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News to Me: Adventures of an Accidental Journalist


News to Me: Adventures of an Accidental Journalist Cover

ISBN13: 9780816665587
ISBN10: 0816665583
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Laurie Hertzel wasn't yet a teenager in Duluth, Minnesota, when she started her first newspaper, which she appropriately christened Newspaper. Complete with the most sensational headlines of the day-MARGO FLUEGEL HAS ANOTHER BIRTHDAY!-and with healthy competition from her little brothers and their rival publication, Magapaper (a magazine and a newspaper), this venture would become Hertzel's first step toward realizing what her heart was already set on: journalism as her future.

News to Me is the adventurous story of Hertzel's journey into the bustling world of print journalism in the mid-1970s, a time when copy was still banged out on typewriters by chain-smoking men in fedoras and everybody read the paper. A coming-of-age tale in more ways than one, Hertzel's eighteen-year career at the Duluth News Tribune began when journalism was a predominantly male profession. And while the newspaper trade was booming, Duluth had fallen on difficult times as factories closed and more and more people moved away. Hertzel describes her climb up the ranks of the paper against the backdrop of a Midwestern city during a time of extraordinary change. She was there during major events like the Congdon murders, the establishment of the BWCA, and the rise of Indian treaty rights, and eventually follows the biggest story of her life to Soviet Russia-and completely blows her deadline.

Written with the insight and humor of someone who makes a living telling stories, News to Me is the chronicle of a small-city newspaper on the cusp of transformation, an affectionate portrait of Duluth and its people, and the account of a talented, persistent journalist who witnessed it all and was changing right along with it-whether she wanted to or not.

(Oh, Newspaper doggedly outlasted the full-color Magapaper).

Book News Annotation:

In this memoir, Hertzel recounts her journey into the world of journalism from starting her first newspaper before she was a teenager to her 18-year career at the Duluth News-Tribune in the 1970s when journalism was a predominantly male profession. She relates the story in the context of the Midwestern city and its people and events like the Congdon murders, the establishment of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, and the rise of Indian treaty rights. She was a newsroom clerk, librarian, copy editor, beat reporter, feature writer, news editor, and columnist, eventually going to Russia to cover Duluth's sister city negotiation with Petrozavodsk and give an account of life in the Soviet Union, and later returning to write a book with Mayme Sevander, They Took My Father: Finnish Americans in Stalin's Russia. Annotation ©2010 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (


The story of a journalist's coming of age in Duluth during the boom days of print.

About the Author

"Laurie is a top notch storyteller and this book is an intimate and entertaining look at a wonderful career in journalism." —Cathy Wurzer

"This affectionate and insightful memoir may recount Laurie Hertzel's days at the Duluth News Tribune but it will resonate with anyone who has loved newspapers and newspaper reporting." —Louise Keirnan

"I thought journalists’ lives—aside from the stories we write about others—were ho-hum affairs. That was before I read Laurie Hertzel’s honest, engaging and witty memoir about working at her hometown newspaper in Duluth. " —Lake Superior Magazine

Table of Contents


A Storyteller Is Born

Not Making Coffee

Eyewitness to Change


On the Night Desk

An Accidental Reporter

Up the Shore

Reporting from Russia

Enter Mayme

A Month in the South

Back to Russia

The Long Goodbye



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KristinaMN, October 30, 2011 (view all comments by KristinaMN)
Laurie Hertzel's journey into journalism occurs at the "end of an era" for both the Northern Minnesota town where she begins - Duluth, Minnesota - as well as for the field of journalism itself. As Duluth loses its industry and the population contracts, journalism slowly transitions from paper and wire services to computers and disks. In the meantime, Hertzel, who begins as a receptionist at the newspaper, works her way into reporting, and finds her voice and vocation. A fascinating chronicle of a career and self-realization.
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Product Details

Hertzel, Laurie
University of Minnesota Press
United States - State & Local - Midwest
Media Studies
Journalists -- United States.
Hertzel, Laurie
Biography - General
Edition Description:
Publication Date:
8.5 x 5.5 x 1 in

Related Subjects

Biography » General
History and Social Science » Journalism » Reference
History and Social Science » Sociology » Media
History and Social Science » World History » General
Science and Mathematics » Nature Studies » General

News to Me: Adventures of an Accidental Journalist New Hardcover
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Product details 224 pages University of Minnesota Press - English 9780816665587 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
The story of a journalist's coming of age in Duluth during the boom days of print.
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