Is Tribune building a healthy community?

Published 9:30 am Tuesday, April 21, 2015

This past week, I attended the  first session of the 2015 Editors and Publishers Community Leadership Program with Tribune Publisher Crystal Miller.

The program is organized by the Minnesota Newspaper Association and is modeled after the successful Blandin Community Leadership Program. It is geared toward rural newspapers such as the Tribune.

We joined 10 other editors and publishers for 2 1/2 days and delved into issues such as the dimensions of a healthy community, the value of social contacts, how we recognize and frame our community issues and  how our newspapers can be leaders. 8.dimensions

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It was an inspirational and motivating retreat, and we met some great people.

Not only did I benefit from being able to share and hear information with my peers, but we also began taking a deeper look at the Tribune’s own coverage and whether we incorporate the dimensions of a healthy community. The dimensions are life-long learning; economic opportunity; infrastructure and services; environmental stewardship; community leadership; safety and security; spiritual, recreational and artistic opportunities; and inclusion.

For one of the exercises during the program, Crystal and I looked briefly at two issues of the Tribune, determining what dimension each story in them would fall under.

We found — based on those two issues — that we were short on coverage related to environmental stewardship and safety and security.

The Center for Small Towns at the University of Minnesota, Morris, will next analyze random issues of the Tribune from this past January through March and give us a scientific report of where we stand on these dimensions.

We get the results of that analysis back at our next session for the program in June, and I am excited to see both what we may be doing well and where we can improve.

I look forward to sharing with you more about what we have learned in the coming months and especially the results of the analysis by the Center for Small Towns.

We are hoping to bring Kelly Asche, program coordinator for the Center for Small Towns down to speak to community members about the future of rural communities.

He gave an englightening presentation to us last weekend that we think could benefit many.

It was a wealth of information, but I will leave you with a quote that came up multiple times during the session:

“You give power to that which you give attention to.” 


Sarah Stultz is the managing editor of the Tribune. Her column appears each Tuesday.