last updated November 21, 2014
Continuing to defy the prevailing trends in the communications industry, Star Tribune continues to invest in expanded coverage and content platforms, creating a better reader experience and more compelling sources for news and information across the region.
Following the voluntary departures of several newsroom veterans after the company's acquisition by Glen Taylor earlier this year, the Star Tribune has been aggressively adding journalists to its staff on key beats and in some cases in newly created positions. In total, the newsroom has hired more than 20 journalists over the past five months, returning to pre-acquisition staffing levels. The Star Tribune remains the largest newsgathering organization in the Upper Midwest.
New Content Options for Readers
That larger team is giving Star Tribune a greater ability to roll out new content options and engage readers more fully. Some of the new features include:
- "Minnesota History," a weekly Sunday feature authored by Curt Brown, a longtime Star Tribune writer.
- "Around the State," a full page every Sunday devoted to showcasing news and issues from around Minnesota.
- "Streetscapes," a weekly feature that digs into the trends and developments in local architecture and design.
- "Always on," a new Saturday feature exploring the intersections of digital life and popular culture.
In addition, Star Tribune recently re-tooled "Your Voices," a series of blogs from citizen journalists and area residents on topics ranging from elementary education and the outdoors to commuting trends, the microbrew scene, biking, books, personal finance and the weather. New bloggers include Michael Brodkorb, a Minnesota Republican activist, and Chey Eisenman, whose popular tweets (@CheyCab) and blog posts on life as a cab driver are a must-read.
Star Tribune also recently launched a new version of its acclaimed StarTribune.com website specifically optimized for smartphones. Since its debut in September, StarTribune.com has seen a near-immediate 20 percent increase in mobile traffic and stronger reader engagement as measured by time-on-site, page views and more. Star Tribune mobile apps have proven equally popular, with more than 360,000 downloads of apps for news, high school sports and entertainment.
Thousands of Star Tribune subscribers have also taken advantage of a new partnership with The Washington Post that gives them unlimited online access to washingtonpost.com, where they can get a deeper read on national news and politics and enjoy the Post's award-winning columnists and opinion writers.
Readers and industry experts alike have taken note. In recent months, Star Tribune has earned prestigious awards for its writing, reporting, and design:
American Society of News Editors - Photographer Jim Gehrz received the prestigious 2014 ASNE Award for Community Service Photojournalism for the "Life in the Boom" series documenting the historic oil boom of North Dakota.
Society for Features Journalism - The Star Tribune Variety section was recognized as "Best Section," an award based on content, writing, "sense of place and reflection of community."
2014 Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Competition - Star Tribune's Travel section recently won the Bronze Award. Reporter Bill McAuliffe earned a Gold Award for his feature, "Hitchhiking in a new age." And Curt Brown received an Honorable Mention in a field of more than 100 entrants for his story "In Uganda, faith endures."
Inland Press Association Print Quality Competition - The Star Tribune newspaper earned top honors for the quality of its printing.
"We're proud that the Star Tribune has been able to build and sustain meaningful momentum in service to our reader," said Mike Klingensmith, publisher and CEO of the Star Tribune Media Co. "Our team of journalists is producing a richer and deeper range of award-winning news, features and commentary that directly respond to the needs and preferences of Minnesotans. The continued support of our readers as we gain momentum is all the more gratifying."