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May 12, 2015 - Issue 19

MNA Legislative Report - May 12, 2015

With less than a week remaining in the 2015 session (the constitutionally mandated adjournment date is May 18), most reports emanating from the Capitol indicate that the leaders of the GOP controlled House and DFL controlled Senate are still far apart in their negotiations on key budget issues.  Despite the projected state surplus of nearly $2 billion, deep differences exist on a number of major topics such as MinnesotaCare, education funding, and money for roads and bridges.  Legislators appear to be badly divided on other items as well.  
At this juncture, no one wants to talk about the possibility of a special session, especially since the major renovation and construction activities going on at the Capitol right now would make use of the Capitol for such a session problematic.  Nonetheless, the chances of a special session grow with each day that the budget negotiations sputter inconclusively.
Meanwhile, action continues on both the House and Senate floors, as a variety of policy bills receive final consideration, including some that MNA has a major interest in. 
Late last week, the Senate approved its version of the bill that would regulate the use of body cameras by law enforcement agencies (SF 498).  The proposal is controversial for a number of reasons, and was the subject of a spirited debate on the Senate floor.  MNA’s main concern with the bill is that it classifies far too much body camera video and audio as private data.  In our opinion, if body camera technology is to achieve its promise of enhancing the accountability of law enforcement activities, the data recorded by body cameras must be, for the most part, publically accessible.  But under the Senate bill, that would not be the case.  The bill was eventually approved by the Senate on a divided vote, and amended onto SF 86.  
SF 86 also deals with a controversial category of law enforcement information, in this case, data collected by high tech license plate readers (LPRs).  The bill would impose strict limitations on retention and disclosure of such data.  That bill was also approved by the Senate. 
However, the House never approved the Senate companion to the body camera bill, and the House version of the LPR bill is somewhat different than the Senate file.  As a result, the ultimate content of both measures will be determined by a conference committee. 
On another topic, the status of the important legislation aimed at reforming the procedures for returning unclaimed property held by the state to its rightful owners hasn’t changed in the past several days, as it continues to wait for final Senate floor action.   Assuming it’s approved there, it will move to a conference committee where differences between the House and Senate versions will be ironed out.  The Senate bill is SF 1645, and the House version is now part of the omnibus job growth bill, HF 843. 
Overall, things remain reasonably stable at the Capitol with respect to those issues that MNA believes are most important to its members this year.  However, the last few days of any session can produce some fairly dramatic and unexpected developments.  We will therefore remain vigilant as the clock ticks down on the 2015 session.
If you should have any questions or concerns about the legislative campaign and where we think it will end up, by all means get in touch with MNA Central Office, or MNA attorney Mark Anfinson.

Download the current Legislative Bill Status Report

Directory Updates DUE TODAY!

The latest edition of the MNA Directory will be printed this month. The newspapers below have not yet updated their directory listing. Listing updates are due no later than Tuesday, May 12. If you do not return your directory listing to MNA by Tuesday, May 12 we cannot guarantee it will be accurate in the new MNA Directory. A copy of each newspaper's directory listing was mailed to publishers last month.

