Eden Prairie Local News (EPLN) has become a member of the Institute for Nonprofit News (INN). INN is a nationwide association of some 300 established and start-up, nonprofit news organizations, newsrooms and centers that are dedicated to nonpartisan public service and high journalist standards.
The Eden Prairie Local News’ leadership team, which informally calls itself “the working group,” elected to join INN to take advantage of its multi-faceted support and advisory services for nonprofit news organizations.
“We’re discovering new capabilities in our digital environment that enhance connections and trust between our readers, the businesses and schools which serve them, and the local institutions in Eden Prairie,” wrote EPLN Editor Brad Canham as quoted in a February 2021 article by INN’s Sue Cross. Said Canham, “We see our INN affiliation as an opportunity to learn from the trailblazers in digital community news and to share best practices.”
Community at the heart of local news
“For all its darkness, 2020 saw the greatest growth of nonprofit newsrooms we’ve ever seen,” Wrote Ms. Cross in the same article. “We’re in a new age for local newsrooms: they’re not run by faraway businesses, they’re not organized to generate wealth, they are part and parcel of their communities. The community is the business model…. People like the citizens of Eden Prairie are showing commitment to their community, and journalists are proving their determination to keep looking out for their neighbors by reporting for them and with them.”
Eden Prairie Local News’ membership status with INN will shift from “provisional” to “full” after the Internal Revenue Service grants EPLN non-profit status as a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation. EPLN expects this will happen early this summer.
The Eden Prairie Local News start-up team has two platoons of volunteers that work together to fill the news gap left by the closure of the Eden Prairie News last April: the “journalism/media committee” headed by editor Brad Canham and the afore mentioned “working group” convened and led by former legislator Jenifer Loon.
The working group includes a core of can-do community leaders and specialists. They are charged with fund raising, soliciting advertisers and subscribers, developing a business plan, incorporation, book keeping, forming a board, crafting by laws and policies for the corporation and defining and overseeing the best practices of all aspects of EPLN.
Among the working group are Eden Prairie Community Foundation’s Mark Weber, editor Brad Canham, former EP Mayor Nancy Tyra-Lukens, Jenifer Loon, Pastor Rod Anderson (ret.), banker/former State Senator Roy Terwillager, attorney/former EP council member Dean Edstrom, City Economic Development officer David Lindahl, business consultant Steve Schewe, safe driving advocate Vijay Dixit and myself, a television producer.
The current reporters, writers, photographers, editors and contributors that make up EPLN’s editorial/new media groups are listed with brief profiles on this website here. Check them out on this website’s ‘ABOUT’ page. They may be your neighbors.