Kerstenwatch, Day 30

Letters to the Editor That'll Never See Print

According to several different newsroom sources, an internal Star Tribune staff newsletter recently contained this reader comment:

"Kudos to Katherine Kersten on her wonderful article about 10-year-old Ben Albert. The storytelling and message have inspired me. The next time I feel a little frustrated, I'll think of the one-armed ball player and yank myself up from my bootstraps rather than wonder why a middle-aged woman with no reporting experience is getting on-the-job training as a prominent columnist for the state's largest newspaper."

Because the Twin Cities are affordable, navigable, and a great place to raise a family, the Star Tribune has long been privileged to recruit good reporters from prestigious national newspapers and magazines, and to retain homegrown talent that by all rights should have taken off for New York or D.C. years ago. (That they then deliberate, copy edit, package, and generally process the more interesting, innovative kinks of out much of their best work is a question we'll leave for another day.) Eighteen months ago, it looked like those folks might be getting resources, better Sunday play, and a long-overdue invitation to break out of the big-box mentality. What happened?

Anybody else smell a culture war brewing on Portland Avenue?  

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