The weekly newsletter for MNA members.
View this email in your browser

February 10, 2015 - Issue 6

Report from the Capitol

The Minnesota Legislature is already into its second month of the 2015 session, with a number of major issues on the agenda.  One advantage legislators have this year is a significant projected budget surplus.  However, on the negative side, the extensive renovation of the Capitol building is causing considerable space and scheduling challenges, adding to the stress of legislative work with divided government, since Republicans now control the House, while Democrats retain a majority of the Senate along with the governor’s office.
MNA’s legislative team lead by legislative counsel Sandy Neren has been working hard since before the session formally began in January, examining options for pursuing legislation that MNA’s Legislative Committee would like to see enacted, while scrutinizing an already long list of new bill introductions looking for good and bad proposals that may be acted on this year.  There are a number of important issues that MNA will be dealing with at the Capitol over the next few months.  They include what will inevitably be many bills dealing with access to government records, open meeting law proposals, and of course bills that may affect the publication of public notices.  MNA reviews every single bill that is introduced at the Capitol during the session.
On the public notice front, one major issue that MNA will likely need to address is better defining which newspapers are qualified to publish mortgage foreclosure notices.  The litigation a few years ago in Olmsted County first muddied the waters on this issue, and now there is a pending case in Minnesota federal district court predicated on the same challenge—the plaintiffs argue that the newspaper where the foreclosure notice appeared did not have sufficient circulation in the area where their property was located, and thus was invalid.   
Litigation of this kind has understandably provoked concerns among lenders and the law firms that process most of the foreclosures in the state, and it’s quite possible that legislation will need to be pursued this year that would provide a clearer answer in statute to the question of where foreclosure notices can be published.  MNA intends to be closely involved in the management of any such legislation.  In addition, a bill has been introduced that would repeal the requirement that certificates of assumed name be published in newspapers. 
A number of open records issues have already emerged in the first few weeks of the session.  Prominent among them are concerns involving the burgeoning new technology used by law enforcement agencies and how the data collected by the new devices should be classified.
Of particular interest is the data recorded by body cameras, which a number of Minnesota law enforcement agencies are now using.  They are worn by police officers while on duty and record virtually everything that the officer can see.  The law enforcement agencies have proposed a bill that would classify as private nearly all of the video and audio collected by the body cameras.  MNA opposes that approach, and believes that the recordings should be presumptively public, subject to appropriate data classifications, just as with most other government records.  In addition, expanding use by law enforcement of automated license plate readers and drones will also undoubtedly produce considerable discussion about data classifications during the course of the session.
One Open Meeting Law issue has recently come up at the Capitol, involving a Senate bill that would convert MNsure from an independent body to a state agency.  Among other things the bill provides that the commissioner of MNsure could appoint various advisory committees.  But under the current interpretation of the OML by the courts, there is some doubt as to whether advisory committees are even subject to the law.  We therefore asked the chief Senate author, Sen. Tony Lourey (DFL- Kerrick) if he would include in the bill language stating that MNsure advisory committees would be subject to the OML.  He readily agreed. 
As the session unfolds, we will provide members with an update on important legislative developments in each issue of the Bulletin.  Meanwhile, if you ever have a question, concern, or suggestion about our legislative campaign, you should always be sure to let us know.  We rely heavily on our members around the state to help with legislative efforts, and always appreciate hearing from you.  

Download the current Legislative Bill Status Report

Legislators Honored by Minnesota Newspaper Association

Minneapolis, Minn. (February 2015) â€“ Former state representative Mary Liz Holberg was presented with the Minnesota Newspaper Associations highest honor, the Distinguished Service to Journalism Award at its 148thannual convention January 30. Also honored for their work on the Timberjay legislation were Sen. Kari Dziedzic and Rep. John Lesch.

“During her 16-year tenure in the state House of Representatives, Mary Liz was a steadfast, unfailing and eloquent champion of the public’s right to know,” said MNA Attorney Mark Anfinson.

Rep. Holberg retired from legislative service last year and is now a Dakota County commissioner.  She thoroughly educated herself about virtually every major public access issue that came before the Legislature during her tenure.  Eventually, she become the unchallenged legislative expert on the topic, and was looked to by both Republicans and Democrats for guidance on what were often notoriously complex proposals. Rep. Holberg exercised extraordinary influence on data practices issues, as a result of the widespread recognition for her expertise and nonpartisan consideration of the issues.

