Jim Pumarlo, Community Newspaper Training
 
 

Press rights are public's rights

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Distributed as a guest editorial by the Minnesota Newspaper Association in observance of Sunshine Week, March 12-18, 2006 Should the Minneapolis School Board have to disclose the terms of its separation agreement with Supt. Thandiwe Peebles, who resigned under criticism? Is it proper for the Kandiyohi County Board to select a new county administrator outside of a public meeting? Should residents be excluded from Cannon Falls Township Board meetings where officials discussed property-related issues surrounding a land-use dispute?

The challenges of everyday decisions

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Publishers Auxiliary/November 2005 Editors routinely hold their breath in anticipation of reader reaction following in-depth stories that culminate weeks-long investigations. The packages are typically prepared, reviewed and scrutinized again with painstaking care. The reality is that the everyday decisions ó and resulting reports ó in small-town newsrooms usually generate the greatest kickback.

Suspensions: Student athletes are human, too

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By identifying youths, are newspapers really looking out for their best welfare? Yes, though it may not be immediately recognized by students, parents or coaches.

News obits warrant responsible, sensitive reporting

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The Inlander/July 11, 2005 A resident was honored as Good Neighbor by a local civic club. A city employee won statewide recognition for service to community. Most editors would likely agree that both citations deserve mention in the individuals' obituaries. Families and readers would expect no less. Most editors would likely agree that both citations deserve mention in the individuals' obituaries. Families and readers would expect no less.

Running pro-business letter can lead to disastrous consequences

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The Inlander/May 16, 2005 A letter arrives at a newspaper office, heaping great compliments about the excellent customer service at a local business. Better yet, the business is the hometown grocery store, the newspaper's largest advertiser.

Don't hide suicides from your readers

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Publishers Auxiliary/May 2005 Suicide reports stir the strongest emotions among grieving families and friends. These stories prompt the most strident complaints that newspapers are sticking their nose into personal affairs. Newspapers also face resistance from authorities regarding release of information, even though cause of death is public information under many state laws.

Newspapers need to print all the news

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Publishers Auxiliary/April 2005 Star athletes expect to read their names in the local newspaper after scoring three touchdowns or making a game-winning basket. But imagine the shock ó to them and their parents ó when the community reads about an athleteís suspension for violation of state high school league rules. General news photos also can be a shock. And while all editors love to feature hometown pride, the reaction can be quite different when the page-one photo is the scene of a fatal accident involving a local resident.

Prep sports suspensions must be reported

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Quill Magazine/April 2005 Is the suspension of high school athletes newsworthy? Absolutely, and especially when it affects a game's outcome. By identifying youths, are newspapers really looking out for their best welfare? Yes, though it may not be immediately recognized by students, parents or coaches.

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