - 1

Herald Journal Publishing - 1

A bonus went to the following 12 salespeople who sold an ad into the networks. Congratulations!

Ted Almen
Sara Brosowke
Angela Cole Olson
Duane Durheim

Barb Erickson
Barb Flicker
Monica Hensley
Randy Heuer
Bruce Johnson

Anne O'Flynn
Chris Schultz
Brittany Stradtman

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

Ad-libs: Selling on a scale of one to ten

By John Foust
Raleigh, NC

Michael was talking to me about one of his favorite sales techniques. “Even though I’ve been selling ads for a lot of years,” he said, “there’s always something new to learn. A friend in the furniture industry shared a great idea on how to ask questions to get the right kind of information. I don’t know if this technique was developed specifically for the furniture business, but it works just as well in ad sales.”

He explained that the technique involves asking a prospect to rate his or her experience with existing ads. Then it’s easy to shift the conversation to the benefits of advertising with his publishing company.

Step 1: â€œThe first thing I do is determine where they are currently running ads,” Michael said. “If I already know, I just confirm it by asking, ‘I see you’ve been advertising with XYZ Media. Is that right?’ And if I’m not sure where they’re running, I ask, ‘Where are you currently advertising?’ In just a few seconds, they identify my primary competitors.”

Step 2: â€œThe next step is to sincerely compliment their current media choices. Find something positive to say, even if they are the weakest media outlets in the market. It’s foolish to be critical and put them in a position to defend their choice. For example, I might say, ‘It’s easy to see why someone would pick that radio station. I know a few people who work there, and they are excited about their product.’”

Step 3: â€œThis is where the magic starts,” Michael said. “I ask the prospect to rate the experience, by saying something like, ‘On a scale of one to ten – with ten being the best – how would you rate the job those ads are doing for you?’

Continue reading...

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!

Inland Group Executive Conference Coming to MN

September 16-18, 2015

Download agenda

You lead multiple properties.
You juggle multiple responsibilities.
You seek multiple opportunities.
Find them at the Inland Group Executive Conference

When the men and women responsible for leading multiple newspaper properties come together in September for the industry’s only conference exclusively for group executives, they will meet at a facility designed for the way news is gathered and distributed today.

Inland’s Group Executive Conference will meet at the new headquarters of the Star Tribune in the heart of Minneapolis, a space Editor Rene Sanchez called “a real opportunity for us to step into the kind of future we need to have in journalism” when the staff moved in March.

More information and register today...

Upcoming Webinars for Reporters!

Check out the upcoming webinars from Online Media Campus!

Investigative Reporting Tools for any Newsroom

Thursday, September 17
1:00 – 2:00 p.m. 

Investigative Reporting: You want to dig into a story that has depth and impact, but does the daily grind always steal your time? In this webinar we will discuss how you can tackle that big project, while feeding the daily beast, and not sacrificing quality.

This session will provide tools necessary so newsrooms with tight resources do not have to fear that they are incapable of doing investigative reporting. All reporting can be considered investigative, and going deeper with story ideas can only enrich the experience for readers.

This session is beneficial for newsrooms or staff looking to incorporate more investigative projects into their reporting and coverage.

More information and register...

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...

Community supports paper after fire 

Rachel Maddow of MSNBC had excellent commentary about the importance of community newspapers on her evening show recently. The commentary was led by a story about a North Dakota community rallying around the staff of its weekly newspaper, whose office building was destroyed by fire. You can watch the four-minute clip here.
Click here to view minutes of the June 2015 MNA Board of Directors Meeting

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

Mark Maassen was selected by the Missouri Press Association’s board of directors to become the association’s executive director, succeeding Doug Crews, who is retiring March 2016. Maassen will officially start Sept. 1 and work with Crews and the staff at MPA during a transition period. A search committee narrowed a pool of about 50 applicants to 10 before two finalists were presented to the board and Maassen was approved.
Maassen has served on the board of directors of the Missouri Press Association and was president in 2013. He spent more than 30 years at The Kansas City Star where he recently served as director of classified, major and national advertising with an annual revenue of $64 million. He has been a group publisher of four weekly newspapers (Lee’s Summit Journal, Cass County Democrat Missourian, Belton Star Herald, and Olathe News) and has a proven sales and leadership record in the newspaper advertising industry.
I have a passion for this industry.” Maassen earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri in Columbia with a major in advertising and emphasis in public relations.
Member Classifieds:

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...

Full-Time Page Designer – Albert Lea
The Albert Lea Tribune, a daily newspaper in southern Minnesota, seeks a journalist with strong skills in page and graphic design. More...

Isanti-Chisago County Star print and online editor
We are seeking an individual who loves to be out of the office and has the talent to discover and report on the news of the community. More...

Full-time position for combination news reporter/sports reporter for weekly newspaper on edge of metro area. More...

Reporter looking to move to editor?
The Amery Free Press, a 4,600 circ. weekly an hour drive from the Twin Cities, has an opening for a reporter that can see beyond the obvious, tell compelling stories and be a part of the community. More... 

Multi Media Sales Position
Montevideo Publishing has a sales opening for an established territory in the Montevideo area. More...

Seeking great reporter
The West Central Tribune is seeking a talented journalist to cover our local and regional public safety beat and report in print, digital and video forms. More...

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

Reporter - Perham
Award-winning weekly newspaper seeks a dynamic, enthusiastic general assignment reporter. More...

Managing Editor
The Messenger, in Fort Dodge, Iowa, is seeking an energetic managing editor for our newsroom’s top leadership position. We publish a 7-day a.m. daily newspaper, as well as other weekly and monthly niche publications. 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


Members Only!

To log into the "Members Only" section of the MNA website, please use the following information:

Username: Member
Password: Newspaper

Upcoming Events

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

Inland Group Executive Conference
September 16-18

Investigative Reporting Tools for any Newsroom
Sept. 17 | 1-2 p.m.

Photography for Reporters
Sept. 24 | 1-2 p.m.

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

2015 Daily Newspaper Meeting
October 8-9

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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