Kittson County Enterprise staff attend Minnesota Newspaper Association convention

 Reporter Anna Jauhola receives third place award in Social Issues category

By Enterprise Staff
Each year, newspaper professionals gather in Minneapolis for some professional development and to recognize each other for their accomplishments from the previous year.
This year, the staff of the Kittson County Enterprise – Margie Holmgren, editor, and Anna Jauhola, reporter – made the trip to the Minnesota Newspaper Association’s Convention. You, dear readers and patrons, surely noticed the office was closed last week Thursday and Friday. In our absence, we assure you we were working hard to gain new ideas, fresh perspective and a renewed vigor for our jobs.
Aside from this being a reinvigorating jaunt from the office, Jauhola accepted an award for a story she wrote in the Social Issues category for reporting. The story headlined “Caretakers need a break too” featured Jody and Jerry Peterson, of Lancaster. They shared their story of Jerry’s struggle with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease and the inevitable challenges that face Jody as his caretaker.
“I was honored that Jody and Jerry were willing to share their story with me,” Jauhola said. “It is always humbling when anyone invites me into their home. But this was a doubly heartwarming and heart-wrenching story to witness and write. I admire them both for visiting with me and raising awareness for other caretakers.”
It is stories such as these that are often recognized, if well-written, and the judges agreed, noting the story had excellent quotes, a great interview and was easy to read.
“We rely on our community to share their stories with us,” said Holmgren. “Stories like this bring us closer as a community. Often if something is relevant to one person, there is someone else who can find the story relevant in some way as well. We are always thankful that we live in a community where people are willing to share their stories with us.”
Holmgren and Jauhola conversed often through the trip not only about what worked over the last year but also whom to emulate moving forward. They noticed papers in their own category, such as the Ely Timberjay, in Ely, Minn., and Jackson County Pilot, in Jackson, Minn., won numerous awards.
Although Jauhola won an award and the Kittson County Enterprise Facebook page exploded with congratulations, both reporter and editor took in some excellent professional sessions.
Holmgren attended a session focused on selling against social media, a challenge newspapers across the country face on a daily basis. She also attended a session called “Ideas on Tap” which covered several topics from both an advertising and an editorial point of view. She found the session engaging and informative.
“It is always good to hear from other newspapers; what they are doing and how they are addressing issues that we all have,” said Holmgren. “While some information doesn’t pertain to the smaller newspapers, there is always something to be gained at these sessions. Just being with a group of individuals who understand what you do is enlightening and rejuvenating.”
Jauhola attended a couple of refresher courses on story and source development and journalism basics. Hearing from reporters from all levels – rookies on up to 30-plus-year veterans – was a reminder of the value of bouncing ideas off others in the business.
Were two days off worth it? Absolutely, agreed the Enterprise staff.
We look forward to serving you in the year to come by helping businesses, organizations and individuals with their advertising needs and by telling the stories and covering the news that is important to you.
Thank you all for your continued support. We look forward to a wonderful rest of 2020.

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