An Oct. 9 press release from campaign staffer Tom Erickson said that Sen. Norm Coleman would "hold a media availability" Friday morning. But when I arrived, Chuck Olsen of the citizen-videoblogging group The Uptake had already been refused entry. When I tried to enter, Erickson barred me entry, stating that the event, held in Coleman's campaign office was for "legitimate" media only. As journalists from local media streamed past—Star Tribune columnist Nick Coleman, MinnPost reporter Joe Kimball, TPT host Eric Eskola—Coleman staffers refused to share what criteria it used to determine what makes a news operation legit.
About the Minnesota Independent, from Wikipedia:
The Minnesota Independent, formerly Minnesota Monitor, and sometimes known as MnIndy, is an independent online newsmagazine. It launched in August 2006, with a focus on coverage of political issues. The newsmagazine is funded by the Center for Independent Media, a 501(c)(3) non-profit that supports community-based reporting from a left-leaning perspective. The site publishes daily and is free to view.
Minnesota Independent has broken a number of major stories in its brief existence. During the Keith Ellison Qur'an oath controversy, the Independent's Abdi Aynte reported that Keith Ellison would not change his mind about being sworn in on the Qur'an. The Independent also was the first to report that Living Word Christian Center may have violated IRS guidelines during a speech at the Church by Michele Bachmann. The story resulted in an ethical complaint being filed by CREW against the church.
The site also broke news that Minnesota United States Attorney Rachel Paulose was under investigation for mishandling classified information, and that a staffer for Rep. Michele Bachmann had sent out an emailed plea for support that violated house ethics rules.
Minnesota Independent writers have won several awards. Media writer Paul Schmelzer won a 2007 Frank Premack Award for Public Affairs Journalism from the University of Minnesota School of Journalism and a 2nd Place in the 2006 Society of Professional Journalists Page One Awards. The site was nominated for the Koufax Awards in 2007, and Andy Birkey was a finalist for the 2007 Online Journalism Award for his coverage of LGBT issues.
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