N E W S  M E D I A

2016 Annual Report
About Us

he Minnesota News Media Institute (MNI) is the 501(c)(3) training
arm of the Minnesota Newspaper Association. Founded in 2010,
our mission is to provide education, training and professional
development opportunities for the more than 330 members of the
Minnesota Newspaper Association, their employees, and news media
professionals across the state.

We provide training programs, scholarship and internship opportunities
to students and other programming to increase the public’s
understanding of the role and obligation of a free press in our society.
We strive to reach news media professionals with high quality,
accessible and affordable educational opportunities.

MNI Annual Report printing
donated by:

The photos featured in this report were winners in the
MNA 2015-2016 Better Newspaper Contest.
Cover photo: Park Rapids Enterprise.
Table of Contents

Message from the MNI President...........................................................2

Message from the Executive Director....................................................4

Board of Directors and Staff...................................................................6

2016 Training Programs..........................................................................8

Pohlad Internship Program...................................................................12

Editors & Publishers Community Leadership Program........................14

Financial Statement...............................................................................17


Celebrating 150 Years............................................................................20

Pope County Tribune, Glenwood

Message from the President

Minnesota News Media Institute is going strong!

f you’re not familiar with it, the Minnesota
News Media Institute (MNI) is the nonprofit
training arm of the Minnesota Newspaper
Association. MNI offers training for every
newspaper staff member from the publisher
to circulation specialist, editors, reporters,
advertising reps, graphic artists, managers,
and others. Training attendees learn new
and better ways to do their job! In addition
to training for newspaper professionals,
our continued partnership with the Pohlad
Family Foundation allows us to introduce high
school-aged youth to the amazing world of newspapers with a summer
internship program.

The goal of MNI training is to help all the fabulous member newspaper
employees become even better at their jobs. MNI accomplishes this in
many ways from webinars and regional topical trainings to big name
presenters such as Kevin Slimp, Russell Viers and Ed Henninger.
We also partner with the Blandin Foundation to offer the Editors &
Publishers Community Leadership Program, annually.

Thank you to each and every one of you who has supported MNI
through donations in 2016 and in past years. Whether you purchased
beer or wine at the Wall of Wine at the convention, are a Founders
Club or Legacy Club member, purchased a commemorative 150th
anniversary plaque, have given a memorial, or donated an additional
10 percent of your MNA dues to MNI, we thank you. Without you and
your continued financial support, our vision wouldn’t be possible. The
MNI board of directors has and will continue to prudently manage

your gifts, and the financial resources of the organization to build
sustainable funding for a bright future.

I have served on the MNI board of directors since 2014, serving as
vice-chair prior to being elected president in 2016. While we are
still a relatively new organization, MNI is thriving. I want to take the
opportunity to thank Michael Jacobson of the Paynesville Press for
steering the MNI ship from 2012-2015 and his dedication to MNI. He
leaves big shoes for me to fill, but it has been easy to take the helm of
a well-oiled machine.

Thank you again to all of you for your continued support of MNI’s great
work. An organization is only as good as its members.
Karin Ramige,
The McLeod County Chronicle and Arlington Enterprise
MNI President 2016-present
MNA Board 2014-present

County News

Message from the Executive Director

he Minnesota News Media Institute had
another outstanding year presenting
quality and affordable training
opportunities to MNA’s 330 newspaper
members. Here are some highlights:

In 2016, MNI presented 37 training programs
covering a broad range of topics to more than
230 news media professionals across the state.

The wildly successful Editors & Publishers
Community Leadership Program completed its
12th year in 2016. The months-long program assists editor-publisher
teams in developing community leadership skills. This program is
funded in part by a generous grant from the Blandin Foundation. Since
its inception in 2005, more than 160 editors and publishers from more
than 85 newspapers from all corners of the state have participated in
the program.


In April 2016, MNI hosted its first-ever Editors & Publishers Community
Leadership Program alumni event. The response and reviews received
from E & P graduates who attended the alumni workshop were so
positive that MNI will offer the alumni event on a regular basis.

In 2016 MNI celebrated its 12-year partnership with the Pohlad Family
Foundation which helped fund summer internships for 57 high school-
age interns at Minnesota newspapers. MNA member newspapers have
hired more than 700 interns since the inception of this program. Both
students and their host newspapers report benefitting immensely from
this program during which high school-aged youth develop professional
skills, build confidence and gain hands-on job experience. Many
interns have gone on to seek degrees and find careers in journalism,
advertising and other communications-related fields.

