Goodbye, Session Weekly


As much as Minnesotans like to make fun of government, the non-partisan people at the Minnesota House of Representatives’ House Information Services provide an unusual amount of public access to what’s going on at the Capitol, certainly more so than nearly every other state.

So it’s a sad state of affairs today that the Legislature is closing Session Weekly, the printed publication that could always be depended on for accurate coverage of many issues, including those that escape the notice or interest of the news media (of which there are plenty).

In a news release today, House Speaker Kurt Zellers House Information Services struck a familiar note — print media is yesterday…

However, because of a dynamic shift to accessing information online, the continued reduction in the Session Weekly print subscriber base, and as a result of responses to our user surveys, we have determined the best allocation of our department’s limited time and resources is to end Session Weekly and shift our attention to creating an even more robust online presence, especially through the expansion of Session Daily.

The nonpartisan Session Weekly newsmagazine has been a primary vehicle for House Public Information Services’ nonpartisan outreach efforts for 29 years. But, as with many printed products, it has seen its circulation numbers decrease — down more than 79 percent since 2000. Computers and portable electronic devices have changed how a majority of people receive their news and information, and when they expect to receive it.

Session Daily isn’t a bad product, either, but it’s McSession in nature. The bits are bite-sized “this happened today” nuggets. Session Weekly articles, on the other hand, tended to be more comprehensive and contextual.