Longtime Northfielder and Northfield Patch editor Corey Butler announced his resignation on his Facebook page earlier this week.
I got his permission to post it here and coaxed him into posing with me for a photo at the Spur this morning:
It’s with excitement and sadness that I inform those of you who care that I have resigned from Patch. I’ve accepted a job as the communications coordinator for the Minnesota Society of CPAs, a not-for-profit organization with 9,400 members. I’ll be responsible for developing, editing and coordinating the MNCPA’s print and electronic publications, social media, some event planning/execution and working with the media (fielding calls and pitching stories).
It’s a great move for me as I focus on my long-term career goals and look for a new challenge. I greatly enjoyed my time with Patch, especially getting to know so many wonderful people near and far in the company. Most of all, I’ll miss working with so many great people in Northfield.
You can continue to follow Corey on Twitter @CoreyButlerJr.
Will the AOL-owned Patch replace Corey with another Northfield-based editor? If not, what might it mean for the other hyper-local media organizations in Northfield? I’m guessing that the Huckle Media-owned Northfield News is happy to hear the news of Corey’s departure, as he built Northfield Patch into a formidable competitor for local news-related pageviews. (He had worked for Huckle/Northfield News/Faribault Daily News for 2.5 years prior to launching Northfield Patch.)
But Northfield Patch never appeared to put much of a dent into the local advertising dollars currently going primarily to the Northfield News, KYMN Radio, and the Entertainment Guide, so I don’t see any substantive revenue shifts.
The real opportunity, it seems to me, is for NCO’s Northfield.org to step into the void, especially when it comes to Patch’s Local Voices section. Corey nurtured an ever-growing list of regular Northfield-area contributors (good example: Myrna CG Mibus) who might thrive in the local group-blog environment of Northfield.org. The site really could be so much more than a community events calendar and blog/tweet aggregator. There are new Board members on the way, I’m told, so I’m holding out hope that new blood combined with the old will seize the day.
When the word of this morning’s robbery at America’s Best Value Inn & Suites on Hwy 3 began trickling out via police scanners, most Northfielders were sound asleep.
When KYMN Radio and Northfield Patch began sounding the alarm at around 6 am that one of the suspects had fired at police officers and fled, members of the Northfield Police Department assumed that citizens would respond in droves to help capture one of the suspects who was still at large and believed to be in the Sechler Park area.
By time the Northfield News began covering the story several hours later, gloom was apparent on the faces of the police officers on duty. “We had extra department staff ready to handle the flood of citizen volunteers by deputizing them and issuing them firearms,” said Taylor Marcus, Northfield’s Public Safety Director. “No one showed up. No one emailed. No one tweeted. We had no choice to but to call other law enforcement agencies for help. It was embarrassing.”
When the suspect was finally apprehended mid-morning, the Defeat of Jesse James Days and Northfield Area Chamber of Commerce boards of directors were already in an emergency joint session. “It’s a Category 4 public relations nightmare,” said Chamber Executive Director Marie Schmaltzy. “If word of this colossal failure of our citizens to respond gets out, we’re likely to see a devastating impact on attendance at DJJD next year.”
“I’m not surprised at all,” said Dewayne Reddy, DJJD board member. “Northfielders have essentially become a bunch of yellow-bellied, lily-livered, milk-toasted, panty-waisted wimp chickens. We’ve been riding on the courage of the town’s ancestors from the 1876 bank raid for over 100 years and we’re now morally bankrupt, no pun intended. It’s a sad day. I feel like turning in my spur.”
Noting that the weapon used in today’s robbery had not yet been found, KYMN radio’s Jim Friedman, organizer of the annual DJJD Horseshoe Hunt, said he would attempt to mobilize the citizenry in the morning to help find the suspect’s gun. When asked what he would do to motivate people to participate, Friedman said, “I haven’t got a clue.”
Back on May 18, I reported that I was going to do a story about a WWII Jeep that had recently been donated to VFW Post 4393. Craig Redalen at Northfield’s VFW Post 4393 had given me the opportunity to take photos of it but I didn’t have time to do the whole story. I contacted Corey Butler at Northfield Patch to see if he was interested and he was. A few days later, Patch published Rob Hardy’s story with my photos: WWII Jeep Finds New Home at Northfield VFW:
In 1946, Howard Hong left Northfield for war-ravaged Europe. The young St. Olaf philosophy professor, who would later become internationally known as a scholar and translator of the Danish philosopher Kierkegaard, had spent the war working at prisoner of war camps in Missouri and Iowa. When the war ended, he was called to service as senior field officer for the Refugee Division of the World Council of Churches. Between 1946 and 1948, he helped to resettle more than 250,000 war refugees.
During that time, Hong also became the owner of an iconic 1942 Willys Army Jeep, a veteran of the Normandy invasion, which he purchased at a U.S. Army auction in Paris. Back home in Minnesota… (continued)
Craig Redalen drove the Jeep to and from today’s Memorial Day ceremony at the Northfield Area Veterans Memorial. I’ll have more photos when I publish my album of the event but here’s a 30-second video clip of Craig’s departure.
I’m appreciative of Northfield’s media organizations who have been very helpful in drawing attention to Tuesday night’s (May 15) information meeting for the new Cannon Valley Mountain Bike Racing Team for area high school students.