Question? Lost your directory listing mailing? Email

Adams - The Monitor Review
Alden Advance
Askov - Askov American
Belgrade - The Observer
Belle Plaine Herald
Benson - Swift County Monitor-News
Bovey - Scenic Range News Forum
Brainerd - NewsHopper
Brainerd Dispatch
Caledonia Argus
Cass Lake Times
Clara City Herald
Columbia Heights / Fridley Sun Focus
Cottonwood Tri-County News
Deer River - Western Itasca Review
Duluth Reader**
Elbow Lake - Grant County Herald
Ely Echo
Elysian Enterprise
Fairfax Standard-Gazette Messenger
Fertile Journal
Grand Meadow - Meadow Area News
Granite Falls/Clarkfield Advocate-Tribune
Hallock - Kittson County Enterprise
Hanska Herald
Henderson Independent
Hinckley News
International Falls Journal
Kasson - Dodge County Independent
Kerkhoven - The Kerkhoven Banner
Kiester - Courier-Sentinel
La Crescent - Houston County Newspapers, Inc.
Lafayette - Nicollet Ledger
LeRoy Independent
Lindstrom - Chisago County Press
Madelia Times-Messenger
Mahnomen Pioneer
Mankato - The Free Press
McGregor - The Voyageur Press
Minneapolis - Finance & Commerce
Minneapolis - Insight News
Minneapolis - Minnesota Lawyer
Minneapolis - Southwest Journal
Minneapolis - Star Tribune
Minneapolis - The Circle**
Minneapolis - The Journal
Montevideo American-News
Montgomery Messenger
Mounds View / New Brighton Sun Focus
Nevis - Northwoods Press
New Brighton Bulletin
New London/Spicer - Lakes Area Review
New Prague - The New Prague Times
New Richland - NRHEG Star Eagle
North St. Paul - Ramsey County Review
Oakdale - Lake Elmo Review
Ortonville Independent
Outing - Northland Press
Pequot Lakes - Pineandlakes Echo Journal
Raymond/Prinsburg - The News
Red Lake Falls - The Gazette
Roseville Review
Sandstone - Pine County Courier
Sauk Rapids Herald
Sebeka - The Review Messenger
South St. Paul - South West Review
St. Michael/Rockford Crow River News
St. Paul - East Side Review
St. Paul - Saint Paul Pioneer Press
St. Paul Legal Ledger
Stephen Messenger
Truman Tribune
Two Harbors - Lake County News-Chronicle
Waseca County News
Waterville - Lake Region Life
Wells Mirror
Wheaton Gazette
Winona Daily News
Winona Post
Winthrop News
Woodbury / South Maplewood Review


Be a part of the 2015-2016 Minnesota Newspaper Association Directory.
We have some amazing advertising opportunities for you.   
  • Be included in the list of Minnesota Shoppers!! Have your Shopper listed with the towns you serve as well as other pertinent information about your shopper.
  • Showcase your position and/or company by placing a Business Card ad!! Simple and cost effective.
  • Quarter and Full page ads are also available. First come – first served! (Limited quantity available.)
Don't miss this opportunity! The MNA Directory goes to print soon.
Want more information & pricing?
Contact LuAnn at 612-278-0235 or
This directory will cover 2015-2016. The next printed edition of the directory will be released in 2017.

Pumarlo: Connect with readers; deliver what your community wants

There’s nothing more satisfying than looking at your product – whether it’s the print or digital edition – and saying to yourself, “We’ve got it covered. We’re connecting with our readers.” It matters little whether a newspaper has a circulation of a few hundred or several thousand. News organizations must connect with readers – their customers – if they are to remain relevant.

That means delivering the chicken dinner – and steak, too. No matter how big your operation, don’t forget the little things. And, no matter how small your newsroom, take the time to pursue the big projects, too.

I put news reports into two buckets: stories readers “should” read and stories they “like” to read. The two lists need not be mutually exclusive. The key is to regularly connect with your community. Here are a handful of ways.

Rethink your beats. Is your newsroom structured to monitor the things most important to your readers? Think beyond the standard public affairs beats of local government. For example, the local economy plays a huge part in people’s lives. If you regularly check in with the city council administrator, it’s equally wise to put other individuals and organizations on your list – the chamber of commerce, union leadership, government agencies that handle agriculture subsidies, bank presidents, workforce centers.

Continue reading...

USPS Announces New Postage Rates for May 31

The U.S. Postal Service has announced the final postage rates for 2015, effective May 31. The Postal Regulatory Commission today approved the rates. The rate implementation was delayed by a dispute between the Postal Service and the regulators who objected to the way some rates were calculated. Some adjustments have been made to final rates since the proposed rates were first announced. But nothing significant changed from these charts, or the May Postal Tips column, that is in common use by community newspapers, shoppers, or free newspapers, according to Max Heath, NNA postal chair.

To see Max Heath’s rate charts for Standard and In-County mail, click here. Outside-County prices are too complex to calculate with varying bundle sizes and containers.

