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Ex-Star Tribune, MPR staffers create energy news site

Working under the auspices of a St. Paul-based energy non-profit, Ron Meador and Ken Paulman have made a one-stop-shop for substantive news about power and conservation.
By David Brauer

Ron Meador, ex- of the Star Tribune editorial page, and Ken Paulman, formerly MPR’s manager of online news, have teamed up for Midwest Energy News, a sharp-looking aggregator of power- and conservation-related stories.

The site, which covers eight Midwest states, is done under the auspices of Fresh Energy, the St. Paul-based non-profit that promotes energy efficiency and clean power sources.

Meador and Paulman insist MEN (nice acronym!) is “not an advocacy endeavor. Its ambition is simply to make it easier for all readers — regardless of their special interests or policy preferences — to follow energy news and commentary in a challenging, fragmented media environment. Its contents are addressed to readers who want more substance and less spin, and have no trouble telling one from the other.”

OK, but the initial stories are heavily tilted toward renewables and against climate-change denial. That said, there’s a piece on an oil sands pipeline, the lifting of Illinois’ nuclear-power ban, and an editorial suggesting Minnesota lift its ban.

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There’s no reason why a non-journalism non-profit can’t do good aggregation, especially when employing experienced newsies. The ultimate worth of Midwest Energy News will be the strength of its curation, and if it lives up to its substance-emphasizing mission statement, it will be one for conscientious Minnesotans to bookmark.