Friday, August 31, 2007

New journalism initiative to launch in Minnesota

Longtime CCJIG stalward Ed Lambeth sent this along for inclusion on the blog; it came to him from his University of Missouri colleague Debra Mason in the form of a news release and has been edited somewhat for length. The full version of the release, including a lengthy list of participants for th enew project, can be found at

Also, contact names for anyone interested in learning more about the venture can be found at the end of this posting.
- JR

August 27, 2007

MINNEAPOLIS --, an internet-based daily providing news and insight for Twin Cities and Minnesota readers, will launch later this year.

Joel Kramer, CEO and editor, announced that he has raised $1.1 million in startup funds for the not-for-profit enterprise. Four local families have contributed a combined $850,000, and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, based in Miami, announced a donation of $250,000.

"Communities need news every way they can get it," said Eric Newton, vice president of Knight Foundation's journalism program. "What makes this experiment interesting are its non-profit model and the willingness of such a broad spectrum of the community to give money and time to this effort." will offer exclusive front-page news stories as well as posts, a new format in which professional journalists engage in an informal conversation with readers about what they're learning and what to make of it. Posts will be a bit like blogs, but unlike many blogs, they will be built around original reporting, not just opinions or links to other people’s work., which will publish Monday through Friday, also will offer daily roundups providing perspective on metro, state, national and international news, stories from selected content partners (currently under discussion), commentary from community leaders and experts, and comment from and involvement of readers. MinnPost will be nonpartisan, and all opinion pieces will be signed.

More than 20 Twin Cities journalists, including Pulitzer Prize-winning Pioneer Press reporter and best-selling novelist John Camp and former Star Tribune columnist Doug Grow, have already committed to contributing regularly to, according to managing editor Roger Buoen, former deputy managing editor of the Star Tribune.

In addition to Kramer and Buoen, MinnPost editors will be Corey Anderson, web editor, who was online managing editor of City Pages; Don Effenberger and Casey Selix, news editors, both formerly editors at the Pioneer Press; and Beth Thibodeau, MinnPost in Print editor, formerly an editor at the Star Tribune.

" is all about substantive news for Minnesotans who are intensely interested in the world around them and want more insight and analysis than they’re getting from their media choices today," said Kramer, who served as editor of the Star Tribune in the 1980s and as publisher and president in the 1990s. "It will combine the best of traditional journalism with new forms of newsgathering and storytelling made possible by the Internet. will emphasize original, high-quality content five days a week, plus carefully chosen work from other sources. You can read it online, or in a printable newspaper format, MinnPost in Print."

MinnPost in Print will be published Monday through Friday in 8.5 x 11 format, printable on home and office computers and expected to be available in high-traffic locations over the lunch hour.

For more information, contact Joel Kramer at 612 581-7431, or Larry Meyer, Knight Foundation vice president/communications, at 305-908-2610, email:

1 comment:

Glenn Scott said...

Intriguing story. Here is a group of former newspaper journalists, mostly from the Strib, aiming to publish a news site without a newspaper to subsidize it. The generous funding indicates two things:

Some enlightened people in the field want this to succeed, and people in the know realize that without some subsidy, such operations are not likely to work.

I'll be curious to see what sort of coverage this new site offers. We know that, despite our greater hopes, the most popular news feature on any news site is the weather report. Will this new non-profit go for the usual quick-hitter news stories? Or will the editors seek to offer what the Strib and other newspapers are reducing -- longer, more in-depth journalism and more complex multimedia reports that offer deeper looks into issues and events?

If this news-without-a-newspaper-subsidy operation succeeds in Minneapolis, we might see more attempts. But if it does not, hmmm.