Goodbye, Session Weekly

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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.

  • Robert Moffitt

    Oh, no! I really liked that pub.

  • Julie

    My favorite part of the publication was the photography – will they find a way for the shutterbugs to keep doing what they do, and for me to see it? From both an informational and historical perspective, those photographers provide an important service.

  • BJ

    ” has seen its circulation numbers decrease — down more than 79 percent since 2000. ”

    OK So what are the numbers?

    I can’t image that they were producing 10,000 copies not a general public kind of publication.

  • Gary Thaden

    The photography was wonderful. Very talented photographers.

  • http://www.nathanhunstad.com Nathan

    Sad to see it go. However, as a former House staffer, I knew this was inevitable: you can’t keep on slashing the legislative budget and expect things to continue.

    I’d actually argue that Session Daily has been overshadowed more by technology than Session Weekly. Session Daily, which essentially tells us what is going on that day, has been ably replaced by Twitter (Twitter was much better at keeping me up to date with what was going on every legislative day). It’s the long articles on less-public bills that Session Weekly contained that has no replacement.

  • Marge Miller

    This is just another ploy so that people are not informed as to what is going on at the Capitol. I read the Session Weekly cover to cover and mark the things I want to reread. You can’t get it on line like you can in the printed pages. Enough money is wasted with you legislators so why not put some of it into this newsletter that is so helpful and let’s us know who voted for and against laws. Let’s us know the new rules and laws and is so helpful. Is this the real reason you are discontinuing it? So that people don’t know what is going on – you want to keep us in the dark? You don’t want us to know you voted against something? I am so disappointed in hearing this! The Session Weekly is the only important thing to come out of the Capitol and now you want to abolish it – hope you get voted out!

  • L

    Thank you House Information Office staff past and present for all of your work to produce this award-winning publication. Please know Session Weekly will be missed.

    Congratulations to long-time House photographer Andrew VonBank for having the cover of the last issue. You do an amazing job of documenting this Minnesota treasure and the legislators, staff and citizens who bring it to life.

  • cal ehlert

    all the republicans want to do is cut the little citizens out of information.

    they only care about the rich people and businesses.