Tag Archives: Sam Gett

Northfield News revamps its website again; and again, bad things happen

SouthernMinn.comLast Monday, the Northfield News launched a new website using a new content management system for all its regional newspapers, putting all of them under the domain name southernminn.com and using a new web hosting from services as Armchair Empire. So the Northfield News site is now at southernminn.com/northfield_news (there’s an underscore between the ‘d’ and the ‘n’).

I have no problem with this change on the face of it.

Currently, none of the old articles are available. Presumably—hopefully–they will be restored in some type of online archive. But just like in Feb. 2011, the URL’s for those articles will change and the old ones will evidently not redirect.  Last year, I wrote to Publisher Sam Gett:

At Locally Grown, we have linked to hundreds of your articles over the years and now, none of the those links work any longer. As you know, we drive a lot of traffic to your site. (And likewise, our discussions benefit from your content.) So it seems like you’d want to continue to maintain the old URL’s, if for no other reason than to continue generating pageviews.

I never heard back.  So I again wrote to him early last week, resending that paragraph. He said he’d look into it, but I’ve not heard back.

And this morning, if you go to NorthfieldNews.com, you don’t even get redirected to the new site. Instead, you end up at a GoDaddy.com page that says:

Want to buy this domain? Our Domain Buy Service can help you get it. This page is parked free, courtesy of GoDaddy.com

See the above screenshot. This may be a temporary situation, an oversight on someone’s part, but it’s certainly startling.

Lastly, the changeover also removed all previous usernames and comments. People are being asked to re-register.  I’ve never like the paper’s policy of allowing anonymous comments so I don’t consider this a great loss. But it’s indicative that they don’t value their readers’ comments either.

Goliath vs. David: Northfield News bullies AOL’s Northfield Patch

David vs. GoliathI 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.

Renee Huckle MittelstaedtI 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.

Photo album: Living Treasure Award ceremony

Philip Spensley, chair of the Northfield Arts and Culture Commission, was the MC for last night’s Northfield Living Treasures Award Program (PDF) ceremony at the Grand Event Center honoring  Myrna Johnson and Ray Jacobson.

Speakers included:

  • Ray Jacobson websiteSam Gett, publisher of the Northfield News, sponsors/underwriters of the award
  • Mary Rossing, Northfield Mayor
  • Paul Krause, nominator of Ray ‘Jake’ Jacobson
  • Kathy Rush, nominator of Myrna Johnson

Paul Krause announced during his remarks that Ray Jacobson now has his own website.

See the album of 16 photos, the large slideshow, or this small slideshow:

Help change the Northfield News’ practice of not linking to local gov’t, school, and non-profit web sites

I spent a couple hours yesterday afternoon with the Carleton students who are in the journalism class that’s publishing Pressville… which I took to task last week (Pressville stories miss the new journalism boat). One student asked me if I had similar criticisms of the Northfield News. Oh yeah.

Northfield News banner I had an email exchange with Publisher Sam Gett and Regional Editor Jaci Smith last June, asking them, for the record, what their policy was on linking to area websites from articles on their website, as well as including web addresses in articles in the print edition. Here’s the transcript:

Continue reading Help change the Northfield News’ practice of not linking to local gov’t, school, and non-profit web sites

Can the Shopper be stopped?

No Shopper please" sign No Shopper please" sign No Shopper please" sign Shoppers piling up
I noticed earlier this week that these two homes, next door to each other, both had “No Shopper please” signs on their front doors. I know one of the residents and they said their requests to the Northfield News to stop the Shopper hadn’t worked so they put up the signs.

In January, we at LG got an email from a local realtor, Arlen Malecha, alerting us to this article in Maryland: Lawmaker Wants ‘Do Not Deliver’ Bill For Newspapers; Proposal Would Stop Free Papers On Lawn. So back then I emailed Northfield News Publisher Sam Gett, asking:

Sam, Can delivery of The Shopper be halted by request? It’s an issue because they pile up at homes where no one’s living. It’s both messy and it communicates that the space is unoccupied.

Sam wrote back:

Griff, Yes, we can. Just send me the address and I’ll take care of it.

Sam’s email address and phone number are posted on the Northfield News contact page.