Editors & Publishers Community Leadership Program

Front: Rachel Miller, Pam Bluhm, Margo Ashmore, Bill Stickels. Back: Mirja Hanson, Benjamin Sonnek, Jeff Andres, Nancy Powell, Vince Brown, Jen Yocum Stans, Jakob Kounkel and MNA Executive Director Lisa Hills.

The Minnesota News Media Institute, MNA’s educational nonprofit, is pleased to present the 2022 graduates of the Editors & Publishers Community Leadership Program.

Annually, MNI recruits editor-publisher teams and publishers of small papers who also serve as editors who want to develop their community leadership and vision skills. The program encourages newspapers to develop and strengthen social capital within their communities, to learn of the power they have to frame issues and mobilize action and ultimately helps them to advance the health and vibrancy of their communities.

The 2022 class is the 16th cohort to complete the program. Members include:

  • Benjamin Sonnek of the Sauk Centre Herald
  • Bill Stickels of the Isanti-Chisago County Star, Cambridge
  • Jakob Kounkel of the Benton County News, Foley
  • Jeff Andres of NorthStar Media/Kanabec Publications;
  • Jen Yocum-Stans of the Hinckley News
  • Margo Ashmore of the Northeaster, Minneapolis
  • Nancy Powell of the Benton County News, Foley
  • Pam Bluhm of The Chatfield News
  • Rachel Miller of the Henderson Independent
  • Vince Brown of the Northeaster, Minneapolis.

Operated by MNI and funded in part by a generous grant from the Blandin Foundation, the program was founded in 2005 and is modeled after the successful Blandin Community Leadership Program.

Program participants gain inclusive access to the program, including tuition, meals, and lodging. All costs are covered by the Minnesota Newspaper Association, the Minnesota News Media Institute and the Blandin Foundation.

Each year, eight newspapers are selected to participate in the Editors & Publishers Community Leadership Program. To apply, editor-publisher  teams and publishers/editors of small newspapers should email Lisa Hills at lisa@mna.org.

View the 2022 Program flyer and learn more

NOTE: About the 2020 & 2021 Editors & Publishers program:
With the Editor and Publisher Community Leadership Training program wiped out by the COVID-19 pandemic, the MNI partnered with the Blandin Foundation to instead offer a series of Virtual Peer Networking programs, which proved an enormous success with members. Participant survey results were overwhelmingly positive and nearly all requested the MNI offer additional networking discussions, which it did in October. The Blandin Foundation graciously agreed to extend its three-year grant for the Editor and Publisher Community Leadership Training program an extra year.

View the list of program participants 2005-2019