An interview with MinnPost editor Elizabeth Dunbar

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We welcomed Elizabeth Dunbar, MinnPost’s new editor, to our site in July. From Minnesota Public Radio News, she came to us as an editor, reporter, and assistant director of programs.

Elizabeth is MinnPost’s editor. She plays an important role in the development of MinnPost’s editorial strategy. I wanted to ensure that our readers and members had the opportunity to speak directly with Elizabeth about her work.


Your entire career has been in local news. What makes you feel this work is important? How does MinnPost fit into the local media landscape.

Elizabeth Dunbar Local news is an important source of information, regardless of whether it comes from traditional media like a newspaper or newer distribution methods such as social media and newsletters. It’s also highly shareable because it’s so important. Local news organizations now have the opportunity to connect people and share resources in unique ways. Local news organizations across the country have been able to reach out to readers and help shape local journalism.

Although it was not a major part of my journalism education but I have been fortunate to be among those who have tried audience and community engagement to make journalism stronger and more connected to the communities. MinnPost’s history of independent and in-depth journalism on culture and public affairs is something I am excited about. It also allows us to be more intentional in reaching out to the communities that are affected by the stories and decisions we cover.


Your journalism career began as a reporter. What has this experience taught you about how to run a newsroom.

Elizabeth Dunbar


ED:

It is so loud out there! Consider how many social media updates, emails, and texts you get every day. Reporters often excel at separating the noise and finding what is important. Even after sifting through all that information, a good reporter will still come up with more ideas for stories than they could ever pursue.

As a reporter, I often turned to my editors for advice. MinnPost’s newsroom leader, I hope to help editors and reporters find the stories that have the greatest impact. This means that we may not follow the same story as other news organizations, but we might be able to offer additional analysis or synthesize information that adds a new dimension to the story.

My reporting methods and habits have changed over the years, which has led me to feel more audience-centered. MinnPost reporters should be encouraged to use audience-centered reporting methods. This will allow MinnPost to remain a reliable news source for the state.


What are your hopes for MinnPost’s 15th anniversary?

ED I am excited about the MinnPost’s three-year strategic plan. It will require the newsroom to be more agile in the ways they connect with their audience. We will also have to look for ways to serve communities that aren’t traditionally represented or well-served. We’ll soon be sharing more details about our plans!


What is your joy outside of work?

ED: My kids! My husband and me have a 10-year old son and a 6-year-old girl who keep us going. They are currently into swimming, rock collecting, Harry Potter, and soccer. They are also trying to convince us that they need a dog. We got a fish last summer and they kept to it for about a week. There is no dog yet.

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