Northfield News reporter Jordan Osterman: Northfield high school mountain bike team forming
KYMN News Morning Show host Jeff Johnson: Griff Wigley and Peter Behm on C.V. Mountain Bike Racing (blog post with streaming audio). Alternate: download/listen to MP3. (Peter Behm is a student at ARTech.)
Northfield Patch reporter Michael Garlitz: Cannon Valley Biking Team Pedaling Toward Starting Line
One point Wigley stresses when talking about forming the team is that the activity is open to girls, as well as boys.
“The big push nationally is to get girls involved,” he said. “And, there is an incentive for having girls on your team. Points earned by girls are worth more, which helps in recruiting.
Can’t make the May 15 meeting? Area student-athletes who are interested can now fill out a form on the CVMTBT website to be kept informed on next steps on the team’s formation.
The space at 300 S. Water St., most recently a photography studio, is undergoing a build-out. Guess what current Northfield business is moving in there?
Likewise, the space at 209 S. Water St., formerly Erbert & Gerberts, is undergoing a build-out. Guess what two businesses are moving in there? Hint: they are not retail and they are not currently Northfield businesses.
Bonus question: Will Northfield Patch or the Northfield News be the first to run stories on these developments?
I noticed last week that the Northfield News editorial, Your voice could help save the post office, didn’t mention the fact that Northfield Patch had launched an online petition a couple days earlier, Save the Northfield Post Office! Sign the Online Petition.
No surprise there. The Northfield News won’t link to needy area non-profit organizations in their stories (see this week’s story on the Community Action Center’s Food Shelf as an example), let alone their media competitors or any area bloggers.
But yesterday the Northfield News behaved very badly by putting up their own Save the Northfield Post Office Online Petition, linking to it from their Facebook Wall, and using nearly the exact wording of Patch’s petition. The minor wording changes:
Patch: We, as Northfield residents, stand strongly opposed to the consideration of the United States Postal Service (USPS) to close the downtown Northfield Post Office.
News: As Northfield residents, we stand strongly opposed to the consideration of the United States Postal Service (USPS) to close the downtown Northfield Post Office.
Patch: The downtown post office has been at its current location since 1936 and has become as much a symbol of Northfield as anything else in our community.
News: The downtown post office has sat majestically overlooking the Cannon River at its current location since 1936 and is considered a symbol of Northfield as much as anything else in our community.
Everything else is word-for-word the same.
I don’t know if this plagiarism but it’s a shitty thing for Northfield News Publisher/Editor Sam Gett, Managing Editor Jerry Smith, and Associate Editor Suzy (Suzanne) Rook to do.
It’s this type of bullying behavior that makes me root for Goliath (media giant AOL is the owner of Patch) against David (Michigan-based Huckle Media LLC is the owner of the Northfield News and 16 other hometown newspapers).
If you know know former Northfielder Renee Huckle Mittelstaedt, now president and co-owner of Huckle Media LLC, consider contacting her about this. No, Huckle Media doesn’t have a website (aarrgghh!) but Renee can be reached via her LinkedIn account and her Facebook account.
I normally prefer more narrowly focused blog posts. And any one of the three subjects in the blog post title would typically suffice.
But Jane McWilliams is teaching a Cannon Valley Elder Collegium course this spring titled The Future of Journalism (4 slots left as I write this) and local media moguls from KYMN, the Northfield News, Northfield Patch, Northfield.org, and yes, even Locally Grown are among the guests she’s having attend various class sessions.
- Since Northfield Patch is the new kid on the block here in town, its time to scrutinize their effort, both locally and nationally. What has been their impact on Northfield thus far? What do you like about what they’re doing? What’s disappointing or problematic?
- Patch is a national chain of hyperlocal news sites owned by AOL. There have been many other high profile hyperlocal news projects launched, with many failures already. What’s being learned out there?
- Journalism (local, state, national, international) continues to be in a state of extreme flux. What do you like and not like about what you’re seeing?
If you come across interesting resources related to these issues, be sure to post them in a comment with a link and, if you’re up for it, an excerpt.
In a town with a thousand PhD’s, nobody refers to or addresses any of them with ‘Dr.’ or ‘Doctor.’
But for some reason, KYMN (example here) and the League of Women Voters of Northfield (example here) use it with the superintendent of schools. The Northfield News used to do it (2008 example here) but appears to have discontinued it. I was glad to see that Northfield Patch did NOT do this last week in its first district-related story. Not even the school district itself does it, sticking instead to "Superintendent Richardson" in its minutes, though some school board members have a tendency to address him as ‘Doctor’ during the course of a board meeting.
I have nothing against Chris Richardson or the previous Northfield District superintendents, but IMHO, only medical physicians should be addressed as ‘Doctor’ or have the ‘Dr.’ in front of their names. Why treat superintendents as if they’re somehow special?
Our local college presidents (one has a Doctor of Philosophy/PhD, the other a Juris Doctor/JD) don’t get the Doctor/Dr. treatment from KYMN (example here). Not even former school superintendent Charlie Kyte (example here) does. So if they don’t, then neither should Richardson.
How about it, Jeff? How about it, Jessica?