Ethnic Presses

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Winning Nomination

There were many newspapers and periodicals printed in the languages of the subscribers. They kept immigrants informed of the news of the day and helped people maintain their ethnic connections. Present-day ethnic presses continue the tradition of keeping not only older immigrant groups, but also newly immigrated and native readers, informed of current news and issues. I remember clearly my grandparents with their copies of the Finnish language Minnesotan Utiset, published in New York Mills.
~Marlene Wisuri, Duluth, MN


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"There were many newspapers printed in the languages of the subscribers," writes nominator Marlene Wisuri of Duluth. "They kept immigrants informed of the news of the day and helped people maintain ethnic connections. I remember clearly my grandparents with their copies of Minnesotan Uutiset, published in New York Mills."

When you're putting down roots in an unfamiliar place, a newspaper printed in your own language, filled with news about your old and your new homes, can be a lifeline. Countless ethnic newspapers have been published throughout Minnesota over the years, with new ones established each year. Most arise from communities with a strong common bond. Take the Minnesotan Uutiset (Minnesota News), for example. By the 1890s, New York Mills was attracting large numbers of Finnish immigrants, who farmed in the summer and cut railroad ties and cordwood in the winter. Finnish-language newspapers were instrumental in drawing settlers to the area. Carl Parta and Adolph Lundquist, both experienced newspapermen, founded the Uutiset, which by the 1950s boasted the largest circulation of any Finnish American newspaper in the United States.

One of Minnesota's newest ethnic newspapers is Hmong Today, published in St. Paul since 2003. In an early issue the newspaper's publisher described its goals:

"As we, the Hmong, move along to the next phase of our cultural awakening, it has become crucial that we find answers to the cultural ills that linger from our past.
"At the same time, we are losing those cultural attributes that have uniquely kept us resilient, artistic and vibrant--those things that made us Hmong.
"I envision Hmong Today to act as a forum for community growth...for visions to be transported to the next generation of Hmong who will, hopefully, take us all as a strong, united people, to the next phase."

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