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BEST TV NEWSCASTER Minneapolis 2002 - Mary Lahammer

Readers' Choice: Paul Magers

As chief political correspondent for the now-defunct (but nonetheless noble) NewsNight Minnesota and for Almanac--still the most substantive local news program by leagues--Lahammer has distinguished herself through both the depth and breadth of her reporting. And it doesn't hurt that, of all local TV reporters, Lahammer seems to have the best rapport with Gov. Jesse Ventura (possibly because she engages him with wit and intelligence rather than treating him as a sideshow freak). Shot live at the state capitol, Lahammer's new half-hour program Almanac: At the Capitol (Wednesdays at 7:00 p.m. on Channel 17/10:00 p.m. on Channel 2 when the legislature is in session) fills some of the void left by NewsNight's demise. Here we get inclusive coverage of both houses and frequent one-on-one interviews with the major players. Not the sexiest of newscasts, perhaps. But, with Lahammer at the helm, it's must-see TV for anyone who cares about public policy in Minnesota.

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