Minnesota loses another newspaper as the International Falls Journal ceases publication

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The International Falls Review The newspaper released its final edition Thursday after 110 years of activity in the northern Minnesota city on the Canadian border. The newspaper was founded in 1911 and has served the community ever since. North Star Publishing, an affiliated commercial printing company, is also closing.

International Falls is located on the Rainy River. Ontario, Canada is across the river. The city had a population of approximately 6,400 according to the 2010 census.

In response to a request for Twin Cities Affairsnewspaper editor Rob Davenport referenced a brief three paragraph article on the shutdown in his own June 3 edition.

The statement noted, “Like many businesses last year, the impact of the pandemic on The Journal and North Star Publishing has been dramatic. These challenges, combined with other difficult economic trends, forced us to make this difficult decision. “

As of last year, the Journal has been owned by New York-based Alden Global Capital, which is now the second-largest owner of US newspapers, behind Virginia-based Gannett Co. Inc. Alden acquired Digital First Media in 2010, bringing the St. Paul Pioneer Press in its lap.

Alden acquired the International Falls Review in 2020 as part of its acquisition of Red Wing Publishing Co.

Alden is a hedge fund that gained a reputation among journalists as a “vulture capitalist” for ruthlessly cutting jobs almost immediately after acquiring a newspaper.

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In recent years, the disappearance and erosion of local news has become an ongoing topic of discussion in the media and political circles.

Senator Amy Klobuchar commented on the closing of Newspaper Tuesday in the US Senate:

Today newspapers of all sizes are struggling and closing.

Advertising revenues of US newspapers fell from $ 49.4 billion in 2005 to $ 14.3 billion in 2018. Meanwhile, two other companies, Facebook and Google, with a total value of over 2.4 billion of dollars, have become advertising giants.

These two companies not only control the majority of online advertising; they strengthened their power over the news and crushed the local media along the way.

With the closure of the Journal, we are once again seeing the impacts firsthand. We cannot just sit back and watch this happen to our independent press. That’s why I introduced bipartisan legislation to allow news publishers to come together to negotiate a level playing field with these giant digital corporations. We must give independent newspapers the opportunity to compete.

But even as we work to make sure other newspapers are able to keep their lights on, the International Falls Journal is a reminder of the value of local journalism. For more than a century, he has empowered his readers by providing them with precise and relevant information about their communities. He captured moments big and small that together tell a beautiful story of the region that will live on.

Newspapers were sort of a family business for Klobuchar. Her late father, Jim, was a columnist for the Star Tribune for many years.

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