Two weeks ago, when Gov. Tim Walz added the News Tribune to his list of local newspapers in Minnesota he was making a point of visiting, he started the conversation with appreciation.
“Thank you during COVID for being trusted sources (of) reliable information for your readers,” he said to News Tribune Editorial Board members, gathered with him inside the library at Denfeld High School. “This was unlike anything any of us had ever seen. It became pretty apparent five, six months in that there was skepticism, there was division. I think some of it, legitimately, (was about) the science that we were starting to see and understand. But a lot of it became more political, and what we saw (were) people … turning to trusted local sources to try and get their information. They were looking locally. They were listening to local voices. And I know there was real effort (by the News Tribune and other newspapers). And I know a lot of you dropped (paywalls on COVID-19-related content) and things like that. Really grateful for that. It was a big deal.”