To see some key rates for newspapers from the PRC’s decision, click here.

Kevin Slimp in MN - May 29!

Join the Minnesota News Media Institute and trainer Kevin Slimp, for a daylong training! Kevin has worked with newspapers all over the world and is bringing his expertise to Minnesota for one day only! Seats are limited so sign up today. Lunch is included in the registration fee.  

The intensive, daylong workshop will cover the following areas:

10:00 - 12:00: Photo Editing and Color Correction Tips
12:00 - 12:30: Lunch (provided)
12:45 - 1:15: Making PDF Problems a Thing of the Past
1:30 - 3:30: InDesign Tips for Newspaper Designers

Workshop Information:

Date:  Friday, May 29
Registration begins at 9:30 a.m.
Session begins at 10:00 a.m. 

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

Registration fee: $125 -- includes lunch
Registration deadline:  Wednesday, May 27

Questions? Need overnight accommodations? Please contact Sarah Bauer at or 612-278-0250.

More information and register online now!

Newsrooms and native advertising: Why not?

By Jaci Smith

As I begin to wind down my native advertising fellowship with the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute (but by no means my blogging here), I’ve turned my attention to the ethics involved in creating a successful program at a newspaper.

At the Dissecting Engagement conference held by RJI last month at the Missouri School of Journalism, I gave a presentation on how editorial staffers could ethically create native advertising. This is what we’ve been doing at the Faribault (Minn.) Daily News for the past eight months.

Before I won the fellowship to create and implement the native advertising program at this 5,000 circulation, five-days-a-week paper in Southern Minnesota, I was its managing editor.

As anyone who has ever worked at a small-town paper knows, the ME is more than just an ME. You’re also a coach, copy editor, photographer, reporter, editorial page editor and page designer when it calls for it. I was no different; my fingerprints were all over our paper.

To disengage with the newsroom was a necessity as I began creating native advertising, but to what degree? The task force we convened to implement our program agreed there were certain lines that couldn’t be crossed. I couldn’t assign stories or set the budget for the next day’s print edition, for example. I also couldn’t line edit stories when they came in. Those became the duties of another managing editor at a sister paper.

Continue reading...

Spots Still Available in 2015 Summer Internship Program!

MNA is excited to announce the 11th year of the Pohlad Internship Program. Thanks to a generous grant from the Pohlad Family Foundation, MNA is pleased to once again provide members with a program that will help reduce the costs associated with hiring high school-aged summer in-terns. In 2014, we placed 65 interns at member newspapers.

How the program works:

  • You choose a high school student, age 16-19, who will work for your newspaper in any aspect of the business half-time for 10 weeks; recent high school graduates are eligible.
  • Complete an enrollment form stating that you will hire a high school intern and wish to participate in the Summer Youth Employment subsidy program. Forms are available on the MNA website, and can be submitted by mail, fax, or email.
  • College students and relatives of newspaper staff do not qualify for this program.
  • The Pohlad Family Foundation requires that newspapers pay a portion of the intern’s wage to ensure a strong commitment from the participants and recommends an hourly wage of $8.00/hour for interns participating in the program.

Download 2015 Program Application
Download Frequently Asked Questions

isit our website for more information and for a 2015 recap...

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!

Arming, Incenting and Organizing Your Sales Teams – And Driving Digital Dollars Too!

Check out the upcoming webinar from Online Media Campus!

Thursday, May 21
1:00 – 2:00 p.m.

In the disrupted media advertising space, finding balance between reinforcing the value of core products while effectively growing the emerging digital offerings is extremely difficult.

In this webinar, Chris Edwards will give an overview of how his group has evolved to address these challenges. He will share the unique organizational approach used with his sales teams as well as specifics on how the compensation plans work and what they are designed to drive with each unique assignment of the various sales positions and responsibilities. As always, there will be candid feedback about what DID NOT work along the way to developing this current structure.

More information and register...

Last chance to register for weekly newspaper conference in Columbia

With a registration deadline of May 13, this is your last chance to register for the 2015 conference of the International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors, which Helen and I are hosting June 24-28 at the Reynolds Journalism Institute, Missouri School of Journalism, Columbia.

