Feb 21, 2024 - News

Former lawmakers plan local news site in Woodbury

Illustration of a location pin icon with a newspaper in the center

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Two former state legislators are looking to launch a local news site in Woodbury.

Why it matters: With more than 78,000 residents, the east metro suburb is the state's eighth-largest city. But like many communities across Minnesota, it's seen local news sources dry up in recent years.

What's happening: Susan Kent, a former Senate DFL leader, and former Sen. Kathy Saltzman recently announced plans for a "non-partisan, hyper-local and community-led" news outlet modeled after Eden Prairie Local News.

Context: When Kent started serving in the Legislature in 2012, the area had multiple local sources, including the Woodbury Bulletin.

  • "By 2020, it was all gone," Kent told Axios.

What they're saying: The impact of those losses started to hit home when her constituents complained about a lack of information about town halls and other local issues.

  • "It just was so clear that there's just not a resource out there for local people to know what's going on," she said.

What to expect: Regular coverage of local events and government, business openings, and other stories meant to cultivate "a deeper awareness of the amazing place we are proud to call home," per a Facebook post.

  • While both former legislators are Democrats, Kent said they're committed to producing "completely nonpartisan, straight news."
  • "We're not going to be the MSNBC or Fox News of Woodbury," she said.

What's next: The project is in its very early stages, but the hope is to get it up and running by the fall.

Related: Minnesota lost 34% of its newspapers since 2005, study shows


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