MNI continues to do excellent work advancing a strong future for
newspapers in Minnesota. I encourage you to support MNI through
program participation or through one of our giving opportunities.
Lisa Hills, Executive Director
Minnesota Newspaper Association

Board of Directors–2016

Karin Ramige, McLeod County Chronicle, Glencoe – President

Michael Jacobson, Paynesville Press

Chris Schultz, Herald Journal, Howard Lake

Mike Dalton, Cannon Falls Beacon

Chris Knight, APG Media of Minnesota

Justin Lessman, Jackson County Pilot

Marge Winkelman, ECM Publishers, Coon Rapids*

Crystal Miller, Albert Lea Tribune

Joni Harms, Daily Globe, Worthington

Jim Pumarlo, Minnesota Chamber of Commerce

Keith Moyer, School of Journalism & Mass Communications,
University of Minnesota**

Chris Ison, School of Journalism & Mass Communications,
University of Minnesota

*Resigned October 2016
**Resigned April 2016


Lisa Hills – Executive Director
Sarah Jackson – Program Director
Debbie Evans – Accounting Manager
LuAnn Yattaw – Project Manager
Web: www.mna.org
Phone: 612-332-8844
Email: member@mna.org

The Voyager Press of McGregor

Training Programs–2016

n 2016, the Minnesota News Media Institute offered a full array of
training programs in person and online via webinar, covering a variety
of issues relevant to news media professionals. Thanks to many
training partners, including the Online Media Campus, we are able to
feature many industry experts and timely topics in training sessions.
We are proud to offer affordable training options to our newspaper
members and in 2016 reached more than 230 individuals through
these programs.

With change as a constant in the media industry, we know that your
needs for training are constantly evolving. MNI is always looking for
new program ideas. If you have suggestions, or specific needs, please
let us know! MNI can also develop individualized programs for your
staff or special group training programs, based on your requests.
Reach out to MNA Program Director Sarah Jackson by email
(sarah@mna.org) or phone (612-278-0250) with programming ideas
and suggestions.

White Bear

2016 Programs
2016 Editors & Publishers Community Leadership Program
2016 MNA Daily Newspaper Meeting
A Crash Course to Fact-Checking Journalism: Just in time for election season
Advertising is NOT Marketing! Tips for the media marketer
Best Breakouts for Daily Reporting
Best Practices for Digital Planning
Building Today’s Circulation/Audience Managers
Building Your Graduation Pages
Clean Up Your Copy
Creating a Focus on Enterprise News
Department of Labor’s New Rule on Overtime
Editors & Publishers Community Leadership Program Alumni Workshop
Election Coverage
Google Analytics: Finding and reading the data
Google Analytics: Segmenting
Growing Your Digital Audience
How to Market and Sell in Brutally Competitive Environments
InDesign Efficiencies
Instant Sales: Six-Step Proven Process
Integrating Snapchat and Instagram into Your Newsroom
Interactive Storytelling Tools: Enhance your readers’ experience
Live Reporting Tools
Maximize Digital Revenue
Photoshop, InDesign and More with Kevin Slimp
Prospecting That Pays
Resisting Regurgitation: Proactive storytelling for today’s readers
Revamping Your High School Sports Coverage
Selling Strategically: How to manage your time and territory
Skills for New Ad Reps 2016
Skills for New Reporters 2016
Social Journalism: The keys to connecting with your audience
Strategies to Increase Reader Engagement
The Scoop on Public Health Data at MDH Webinar
Three-Call Sales System: Proven process for closing sales quickly
Train the Trainer: Creating top-notch training materials for your team
Using Excel as a Reporting Tools
Watchdog Reporting for all Newsrooms
Training Programs-
Participating Members
Adams Publishing Group of Minn. Hutchinson Leader
Aitkin Independent Age Jackson County Pilot
Albert Lea Tribune Johnson Publishing
Amery Free Press Kanabec County Times, Mora
APG-ECM Media Kanabec Publications, Inc.
Austin Daily Herald Kerkhoven Banner
Battle Lake Review Lafayette Nicollet Ledger
Bemidji Pioneer Lakes Area Review, New London
Benning Printing & Publishing Lakeshore Weekly News, Wayzata
Bluff Country Newspaper Group Lee Enterprises
Brainerd Dispatch Livewire Printing Co.
Citizen Publishing Madelia Times-Messenger
Clara City Herald Maple Lake Messenger
Clay County Connection Marshall Independent
Community News Corp. Mesabi Daily News, Virginia
Cottonwood County Citizen, Windom Mille Lacs County Times, Milaca
Country Messenger, Scandia Mille Lacs Messenger, Isle
Daily Globe, Worthington Minnesota Women’s Press
Dairyland Peach Morris Sun Tribune
Delano Herald Journal Morrison County Record, Little Falls
Detroit Lakes Newspapers Northeaster, Minneapolis
Dodge Media, Inc. Northfield News
Duluth News Tribune Ortonville Independent
Echo Press, Alexandria Owatonna People’s Press
Ely Echo Page 1 Publications
Faribault Daily News Park Rapids Enterprise
Fergus Falls Daily Journal Paynesville Press
Fertile Journal Pine City Pioneer
Forum Communications Company Pineandlakes Echo Journal,
Grand Rapids Herald-Review Pequot Lakes
Hancock Record Pipestone Publishing Co., Inc.
Hanska Herald Press Publications White Bear Lake
Hastings Star Gazette Princeton Union-Eagle
Henning Publications Proctor Journal
Herald Journal Publishing Red Lake Falls Gazette
Hibbing Daily Tribune Red Wing Republican Eagle

