Today was an odd time in Red Wing. A bunch of us were invited by MPR to share over din-din our thoughts about issues in Red Wing, what’s happening in Red Wing, what should be different in Red Wing. Michael Skolar, Managing Director News, seemed to be the head honcho (is he the one who forgot the camera??), also present was the head of the Rochester branch and the discussion was lead by the Rochester star reporter Sea Stachura, and M-i-c-k-e-y M-o-o-r-eeeee (yes, she sings out the spelling that way) . It was sort of a focus group, get MPR focused on Red Wing, and there were two rooms full.

How did they find us? Were we a group of members? Were we the ones who call and compliment and/or complain? I know I’m usually on 2-3 times a year, so is that how my name turned up? I’m so curious about demographics, marketing, I’ll puzzle about it for a long while.

I’m not particularly a fan of MPR, having spent 5 years or so at KFAI, where advocacy journalism is the norm — that’s Community Radio. MPR fought to keep KFAI off the air, and fought our power increase to a whopping 100 watts, so I’m no fan of the Klingon Dynasty. But nowdays MPR is the only open and free access broadcast news source I use, can’t get KFAI down here, much less KMOJ (am a member of KAXE!), and I spend an inordinate amount of time wheeling down the road. Captive audience!

It was interesting what got folks riled up. The “Riverfront” development was a hot topic (paired with distrust of elected officials), and what really got people going, yes MOI for sure, was utility personal property tax, the decrease of our tax base. Another thing, “the people” clearly get the problems with JOB-Z, perks for corporations, and that there is more to economic development than cash for corporations and “jobs, jobs, jobs” at $7/hr. I think people are generally disgusted and tired of being screwed, and maybe that’s a good sign, a sign that they’re willing to work for change. But this was not a typical demographic, it was two rooms full of active people.

I’m still pondering… it was assuredly worth the price of admission!

Here’s the woman who runs the Rochester station (sorry, didn’t catch her name) and that’s Euan Kerr’s mug behind her (on mug detail)

Roch & Kerr.jpg

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