For their work on the Timberjay legislation, Sen. Kari Dziedzic and Rep. John Lesch were honored with the Friend of Minnesota Newspapers Award. Marshall Helmberger, publisher of Timberjay Newspapers, the bill’s namesake, presented the award.

“A simple little bill.”  That’s what MNA’s legislative team told Rep. Lesch and Sen. Dziedzic when they approached them to sponsor legislation last session.

The “Timberjay bill” was aimed at fixing a ruling of the Supreme Court, blocking a determined effort by Timberjay Newspapers to access records from a private contractor about a big school project in northern Minnesota. The legislation, eventually signed into law after many challenges and complications, makes data held by private contractors publicly accessible.

Thanks to the continued commitment of Rep. Lesch and Sen. Dziedzic, and with the investment of an extraordinary amount of time by both of them, the bill was approved just as the session drew to a close.  Without their exceptional leadership, that would never have happened, and this important legislation would not have been enacted.



Ad Design Contest Ads Now Available!

The results of the 2015 Ad Design Contest were announced January 30 at the MNA Convention, and the ads are now available for you to download and use!

Congratulations to this year's winners:
  • First Place:  Detroit Lakes Newspapers Group (above)
  • Second Place:  William Weigel, Byron Review
  • Third Place:  Jeanine Miller, Forest Lake Times
This year, contest entrants were asked to create an infographic, utilizing at least 10 data points from the recent Minnesota Statewide Newspaper Readership Survey. Each entrant created blank space at the bottom of their ad so newspapers may add their own logo and publish as a house ad. The ads are available for use by any newspaper and promote the health and strength of the newspaper industry.

View/download ads....
Click Here to View Handouts and Presentations from the 2015 MNA Convention

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...

MNA Public Notice Site Training

Earlier this year, 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!

THURSDAY! Working with eDoc: Save time, money and problems with the USPS

Thursday, February 12 
10:00 a.m.

About the program: 
Postal eDoc is a time and money saver. It can protect newspapers from errors that creep into hard-copy postage statement filing. Bringing newspapers into the USPS digital tracking environment will pay off in better trouble-shooting and tracking service in years to come. Learn how to get on board smoothly and efficiently from the experts in the business. 

Leading the Discussion: 
Stan Schwartz, National Newspaper Association, host
Brad Hill, Interlink, and Max Heath, NNA Postal Committee

Registration fee: $30, Register by Monday, February 9 
(Registrations submitted after this date are subject to a $10 late fee)

Register online now

Looking for revenue ideas? Look no further.

Check out these upcoming webinars from Online Media Campus!

The Art of Prospecting: Your Guide to Getting in the Door

Thursday, February 12
1:00 – 2:00 p.m.

Does the thought of prospecting leave you overwhelmed and exhausted? Have you been told you should prospect but you don’t know where to start? That will change in minutes once you meet “Hector” the prospector and explore why he is still around!

Steve Kloyda will share his top sales and prospecting strategies that he has developed, implemented, refined and personally tested over the past 30 years.

During this presentation, you will learn how to:

  • Remove your fear of prospecting.
  • Expand your sales pipeline with six proven strategies.
  • Maximize the prospecting tools for the 21st Century!
  • Avoid the “gatekeeper” trap that most sales people fall into.
  • Strengthen your sales message to get procpects’ attention in seconds.
  • Multiply the number of prospects that “actually” call you back from a voicemail.

As a special bonus, you will learn the single most creative approach to get in the door!

More information and register...

Submit Finnegan FOI Award Nominations

Nominations for 2015 Finnegan Freedom Of Information Award are welcome and will be accepted through Monday, February 16.

The John R. Finnegan Freedom of Information Award was established by MNCOGI in 1989 and is named for the retired senior vice-president and assistant publisher of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Finnegan was a life-long stalwart of open meetings, open records and the First Amendment.

Who should receive this year’s Finnegan FOI Award? Feel free to nominate an individual or organization whose actions demonstrated leadership and commitment to freedom and the power of information to effect change. Complete the nomination form and learn more about previous winners by going to our website at Completed forms must be submitted by February 16, 2015.

This year’s Finnegan Award will be presented at a ceremony at the Minneapolis Central Library, Pohlad Auditorium 300 Nicollet Mall at noon on Monday March 16th. Additional information about the ceremony and keynote speaker will be released soon.