RiverTown Multimedia The Citizen, Hugo
Rochester Post-Bulletin The Exponent, East Grand Forks
Rock County Star-Herald, Luverne The Free Press, Mankato
Sauk Centre Herald The Jamestown Sun
Sauk Rapids Herald The Journal, New Ulm
Scenic Range News Forum, Bovey The New Prague Times
Sioux City Journal The Timberjay Newspapers
South Washington County Bulletin, The Voyageur Press, McGregor
Cottage Grove Tri-County News, Kimball
Southwest News Media Twin Valley Times
St. Cloud Times Van Hee Media, LLC
St. Peter Herald Von Meyer Publishing Inc.
Staples World West Central Tribune, Willmar
Star Publications, LLC Woodbury Bulletin
Star Tribune, Minneapolis
Suel Printing Company
Swift County Monitor-News, Benson

Times, Mora

Pohlad Internships–2016

ince 2005, MNA has partnered with the Pohlad Family
Foundation and its Summer Youth Employment Program to offer
wage subsidies to Minnesota newspapers that hire high school
aged interns for work during the summer months.

The board of directors of the Pohlad Family Foundation migrated its
Summer Youth Employment programs into its Youth Advancement
program in 2016. The Youth Advancement program aims to support
and serve low-income youth ages 16-24 that are disconnected from
educational and employment opportunities, with the goal of helping
young people gain skills needed to participate successfully in the

Our Youth Internship Program helps MNA member newspapers
provide a meaningful employment experience for young people in
their communities. This special opportunity is available exclusively to
MNA member newspapers and is funded generously by the Pohlad
Family Foundation. MNA member newspapers have hired more than
700 interns over the past ten years thanks to this program. Many
interns have gone on to seek degrees and find careers in journalism,
advertising and related fields.

If you would like to participate in the Pohlad Family Foundation Youth
Employment Program, contact LuAnn Yattaw at 612-278-0235 or by
email at luann@mna.org.

2016 Participating Newspapers
Albany Enterprise Granite Falls Advocate Tribune
Albert Lea Tribune Grygla Eagle
Echo Press, Alexandria Citizens Advocate, Henning
Askov American Tri-County News, Heron Lake
Austin Daily Herald Hutchinson Leader
Barnesville Record-Review Dodge County Independent, Kasson
Battle Lake Review Mower County Independent,
Steele County Times, Blooming Prairie LeRoy
Pineandlakes Echo Journal, Marshall Independent
Pequot Lakes Voyageur Press of McGregor
Bryon Review Middle River Honker
Caledonia Argus Montevideo American News
Independent-News Herald, Oklee Herald
Clarissa Osakis Review
Pine Journal, Cloquet Proctor Journal
Crookston Daily Times Red Lake Falls Gazette
Enterprise Dispatch, Post Bulletin, Rochester
Dassel-Cokato Murray County News, Slayton
Detroit Lakes Tribune ThreeSixty Journalism, St. Paul
Star Herald, Dodge Center The Timberjay, Tower
Duluth Budgeteer News Tracy Headlight-Herald
The Exponent, East Grand Forks Twin Valley Times
Eden Valley Watkins Voice Lake Country News-Chronicle,
Standard-Gazette & Messenger, Two Harbors
Fairfax Press Publications, White Bear Lake
Fergus Falls Daily West Central Tribune, Willmar
Fertile Journal Daily Globe, Worthington
Grand Rapids Herald Review

