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"Where Fillmore County News Comes First"
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Tuesday, August 30th, 2016
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The media’s responsibility to our democracy


By Lee Hamilton

Mon, Aug 29th, 2016
Posted in All Commentary

Politicians spend a good bit of their time complaining about the media. But why should they have all the fun?

I’m going to join in, though I tend to get upset about different things than most sitting politicians do. You see, I don’t actually mind when journalists — whether in print, on television or online — treat what politicians say with skepticism. That means they’re doing their jobs.

But this doesn’t happen nearly as much these days as it should. The media today is less objective, more ideological, and much showier than it once was. What you see can be eye-catching — both the graphics and the personalities — but it is also brash and relentlessly self-promoting. A lot of journalists don’t just want to report the news, they want to be players and affect policy. They see politics as a blood sport, often exaggerating the differences among players.

As one observer said, the media is drawn to “superficiality, sensationalism, scandal, and sleaze.” They’re all too happy to seize on small points of contention and fan them into major points of discord. They make building a consensus — the key task of the democratic process — much harder.

The field has been moving in this direction over decades, and there’s a reason for it: all these changes have been well received by the public. They draw viewers, readers and clicks. And they’ve encouraged consumers to pay attention only to the sources that reflect and broadcast their own viewpoint.

I don’t want to be a fogey here. Yes, I grew up in the days of Edward R. Murrow and Walter Cronkite, and I still think they were solid journalists, but what I miss is not the voice-of-authority-from-on-high that’s so often associated with them. Instead, what I too often find lacking now is the spirit that drove the profession in those days. I think the news media had a sense of responsibility to make representative democracy function. Journalists imbued their work with a palpable sense that they were involved in a public service.

There are still really excellent journalists out there who are doing their best to serve both their profession and the country. Every day they struggle to make sense of enormously complex events. What they understand — and what I wish more of their colleagues believed — is that democracy demands journalism that improves its workings. Properly done, journalism can bridge differences, he .....
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The other view of who you are

By Col. Stan Gudmundson

Mon, Aug 29th, 2016
Posted in Peterson Commentary

Who are you? Do you know? What dumb things to ask, you say, of course I know who I am. True, you may know yourself, but in the world of the lamestream media, on college campuses, and in the view of many in the political establishments, especially ..... 
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Words of wisdom from an old baseball coach

By Jeff Erding

Mon, Aug 29th, 2016
Posted in Wykoff Commentary

Dear readers, I want to share a speech given in 1996 by a retired baseball coach at the annual ABCA coaches’ convention in Nashville. The speaker, John Scolinos, was well respected by his peers, having posted over a thousand wins during a career ..... 
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Rushford to market city-owned land

By Kirsten Zoellner

Mon, Aug 29th, 2016
Posted in Rushford Government

By Kirsten Zoellner At the Monday, August 22 Rushford City Council meeting, the council approved retention of services from Darr Realty to market a number of city-owned properties, mainly land and lots. At the Rushford Economic Development Authorit ..... 
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Spring Valley Capital Improvement plan discussed

Mon, Aug 29th, 2016
Posted in Spring Valley Government

The Spring Valley City Council met on Monday, August 22, 2016. All members were in attendance: Tony Archer, Todd Jones, Mayor Jim Struzyk, Bill Bires, Jeff Vehrenkamp and City Administrator Deb Zimmer. The council approved minutes of the previous me ..... 
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Glenn Hisey retires - bowhunting’s legacy continues in museum

Mon, Aug 29th, 2016
Posted in Chatfield The Great Outdoors

A person never retires from the activities which are a part of his life. Yet after thirty-five years of leadership roles within the Pope and Young Club, Glenn Hisey has changed the direction of his involvement with the museum he was instrumental in ..... 
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Welcome bags made for Winona Campus Ministry students

Mon, Aug 22nd, 2016
Posted in Preston Faith & Worship

On Sunday, July 31, members of a Thrivent Action Team at Christ Lutheran Church Action Team assembled 30 “Welcome Bags” that will be donated to Winona Campus Ministry students. The team was led by Muriel Hanson. Thrivent donated $250 toward the ..... 
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Kingsland sets ballot for November 8

Mon, Aug 22nd, 2016
Posted in Spring Valley Government

The Kingsland School Board met on August 15 in regular session. Members present were Doug Plaehn, Deb Larson, Kristin Beck, Gwen Howard and Ann Oeltjen, along with Superintendent John McDonald. Troy Asher was absent. The board unanimously appro ..... 
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Ask a Trooper - 8/22/16

By Sgt. Troy Christianson

Mon, Aug 22nd, 2016
Posted in All Police Reports

Question: How long has there been a drunk driving law in Minnesota? Answer: The Minnesota Legislature criminalized DWI in 1911, making “driving while in an intoxicated manner” a misdemeanor. The laws and sanctions addressing DWI have evolved i ..... 
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