Monday, August 31, 2009

MinnPost founder to discuss newspaper industry Sept. 15 at Saint Mary’s

WINONA, Minn. — Joel Kramer, founder, editor and CEO of, will discuss the changes taking place in today’s newspaper industry on Tuesday, Sept. 15, at Saint Mary’s University.

Kramer founded an online newspaper seen by some observers as a model that might succeed while traditional print newspapers fall by the wayside. His presentation, “The collapsing business model for journalism: What's next?” will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Figliulo Recital Hall, located in the SMU Performance Center.

Kramer served as the editor of the Minneapolis Star Tribune from 1983 to 1991 and as publisher and president from 1992 to 1998. In summer 2007, Kramer launched, a nonprofit online newspaper with a mission “to provide high-quality journalism for news-intense people who care about Minnesota.” The site features high-quality video and audio, as well as written stories and commentary pieces.

As Matt Snyders of City Pages said in a March 2, 2009 article, “the ink-stained community went abuzz.” Snyders continued, “For an industry wracked by massive layoffs and plummeting ad revenue, any news not involving job loss was a good thing.”

MinnPost has garnered quite a bit of attention as both critics and supporters have questioned whether this type of nonprofit journalism — one that aims to eventually break even with the support of corporate sponsors, advertisers and donations from members — can thrive in today’s struggling newspaper climate.

In a report for the Nieman Journalism Lab, Kramer wrote, “A lot of pixels are being spilled these days reflecting on the future of newspapers, news, journalists, and journalism. I spent my career in newspapers, first as a journalist and later as a publisher, and I left when the business was financially near its peak. With the for-profit model now shriveling, I’ve spent the past 16 months trying to build one example of what might be coming next—a not-for-profit enterprise providing high-quality regional journalism on the web.”

A question-and-answer period will follow Kramer’s presentation. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Dr. Steve Schild, at (507) 457-1753 or