Editors & Publishers
Community Leadership Program

he Editors & Publishers Community Leadership Program
celebrated its 12th year in 2016. The program empowers editor-
publisher teams to develop their community leadership and vision
skills. Participants came from newspapers across the state, from East
Grand Forks to Scandia.

Cohort 12 identified many issues in their communities where they
could make an impact and developed plans to do so through a
community engagement project. One newspaper group developed a
plan to pay it forward in their communities and support local nonprofits
by providing matching advertising grants or giving away free marketing
campaigns supporting their cause. Another pair took on the task of
helping their community prepare for the development of a long-term
city plan by facilitating conversations about goals and visions for the
town’s future. Participating newspapers had a deep sense of pride
and responsibility for helping their communities achieve bright futures.
Alongside the development of community leadership and vision
skills, program participants hone personal leadership, management,
communication and problem-solving skills.

In 2016 we applied for and were granted new funding to continue this
program! Thanks to generous support by the Blandin Foundation, the
Editors & Publishers Community will continue through 2019.
Sarah Jackson, Program Director
Minnesota Newspaper Association

2016 Participants
Country Messenger, Scandia
Press Publications, White Bear Lake
RiverTown Multimedia
Swift County Monitor-News, Benson
The Exponent, East Grand Forks
The Voyageur Press, McGregor
Twin Valley Times

Front row, left to right: Karie Kirschbaum (Twin Valley Times), Debra Neutkens (Press
Publications), Steve Gall (RiverTown Multimedia), John Grones (The Voyageur Press), Suzanne
Lindgren (Country Messenger), Mirja Hanson. Back row, left to right: Sarah Jackson (MNA), Jeff
Kirschbaum (Twin Valley Times), Reed Anfinson (Swift County Monitor-News), Chad Richardson
(RiverTown Multimedia), Bruce Brierley (The Exponent), Serianna Henkel (The Exponent), Tom
Stangl (Country Messenger).

T he Editors & Publishers Community
Leadership Program empowered me to think
of our paper as an agent of change and force
for good in the communities we cover. Rather
than passively reporting on what happens I now
ask myself how the Country Messenger can
address issues in a way that invites or creates
a positive outcome. During and after the
program, we created a conversation around planning for future
growth in the small city of Scandia, and helped get input from
residents as the city delved into updating its comprehensive plan.
That exercise later affected our election coverage for the mayoral
race — the question of how Scandia should grow became a major
focus, and a new mayor was elected. I believe this was at least
in part because of the focus we brought to the stewing issue of
growth and the forum we created for discussion.
Suzanne Lindgren
Editor, Country Messenger

T his program was life changing for me from
a professional standpoint. The spot-on
curriculum and program faculty force you to re-
think just how you are fulfilling the basic tenets
of community journalism and its purpose.
I’ll admit, I was a bit of a skeptic going into
this program due to the commitment of time.
Turns out this was the best time investment
I’ve made in my career. Tangible results? Yes, definitely. We’ve
since used the 9 Dimensions of a Healthy Community to model
a BeCause RiverTown Cares community support program. This
program has elevated our standing in our respective communities
as a direct result of the E&P Leadership program. Thanks for that!
I am sure anyone who goes through this program will find the
same results and build lasting friendships with fellow classmates,
much like I did.
Steve Gall
Group Publisher, RiverTown Multimedia

Financial Statement - 2016

Contributions $33,225
Blandin Grant (Editors & Publishers Community
Leadership Program) 126,000*
Editors & Publishers Alumni Event 3,712
Pohlad Internship Grant 52,700
Convention 10,981
Training Registration 8,975
In-Kind Revenue 2,569
Interest/Dividend 23,539
Investment Gain/Loss (Net) 38,621
Total Revenue 300,322

