Jim Pumarlo, Community Newspaper Training

Who Is Jim Pumarlo?

Community newspapers, at their best, are stewards of their communities. The news columns are a blend of stories that people like to read and stories they should read. The advertising columns promote and grow local commerce. And the editorial pages are a marketplace of ideas.

Jim Pumarlo understands that energized newspapers are at the foundation of energized communities. His message is straightforward: Community newspapers - whether delivering information in the print or on the Web - must focus on local news if they are to remain relevant to their readers and advertisers.

Pumarlo Featured in Twin Cities Business Magazine

Also, most recently in The Inlander's May 21 edition

Pumarlo's Custom Newspaper Training

"Jim Pumarlo's training style is inviting and incisive. He's very knowledgeable on the issues smaller newsrooms face and can clearly and concisely provide ways to handle them based on his 25-plus years of experience at community newspapers.

"My staff came away from his day with us excited about the ideas they discussed and better prepared to face the challenges of the future. I recommend Jim's candid yet cordial approach to anyone who wants to help their community newspaper excel."

Robert Berczuk
Executive Editor

Pumarlo Newsletter

A periodic newsletter covering the latest issues in journalism, community and ethics.

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Questions You've Raised

Jim Pumarlo welcomes your questions. Click here to submit your question and receive a response.

Questions You've Raised

Categorized under:

We received a letter to the editor criticizing the high prices and poor service at a local food chain. The letter urges local action. Would you publish?

It’s a slippery slope to open your letters column to criticism of businesses. A couple of points on enforcing such a policy:

Recent Writing

During election season, pay attention to who’s delivering the message

Categorized under:

Publishers' Auxiliary/May 2014

A regional arts council distributes funds to local
artists, courtesy of a grant from the state arts board. A start-up company gets
a boost from a venture capital fund. A local bike trail will finally connect
two cities, thanks to support from a new state trails program.

Set your ground rules now for the coming barrage of election letters

Categorized under:

The Inlander/April 2014

Election season poses a host of questions for editors as they sift through the natural upsurge in letters. For those in the midst of spring elections, editors are likely making many decisions on the fly. For late primaries and the November general election, it’s not too early to set the ground rules.

Be sure to share your policy with as broad an audience as possible, including candidates and their campaign managers. It’s an excellent topic for a column to readers.

Withholding public information creates double standard

Categorized under:

Publishers’ Auxiliary/April 2014

A woman calls to say her son was whisked to the hospital for a routine matter. Must the ambulance run appear in the paper? It causes so many unnecessary phone calls.

Another woman asks that her shoplifting conviction not appear. Her mother is sickly, and, if she reads the court report, it may adversely affect her health.

Introducing candidates: Preparing for the YOYO factor

Categorized under:

The Inlander/March 2014

This even-numbered year launches another election cycle. Some newspapers are well into the mode with spring elections. It’s not too early for everyone to convene a brainstorming session for the general elections this fall. In all cases, it’s essential to pay attention to the central figures: the candidates.

Political advertising: Don’t forget the ‘ask’

Categorized under:

Publishers' Auxiliary/February 2014

Another election season is under way, and newsrooms are gearing up for campaigns that last weeks and even months. Coverage will consume the news pages from candidate profiles and community forums to photo requests and letters to the editor. And don’t forget the steady barrage of press releases.

Step-by-step coverage of political campaigns likely prompts more than one publisher to utter: Why are we giving the candidates all this free publicity? Where are their ads?

What They're Saying

Election coverage a must for all papers

Categorized under:

Publishers Auxiliary/October 2007
Jim Pumarlo has it right when he says election coverage is “among the most demanding tasks in any newsroom.” That’s true no matter what size newsroom, so his practical guide to covering elections, “Votes and Quotes,” from Marion Street Press, should be a useful addition to most editors’ desks.

Pumarlo encourages consistency, endorsements

Categorized under:

The International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors Newsletter/September/October 2007

Whether you believe you’re doing it right or whether you fear you might be doing it wrong, Jim Pumarlo’s latest book “Votes and Quotes” is worth reading if you want to give your readers solid campaign and election news and opinion.

Book endorsements

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Anyone who has edited or published a community newspaper knows the most challenging and, often, agonizing part of the job is dealing with sensitive issues. I dealt with many issues like this during my career as an editor, and wished there was some type of guidance available, not only for the decision to go or not go with the story, but for developing and explaining the policy behind the decision when the inevitable wrath of a few or more readers loomed after the paper hit the newsstands. Now, there is a book that not only advises hometown newspaper editors about the process of handling sensitive stories, but also provides invaluable sample policies that cover everything from delicate subjects such as suicides, to more common content such as weddings and obituaries.
Ken Blum
Black Ink, e-mail Newsletter for Community Papers

Pumarlo.com • Jim Pumarlo • Community Newsroom Success Strategies • 1327 W. Sixth St. • Red Wing, MN • 55066 • (651) 380-4295