Karen Tolkkinen joins Star Tribune as Greater Minnesota columnist

New role adds to growing slate of resources designed to enhance the news organization’s statewide coverage


The Star Tribune Media Company, the largest news organization in the Midwest, today announced that Karen Tolkkinen will join the organization as its new Greater Minnesota columnist. She joins the Star Tribune with more than three decades of experience in local journalism, most recently serving as a reporter, copy editor and columnist at the Echo Press in Alexandria, Minnesota.

“I'm very happy to be able to write about Greater Minnesota, which I love deeply,” said Tolkkinen. "Our stories matter, whether we're from Angle Inlet or Albert Lea."

Tolkkinen’s career includes significant experience in news reporting and editing at prominent local media organizations such as the Mobile Register in Alabama, the Keene Sentinel in New Hampshire, and the Twin Falls Times-News in Idaho. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including multiple first-place honors from the Minnesota Newspaper Association and the Alabama Associated Press Managing Editors. She also founded and served as publisher and editor of the bimonthly Northwoods Woman.

“Karen’s deep affection for Minnesota shows through in her thinking and her voice,” said Suki Dardarian, editor and senior vice president of the Star Tribune. “She will broaden all of our readers’ understanding of the issues, people and spirit throughout the state.”

Tolkkinen holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Minnesota and has certificates in Creative Writing from Wesleyan University. She grew up in Plymouth, Minnesota, but opted to live in rural Minnesota when she returned home in 2005. She lives with her husband and fifth-grader in a farmhouse built by her husband's great-great grandparents in the early 1920s.

Star Tribune continues expansion into Greater Minnesota

This hire continues a series of investments the Star Tribune is making to enhance its coverage of Greater Minnesota. Earlier this year, the Star Tribune announced plans to expand coverage in Greater Minnesota and has recently embarked on a series of community conversations across the state.

“Expanding our coverage and commentary in Minnesota doesn’t just mean hiring more people — we're also exploring partnerships with other local organizations to amplify coverage across the state,” said Steve Grove, publisher and CEO of the Star Tribune. “We’re thrilled to add Karen to our talented team and look forward to announcing additional enhancements to our Greater Minnesota coverage and resources in the near future.” 

About Star Tribune Media Company:

Building on an extraordinary 157-year legacy that includes seven Pulitzer Prizes and hundreds of other awards, the Star Tribune Media Company is the Midwest’s largest news organization and is an unrivaled force for journalistic excellence in Minnesota. The Star Tribune has a vision to create the leading model for local news in America — driving innovation in media to make every Minnesotan’s life better. For more information, visit www.startribunecompany.com.