Pohlad Internships 48,528
Editors & Publishers Program & Alumni Event 40,089**
Administrative 51,419
Professional Services 7,419
Training 7,598
Convention 1,621
Total Expenses 156,674

Change in net Assets 143,648

Net assets, beginning 1,045,317

Net assets, ending $1,188,965

* the $126,000 in revenue recorded in 2016 will provide revenue for the 2017, 2018 and
2019 Editor & Publishers programs.            
** $126,000 in revenue from a three-year grant was recorded in 2013 and provided revenue
for the 2014, 2015 and 2016 Editor & Publishers programs.


MNI Donors: The following individuals and organizations donated to
the Minnesota News Media Institute in 2016.
Associated Press
Blandin Foundation
Carl and Eloise Pohlad Family Foundation
Kevin Anderson
Michael Jacobson
Justin Lessman
Matt McMillan
Pete Mohs
Dick Norlander
Karin Ramige
Chris Schultz
Don Smith
John Stone
Tom West
Marge Winkelman

Memorials: Donations to MNI in memory of those we’ve lost.

Joni Harms –
in memory of Diane Pumarlo
Lisa Hills –
in memory of Don Larson, Diane Pumarlo & Anita Stone
Peter & Lynne Jacobson –
in memory of Don Larson & Anita Stone
Don & Nancy Smith –
in memory of Don Larson
Chuck & Jan Wann –
in memory of Don Larson, Ed Morrison & Edie Rasmussen

150th Anniversary Donations: The following individuals have
purchased 150th Anniversary Plaques.
2016 MNA Staff Charles R. Johnson
Kevin Anderson Chris Knight
Jeffery Athmann Carole & Don Larson
Julie & Rollin Bergman Livewire Printing Co.
Robert Bradford Matt McMillan
Cannon Falls Beacon Pete Mohs
Carol Duff Quinco Press, Inc.
Linda & Kurt Falkman Karin Ramige
Forum Communications Printing William Ramige
Jody Hanson Bob Shaw
Joni Harms Owen Van Essen
Lisa Hills Chuck & Jan Wann
Michael & Geri Jacobson Chuck Warner
Peter & Lynne Jacobson Wade Weber &
Susan FranceWeber

In-kind Donations:
Better Business Bureau
Forum Communications Printing
HJ Marketing / Herald Journal
St. Cloud Times / Times Media

Thank you to all of our MNA Newspaper Members that have
generously donated 10% of their annual dues to MNI.

There are many ways you can contribute to MNI.
Contact LuAnn Yattaw to learn more; 612-278-0235 or

Celebrating 150 Years

n 2017 the Minnesota
Newspaper Association
celebrates its 150th
Anniversary. Just nine years
after Minnesota became a
state, in 1867, the leaders of
31 newspapers gathered in
St. Paul for the first meeting
of the Minnesota Editors and
Publishers Association. Now
more than 330 newspapers
strong, we are proud to represent
the vibrant newspaper industry
that has developed over the past
150 years.

To commemorate this occasion
and honor the member
newspapers and friends who
have helped to make this organization a lasting success, we have
created a historical piece that will be relevant for the next 150 years.
This beautiful display will become a part of MNA history and will honor
our past and celebrate our future.

A large plate was commissioned to sit atop the late model printing
press housed at the MNA office. The plate contains space for 150
brass plaques which can be customized with engraved text. Members,
friends and partners of MNA have the unique opportunity to purchase
and customize a plaque in celebration of MNA’s 150th Anniversary and
in support of the newspaper industry’s bright future. This opportunity is
very limited! Only 150 plaques are available.

The proceeds of the engraved brass
plaques will directly benefit the
Minnesota News Media Institute. These
tax-deductible contributions will be used
to fund quality educational programming
and ensure continued success for
Minnesota’s newspapers and the
communities they serve for the next 150

We invite you to contact the MNA
office for more information or if you
are interested in purchasing a 150th
Anniversary plaque.

Minnesota Newspaper Association

N E W S  M E D I A
10 South Fifth Street, Suite 1105 • Minneapolis, MN 55402
Phone: 612-332-8844 • www.mna.org