Knight grant will help RJI develop born-digital-news preservation model 


A $35,000 grant from the Knight News Challenge on libraries will help University of Missouri Libraries and the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute develop a long-term model to protect born-digital news content from being lost forever.

Monetizing newspaper content is one approach to saving the nation’s first draft of history, says Edward McCain, digital curator of journalism at MU Libraries and RJI. He will lead the Knight-funded effort to test assumptions about the preservation and monetization of small-newspaper archives.

“Testing the assumptions will help determine if small newspapers can monetize content by licensing it for use by researchers,” says McCain, who also helms the Journalism Digital News Archive initiative at MU.

Assumptions to be tested include:

  • News archives from small newspapers have value.
  • Researchers are interested in accessing content from small newspapers.
  • Small newspapers are interested in knowing more about the content held in their archives.
  • Content analysis will help the team understand what’s contained in born-digital news archives.
Continue reading...

2015 Murrow Press Fellowship

The Council on Foreign Relations is seeking applicants for the 2015–2016 Edward R. Murrow Press Fellowship

Application Deadline: March 1, 2015

Launched in 1949 with support from the Carnegie Corporation, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) Edward R. Murrow Press Fellowship seeks to promote the quality of responsible and discerning journalism that exemplified the work of Edward R. Murrow. In 1965, the program was renamed in his honor and is supported by the CBS Foundation and Ford Foundation. One CFR resident fellowship is awarded each year to a distinguished foreign correspondent or editor.
The Edward R. Murrow Press Fellow spends nine months full-time in residence at CFR’s headquarters in New York. The program enables the fellow to engage in sustained analysis and writing, expand his or her intellectual and professional horizons, and extensively participate in CFR’s active program of meetings and events. The fellow will be part of the David Rockefeller Studies Program, CFR’s think tank, alongside the program’s full-time, adjunct, and visiting fellows, whose expertise extends across the broad range of significant foreign policy issues facing the United States and the international community.

More info and application details...

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


2 reporters join St. Clout Times news staff
Breaking news reporter Sam Louwagie has a strong background in digital and multimedia. Louwagie is Shoreview native and a graduate of the University of Iowa. His most recent job before coming to St. Cloud was digital sports editor at Cedar Rapids Gazette/KCRG-TV in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Business/consumer reporter Vicki Ikeogu has been a member of the volunteer Times Writers Group since 2008 during her years at Rocori High School and St. Cloud State University. After completing her mass communication studies at St. Cloud State, Ikeogu joined the news staff and will be covering business and consumer news.

Nauber welcomed back into the (newspaper) fold full-time
Karin Nauber's love of journalism has lured her back to working in the newspaper business fulltime after a short hiatus. She is now the goto person for all of the Browerville Blade's news, happenings and advertising sales since the first of the year. Previously, she worked for the Independent News Herald as a reporter from approximately 1995 until mid 2013 when she left to try a new adventure as the director for the Long Prairie Chamber.

Member Classifieds

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...

Editor Needed
Editor needed for an award-winning newspaper group. This position – editor of the Jordan Independent – requires a journalist with demonstrated experience that includes reporting, photography, video, social-media and multi-platform work. More...

The St. Cloud Times is looking for a producer with strong copy editing and digitial skills to provide sophistication and polish to presentation and storytelling in a digital-first environment.  More...

Page1 Printers Seeking pressman who operates non-heat set web printing press and crew. More...

Circulation Manager
The Marshall Independent is seeking a hands-on Circulation Manager to lead our team and manage all aspects of our circulation department. More...

Heidelberg windmill letterpress
For Sale: Original Heidelberg windmill letterpress with plenty of lead; Challenge model EH3 3-head paper drill; Bunn Packaging Tying Machine; Carlson band tying machine.  More...

Seeking Editors
GateHouse Media, a pre-eminent multimedia company in small and midsize markets across the country, is seeking editors. More...

Full-Time Reporter – Mankato
The Free Press, a 17,000-circulation daily in south central Minnesota, is seeking a full-time reporter to cover public affairs, government as well as a general assignment beat. More...

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!

The Art of Prospecting: Your Guide to Getting in the Door
Feb. 12 | 1-2pm
MNA/MNI Event Calendar
MNA/MNI Event Calendar
MNA Member Classifieds
This Week's Network Ads
Recent Press Releases
Copyright © 2015 Minnesota Newspaper Association, All rights reserved.
unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences 

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp