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Editor reflects on NorthNews’ 20th year
Written by Margo Ashmore, Editor and Publisher
Posted  9/15/2010
"You have no idea how valuable you are," said a woman I met recently. "You (NorthNews) are the alternative to the Star Tribune. I can read about my friends, and save the articles; they don’t have to get shot to get their name in the paper." (I’m summarizing her thoughts a bit.)

A recent featured letter in the Star Tribune pleads for the big newspaper to remember the normal, when covering North Minneapolis; the writer’s a senior citizen who’s lived here for a long time. This struck a chord, because when we started this newspaper in 1991 we set out to celebrate the normal. In this, our 20th year, I hope that is at least part of what we are doing.

Striving to improve one’s environment, helping others succeed, helping others find their voices — these pursuits are part of the norm, part of being human, and we try to get that kind of word out there.

Preparing for the "Working with the Media" workshops that we’ll be offering Sept. 15 and 20 has my brain working on several questions about how to ask for what we need from readers and other community leaders, to use these precious monthly pages wisely.

I know this: I’d like to hear more voices from the people who are helped by what organizations and programs offer. There’s danger in assuming it’s okay to "do to" or "to treat" and because of concerns about confidentiality, to never make the connection with the real folks. So, real folks, if you have had some positive experiences with an agency or effort we haven’t written about lately, let us know.

And this: At least a little bit of controversy in every edition is not only good for readership, but good for community. Send me topics? Such as:

Thanks, Don Allen and Ron Edwards for scheduling the school board candidates’ forum for Sept. 2 at UROC, 5:30 p.m.; it should be interesting theater and put candidates more on the spot than they’ve been in the pre-primary cattle calls. (I can say that, I once ran for office with about 20 other people. Came in 4th but they only needed 2.)

And pay attention, folks, to the Southwest Transitway station design open houses Sept. 14 & 15, and Bottineau transit meetings. We will try to break that all down for you soon.

I see by the "Google Alerts" that show what other media are doing, Hennepin County’s going to build a new $11.2 million hub in Brooklyn Center for the area’s human services recipients, to save them time and hassle of going downtown...and North Minneapolis is next to get such a center. Imagine what would happen if they could give this building money to the people?

Margo Ashmore
Editor, NorthNews

NorthNews Opinion