Mille Lacs Messenger remains an award winning newspaper

The Minnesota Newspaper Association held its 152nd annual convention last week, Jan. 24-25, with the theme, “Focus on the Future.” The Mille Lacs Messenger has once again received state honors and is proud to be an award winning newspaper.

The newspaper industry has undergone some drastic changes over the past few years, “But we are not dead yet! We need to let our readers know we’re not going anywhere; in fact, we’re focused on how to continue being the cornerstones of our communities this year, next year and in the future,” Mike Dalton, Cannon Falls Beacon, said.

Journalists from across the state were treated to distinguished keynote speakers both days. Dave St. Peter, president and chief executive officer of the Minnesota Twins, gave an inspirational message Thursday, Jan. 24, regarding his 28 years with the Minnesota Twins. He played a central role in the approval, design, construction and opening of Target Field among other highlights of his career.

Governor Tim Walz spoke to distinguished members of the press and MNA members on Friday, Jan. 25. Gov. Walz stated “free press is a fundamentally crucial” to the daily operations of democracy in the United States.

He said he feels strongly in the vibrancy of the local paper. “Your job is to hold the government accountable, a job you have done well,” Gov. Walz said. “Minnesota journalism is alive and well.”

Senator Amy Klobuchar was unable to attend the convention as she explained in a video recording, she was needed in Washington, “for a very important vote.” That vote was later learned resulted in the end of the federal government shutdown. The MNA chose Sen. Klobuchar as the recipient of the MNA’s Distinguished Service to Journalism Award to recognize her support and significant work promoting freedom of the press. She has been a vocal champion of the first amendment and a friend to the MNA and its members. Sen. Klobuchar was instrumental in helping defeat the newsprint tariff that was proposed in 2018.

Messenger honors

The Messenger was the recipient of four awards at this years’ MNA convention in competition with like-sized papers: Editorial Page as a Whole – third place, awarded to the editorial staff of the Messenger; Columnist – third place, awarded to Evan Orbeck; Investigative Reporting – first place, awarded to Vivian LaMoore.

The Messenger also received the distinguished honor of receiving the second-place award for the Freedom of Information award to Vivian LaMoore. The Freedom of Information Award is a competition among all newspaper classifications in the state of Minnesota. The award recognizes an effective job of furthering the cause of the Freedom of Information. The award is for newspaper coverage or editorial campaigns that effectively address open meetings, open records, data practices, etc.

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