Anne Jacobson has been editor of the Republican Eagle since December 2003.
- Member for
- 2 years 4 months
I spent Monday and Tuesday with other Forum Communications Co. editors discussing, among other things, the online world we live in and where the news industry is headed. The conversation was pretty upbeat, believe it or not. That's because we're committed to having the Internet play a vital role as we beef up community journalism. The Internet isn't our enemy. One of Republican Eagle's big initiatives is to increase local blogs on our website. First, we are migrating our existing blogs to a more versatile platform.
Some letters to the editor seek to persuade while others inform, praise or debate. All types contribute to public dialogue. So do endorsement letters, of course. Nearly every letter the R-E published in July endorsed a candidate or party, so the REaders' Board elected not award a Golden Quill for the month and likely won't in October.
The job title may be Minnesota state auditor, but the job is essentially local - keeping city, county, township and sometimes school district finances on the up and up, according to Rebecca Otto. The first-term auditor made a campaign stop Friday in Red Wing. A Democrat, she faces Republican Patricia Anderson in the general election. Otto defeated Anderson, the incumbent last time around, in 2006. "Dollars are tight. They're tight at the federal level. They're tight at the state level. And some communities are better off than others," Otto said.
Four people recently joined the REaders' Board, bringing fresh ideas and constructive criticism to help improve the Republican Eagle. On Monday, they participated in their second meeting and we talked at some length about the primary election - their thoughts on our coverage, what they were hearing in the community about the candidates and what the paper can do to promote citizen involvement. Having the primary come the second week of August rather than in September was new for everyone, and this also was the first election since the Republican Eagle switched to publishing twice a week.
The Republican Eagle has started labeling its enterprise packages, investigative stories, selected features and columns with a "subscriber exclusive" icon. This is our way of helping readers identify those stories available first and often solely to our paying subscribers. Readers of the print and paid online editions saw the icon for the first time July 14 when we labeled Michael Longaecker's narcotics investigations stories. We have had an exclusive in every edition since and anticipate identifying at least one exclusive in each edition in the weeks ahead.
This region each year makes Memorial Day truly memorable for the right reasons: Local communities hold ceremonies in parks, on the riverbanks and in cemeteries honoring those killed in action and those veterans who have died in the past year. Dedicated volunteers and strong veterans organizations put in significant hours to make these events special, as Christopher Rayner pointed out in his June 9 letter to the editor.
Do your kids like movies, but you wonder if the latest flick is appropriate or worth seeing? Seth may be able to help you. He's 11-year-old movie buff who recently launched a blog on the Red Wing Republican Eagle website. You can find "Seth's Movie Reviews" on our home page under Area Voices. He approached the R-E in June -- with help from his mom -- about sharing his insight on children's flicks. Because he is a minor, we aren't using his surname. Here is a sample of what he has to say: "'The A Team' is a great movie for kids 10+. ...
Former Readers' Board member Kathy Saunders was a bit stunned to learn she'd received a Golden Quill. Her letter of May 8 rose to the top of four other letters nominated for the honor, current board members decided at their June meeting. They appreciated how she brought local attention to a broader issue. The letter was timely, too, coming before high school graduation. She took a personal stand, board members said, and she wrote with genuine concern. Her letter is reprinted below. April was tragic for teen drivers in Minnesota.
The rules have changed for election commentary in the Republican Eagle. Historically we published a couple hundred letters between the September primary and November general elections when we were a daily newspaper. We no longer can handle that volume in print now that we print twice a week. Letters, therefore, must be shorter. During the election season the limit will be 200 words, and even letters under 200 words will be subject to editing.
Arlin Albrecht parlayed a degree in economics and journalism into success in several fields, especially publishing, banking and health care. The University of Wisconsin-River Falls will honor the former Republican Eagle publisher Saturday, naming him the distinguished alumnus of the year. "I feel pretty humble about this because I think River Falls has an awful lot of distinguished graduates," Albrecht said. "I'm grateful, of course, but it's an honor a lot of people should share." Those graduates include his wife, Marilyn.