Jim Pumarlo spent 27 years working at small daily newspapers in International Falls and Red Wing, Minn. He served as editor of the Red Wing Republican Eagle for 21 years. He resigned in 2003 and served 16 years as director of communications and media relations at the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, the state’s largest business advocacy organization. He can be contacted at jim@pumarlo.com .
He released a book in 2005, “Bad News and Good Judgment: A Guide to Reporting on Sensitive Issues in a Small-Town Newspaper.” His second book, Votes and Quotes: A Guide to Outstanding Election Campaign Coverage,” was released in 2007. His third book, “Journalism Primer: A Guide to Community News Coverage for Beginning and Veteran Journalists,” was released in 2011.

He remains active in the newspaper industry through his consulting, speaking and custom training. He is involved in the Minnesota Newspaper Association as a member of its Journalism Education and Legislative committees. He is a former member of the Minnesota News Media Institute, the training arm of the Minnesota Newspaper Association. He served on the hearing panel for the Minnesota News Council, which promoted fair, vigorous and trusted journalism by engaging the news media and the public in examining standards of fairness.

In 2005, he was given the Al McIntosh Distinguished Service to Journalism Award by the Minnesota Newspaper Association. In 2007, he was recognized as a “Friend of Minnesota Newspapers,” an award given by the Minnesota Newspaper Association.

He was responsible for daily editorials at Red Wing and also wrote a weekly column, often responding to questions posed by readers. 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. He also received the MNA President’s Citation for commitment to the highest standards of the profession in 1996, and he received an award of merit from the Society of Professional Journalists, Minnesota chapter, for distinguished service in the field of freedom of information in 1995.

His editorials and the newspaper’s overall editorial page were recognized in competition sponsored by both the Minnesota Newspaper Association and Inland Press Association.

The Republican Eagle won first place in Best of the States competition as the best daily newspaper under 10,000 circulation in the nation by the National Newspaper Association in 1998. The newspaper won the General Excellence Award as the best nonmetropolitan newspaper, under 10,000 circulation, by the Minnesota Newspaper Association in 1998 and 2003.

 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.

You’re welcome to reprint these columns with the appropriate tagline:

Jim Pumarlo writes, speaks and provides training on community newsroom success strategies. He is author of “Bad News and Good Judgment: A Guide to Reporting on Sensitive Issues in Small-Town Newspapers,” “Votes and Quotes: A Guide to Outstanding Election Coverage” and “Journalism Primer: A Guide to Community News Coverage.” He can be reached at www.pumarlo.com and welcomes comments and questions at jim@pumarlo.com.