OLD Media Moves

Minneapolis paper takes out pol reference in bank failure story

October 26, 2009

Paul Schmelzer of The Minnesota Independent examines why the Minneapolis Star-Tribune deleted a reference to a controversial former Secretary of State and current state representative from its story about regulators taking over a bank after the reference appeared online.

Schmelzer writes, “Strib business reporter Chris Serres says it’s a ‘relevant question’ that has a ‘mundane answer.’

“‘We had very tight space in Saturday’s paper and had to cut information on the story that ran online, so I cut out Kiffmeyer,’ he told the Minnesota Independent, adding that it was his choice, rather than an editor’s, what got cut. ‘The online version was updated to match the latest print version of the story.’

“But the deleted line appears to have saved only 18 words (here’s a pasted-in version of the piece at a Google Group; the story doesn’t appear in Lexis-Nexis), and the first version of the story, which ran at 419 words, is actually much shorter than the 554-word piece that’s available at StarTribune.com.

“To that, Serres said he wanted to focus more on the ‘God stuff,’ instead of Kiffmeyer’s ties to the bank, which he feels fewer people know about. A Federal Reserve Bank agreement, signed by Kiffmeyer on Oct. 9, lists her as president and director of American Eagle Financial Corporation, which owns and controls Riverview Community Bank.”

Read more here.

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