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YPN5Q: Minnesota Newspaper Association program manager Sarah Bauer


YPN5Q is a weekly Q&A series spotlighting the state’s top young business and civic leaders and creative minds — professionals propelling change through entrepreneurship, the arts, public service, social media, and community involvement.

This week, we hear from Sarah Bauer, program director for the Minnesota Newspaper Association (MNA), a trade association representing the interests of more than 360 daily and weekly publications throughout the state.

Bauer develops all programming for the MNA and its nonprofit, The Minnesota News Media Institute, including all educational and outreach programs, hands-on training for journalists, public forums on media issues, an annual excellence in journalism contest and Association’s annual convention.

Bauer speaks regularly about media ethics issues, community journalism, social media, and issues like the intersection of journalism and politics.

Bauer is a board member and immediate past president of the Minnesota Society of Professional Journalists and sits on the Advisory Committee for the Minnesota League of Women Voters’ Leaders of Today and Tomorrow (LOTT) Fellows Program.

Sarah Bauer
Courtesy of Sarah Bauer
Sarah Bauer

Name: Sarah Bauer
Age: 27
Residence: Minneapolis
Current job title: Program Director
Current employer: Minnesota Newspaper Association

1. What’s the most challenging aspect of your job?
Working for a not-for-profit association, the challenge is always to do more with less; to be creative and resourceful; and to be an expert in everything (from fixing the postage machine to planning and executing major events). The reward, though, is never being bored!

2. Who has been a mentor or supporter during your career so far?
Jane Kirtley: She’s a world-renowned First Amendment and press freedom expert, and the Silha Professor of Media Ethics and Law at the University of Minnesota’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

She’s always encouraged me to think and dream big; she’s pushed me to be a better writer and speaker; and although she’s no longer my professor, I am constantly learning from her.

3. What advice would you give to young professionals in the journalism field?
We’re currently living in a very exciting — and sometimes scary — time in journalism. Scary, because we’re trying to figure out a new business model for journalism; exciting because new technology is changing the way journalists tell stories, the way audiences consume news and the way news outlets disseminate their products.

My advice to young journalists is to focus your energy on being an excellent writer, reporter and storyteller. There will always be new tools to use, new programs to learn, or technologies to master, but journalists must have solid reportorial and writing skills above all else.

Without the words — without a story — the technology doesn’t matter!

4. What are your favorite after-work hangout spots in the Twin Cities?
One of the things I love about Minneapolis is access to fantastic restaurants and bars.

During the summer, I enjoyed happy hours outside: I love Crave’s new rooftop Downtown Minneapolis and The Local’s Nicollet Mall patio.

I like to hit up the Depot Tavern for beers and good bar food before concerts at First Avenue.

My favorite dinner spot is currently Bar La Grassa. I also love the Tuesday night “date night” special at Al Vento in Southeast Minneapolis.

Trying out The Bachelor Farmer is up next on my to-do list.

5. What do you listen to on the commute to work?
Depending on the day (and how much coffee I’ve had) I might be listening to: Morning Edition with Kathy Wurzer on MPR; my backlog of podcasts — “On the Media,” “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me” and “This American Life;” or my “pump up” mix that includes some Robyn, Britney Spears, Rihanna, Atmosphere and Girl Talk.

To nominate a young professional for “YPN5Q,” email with the nominee’s full name, employer or contact info, and one or two brief sentences supporting your nomination.

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