Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Minnesota’s first online(ish) daily launches Nov. 8

No word yet on whether or not the paper will have a Duluth bureau...

MinnPost.com (and a paper version known as MinnPost in Print) will launch November 8, it was announced today by Joel Kramer, CEO and editor of the not-for-profit startup.

Kramer also said that in addition to the $1.1 million of previously announced major gifts, MinnPost has now raised more than $107,000 from 220 member-donors. This surpasses MinnPost’s projection of $75,000 for all of 2007, Kramer said. The smallest of these donations is $10. The largest is $36,000 – received recently from the Martin and Brown Foundation, a local family foundation.

“MinnPost will be about great journalists doing great journalism,” Kramer said. Six editors will oversee contributions from more than four dozen journalists, including two Pulitzer Prize winners. (See Web site for a complete list contributing journalists.)

“We’ll also have some fun,” Kramer said. “Al Sicherman has agreed to host a regular contest inviting MinnPost.com readers to submit humorous creative entries on a topic and in a form selected by Al, accompanied by Al’s own entry. Readers will later vote for a winner from finalists selected by Al. He submitted a sample this week, asking for limericks about Sen. Larry Craig’s induction into the Idaho Hall of Fame.”

Two others have joined the more than 50 journalists who have signed on with MinnPost.com:

* Catherine Watson, former Star Tribune travel editor, will report on travel trends.

* Adam Graham-Silverman, reporter for Congressional Quarterly in Washington, will cover the Minnesota congressional delegation.

Five days a week, MinnPost.com will offer news stories of interest to Minnesotans, an analysis of a national or global story, numerous informal posts by experienced reporters, a commentary by someone in the community and a number of other features.

“The site will emphasize quality and uniqueness over quantity,” Kramer said. “Our aim is to ensure that everything you see at MinnPost.com involves solid reporting, thought-provoking insights and excellent story-telling.”

The site will include audio and video stories, as well as writing and photography. It will also include reader comment and other forms of reader participation.

In addition to the Web site, MinnPost in Print will be a small-format newspaper published every weekday, containing highlights of the Web site’s content. Readers can download it at the Web site and print it at home or office, or they can find a copy at selected high-traffic locations around town over the lunch hour. The locations will be announced at a later date.

Starting this week, we will publish at www.minnpost.com several editors’ notes a week, previewing the kinds of content that will be found at the site and giving a real example of each format. By the time of the launch, readers will have a good idea what MinnPost.com and MinnPost in Print will offer, and how readers can engage with the site.

“These previews offer a side benefit,” said Roger Buoen, MinnPost managing editor. “Our journalists have started reporting, and they’re producing some really good work that won’t stay fresh for a month, so we’ll publish some of that work as we explain what each kind of content will be like.”

MinnPost has also begun selling sponsorships and advertising, both on MinnPost.com and in MinnPost in Print. Contact Sally Waterman, director of advertising, at (612) 455-6953, or Lynn Benson, director of community sponsorships, at (612) 455-6960.

MinnPost was started in August with gifts totaling $850,000 from four founding families and soon received a grant commitment of $250,000 from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation in Miami. MinnPost has applied for 501c3 not-for-profit status, and expects its application to be approved by the IRS sometime next year.

(Text and logo courtesy of MinnPost.com.)

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