Jim Pumarlo, Community Newspaper Training

Jim Pumarlo wrote a weekly column

  as editor at the Red Wing (Minn.) Republican Eagle. His column was recognized in the Minnesota Newspaper Association's annual Better Newspaper Contest as a consistent winner in the category for "best explanation of news operations or ethics." He received the Minnesota News Council's first "Accountability Award" in 2000.

"How can you not win? Jim Pumarlo's columns provide readers with information vital to understanding the policies, ethics, standards and content of this newspaper. It's well-written, informative and enlightening - especially so for readers interested in the 'behind the scenes' thinking that editors do every day. It's a good column. It might be something my newspaper 'creates' in the future."
-- Judge's comments Minnesota Newspaper Association Better Newspaper Contest, 2000-01 Best Explanation of Newspaper Operations or Newspaper Ethics, first place

"More papers should adopt this policy. You're not afraid to admit an error in judgment - something that goes a long way toward building readers' trust."
-- Judge's comments Minnesota Newspaper Association Better Newspaper Contest, 1997-98 Best Explanation of Newspaper Operations or Newspaper Ethics, first place

No privileges for advertisers

Categorized under:
Red Wing Republican Eagle "You won't read that in the paper," the person says. "After all, it's one of the R-E's biggest advertisers." That comment might hold truth at some newspapers, but it's not the case here. Over the years we've probably frustrated more than a few advertisers who seek privileges getting something printed in or omitted from the newspaper. We pride ourselves on the distinction between news and advertising. In the long run, everyone benefits from a policy of clear separation. Vital to newspaper The R-E's experiences with advertisers likely are mirrored in a study recently released by Marquette University in Milwaukee. The survey revealed that advertisers have pressured more than 90 percent of U.S. newspapers to change or kill stories. On a positive note, only one-third of the newspapers caved into those pressures. Rejecting an advertiser's request is not an easy decision at all newspapers, especially in smaller operations. An advertiser may well decide to boycott the newspaper, which — in some cases — could cause significant impact. Advertising obviously is vital to this newspaper. But it's the combination of advertising and news that gives the product its overall value. Neither can succeed without the other. Individual merits We get our share of cases where someone attempts to use his or her pull to get an event covered. The same pressures can be applied to quash an item, especially if it might be embarrassing to the business. We're sensitive to the concerns of any reader/customer. But if we're to maintain credibility, we must apply the same standards to all. Each request is judged on its individual merits, no matter who the person may be.

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