ISWNE conferences are held all over the English-speaking world – next year, Australia – so this may be your best opportunity to meet and share ideas with weekly-newspaper peers from the U.S., Canada and overseas.

We invite you to attend. Non-members are welcome, and we would like to have a big turnout from our home state of Missouri. We thank the Missouri Press Association for being one of our conference sponsors.

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.

Helen and I have been members since 1982, back when we owned the Humansville Star-Leader in Polk County.  I’m ISWNE president this year.

Full registration is $525 and covers virtually all programs, meals, housing and activities, including a trip to the Kansas City area to tour the Truman Library and Museum, the National World War I Museum and a dinner of Kansas City barbecue.

If you can’t attend the entire conference, Friday-Saturday registration is $159 and includes a full day of journalism-focused programs on Friday and, on Saturday, the half-day editorial-page critique, the highlight of every conference, topped off with the awards banquet that evening. You’ll need to arrange your own housing.

The registration form may be downloaded here.

For more info, go to

Questions? Email us at

We hope you join us in Columbia!

Gary Sosniecki
2004 MPA President
2015 ISWNE President

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

New Free Press publisher named
John Elchert, most recently a newspaper publisher in New Mexico, will be the new publisher of The Free Press.

"I've heard a lot of good things about the newspaper and staff there. I'm really anxious to get there and find out all the good things you're doing and to contribute to making it better each day," said Elchert, who will assume his duties Monday.

He takes over for Jim Santori, who is retiring as Free Press publisher after eight years. 

Elchert, 57, has been publisher of the The Daily Times in Farmington, in the Four Corners area of New Mexico, since January 2010. Continue reading...

The Evergreen shopper founder, Howard Thomsen, of Kerrick, died April 17 at the age of 82.

Thomsen, a 1951 graduate of Askov High School and Army veteran, worked at the American Publishing Company in Askov for 30 years and was the owner and founder of The Evergreen shopper (Est. 1981) until he sold it in 1994. Though retired, Thomsen stayed with The Evergreen in sales until his death. Thomsen was active in the Askov American Legion Post #243 and Kerrick Community Church, and served as a Pine County commissioner and Askov school board member.

Services were held April 24 in Kerrick Community Church, Kerrick.

Member Classifieds

Media Consultant – Inside Sales
The Media Consultant will be responsible for selling and managing new and existing advertising accounts. More...

Advertising Director
The Ottumwa Courier seeks a high-energy, experienced advertising director to lead its sales team. More...

Sports Reporter
RESPONSIBILITIES INCLUDE: Build a rapport with news sources on assigned beats to develop stories & story ideas. More...

Multimedia Sales Manager
RESPONSIBILITIES INCLUDE: Effectively initiate, direct and manage multimedia advertising initiatives to increase revenues while providing effective solutions for our customers. More...

Advertising Sales Representative – North Metro
ECM Publishers, Inc. has a unique opportunity for a talented and high energy Advertising Sales Representative working out of our Coon Rapids office.  More...

Publishing – For Sale
Weekly newspapers in Minnesota and South Dakota for sale. More...

Page 1 Publications
Page 1 Publications in Northwestern Minnesota is looking for someone to work in our East Grand Forks (MN) office. Perfect candidate would have reporting/pagination skills and be interested in managing a community newspaper. More...

Copy Editor/Page Designer
If you have a knack for laying out pages that people can’t help but pick up, we want to talk to you. We’re looking for a full-time page designer who will become part of a team responsible for the look of several of our publications. More...

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...

Weekly Quick Clicks


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Upcoming Events

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

See Change Conference
May 13

Arming, Incenting and Organizing Your Sales Teams – And Driving Digital Dollars Too!
May 21 | 1-2 p.m.

Adobe Creative Suite Training with Kevin Slimp
May 29 

MNA Summer Board Meeting
June 17-19

International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors Conference
June 24-28

Editors & Publishers Community Leadership Program Workshop I
June 26
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