NNA to honor distinguished community leader with 2019 Amos Award

Jul 8, 2019

PENSACOLA, Florida — Reed Anfinson, publisher and owner of the Swift County Monitor-News in Benson, Minnesota, and the Grant County Herald in Elbow Lake, Minnesota, and partner in Quinco Press, Inc., a central printing plant that prints 36 publications, will be presented with the James O. Amos Award on Oct. 5, 2019, during the National Newspaper Association’s 133rd Annual Convention & Trade Show in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Recognized as the highest and most dignified tributes in community journalism, the Amos and McKinney awards are presented to a working or retired newspaperman and woman who have provided distinguished service and leadership to the community press and their community. Anfinson will be the 78th recipient of the Amos Award.

Anfinson graduated from the University of Minnesota School of Journalism and Mass Communications, now known as Hubbard School of Journalism. He is also a 2016 graduate of the MNI/MNA Editors and Publishers Community Leadership program, which is funded by a generous grant from the Blandin Foundation.

In 1999-2000, Anfinson served as president of the Minnesota Newspaper Association (MNA) and was a member of its board for nine years. Anfinson has served on the MNA Legislative Committee since 1994 and currently serves as its chair. He served six years on the Minnesota News Council hearing panel and later served as its vice president.

In 2003, he was awarded MNA’s Al McIntosh Distinguished Service to Journalism Award, the highest honor given by the association. In March 2010, the Minnesota Coalition on Government Information named Anfinson the winner of the John R. Finnegan Freedom of Information Award.  In 2013, St. Cloud State University presented him with its First Amendment Award.

Anfinson served six years as the National Newspaper Association Region 6 director representing newspapers in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin. He served as president of NNA from September 2011 to October 2012. He is currently serving as president of the National Newspaper Association Foundation. As president of the foundation, Anfinson was named again to serve on the National Newspaper Association Board of Directors.

In addition to his involvement with newspaper organizations, Reed has been active on numerous statewide and community leadership organizations. Anfinson has served on the Benson Industrial Development Corporation board for more than 25 years and has served twice on the Benson Economic Development Authority. In 2016, Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton named Anfinson to the Center for Rural Policy and Development, a body that advises the Minnesota Legislature on rural issues. He is a past member of the first Parents Advisory Committee for the University of Minnesota Variety Club children’s hospital.

In his letter of nomination, Robert M. Williams, Jr., NNA past president and publisher, SouthFire Newspaper Group, Blackshear, GA wrote: “I feel absolutely comfortable in saying I believe, for a certainty, that America would be a far better place if every community had a Reed Anfinson at the helm of the newspaper in every town. I hope the people of Benson realize what a treasure they have in their midst. NNA certainly does and there is no better way to demonstrate our appreciation than awarding Reed this year’s Amos Award as a small token of our appreciation for all he has done to make our association and our industry better.”

Lisa Hills, Executive Director, Minnesota Newspaper Association said of Anfinson: “Reed has devoted his life to volunteering, advancing and promoting community journalism. His accomplishments and accolades are almost too numerous to mention.”