Local humanitarian magazine NEED may be nearing closure

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Stephanie and Kelly Kinnunen, the editors of NEED magazine, sent out an e-mail on Tuesday suggesting that their award-winning publication covering humanitarian organizations around the world has reached a breaking point. Titled, "Thank you and Sad Farewell," it says:

Despite our exhaustive efforts, we have not been able to secure the subscriptions, advertising sponsors or investors needed to continue. Unless a holiday miracle occurs, NEED will be closing its office and operations by the end of next month, January 2010.

We wish to thank everyone who has made sharing these stories of hope possible. We wish to thank and encourage our heroes, those creating life-saving change in the lives of others. We are truly proud to have been a small part of it.

The publication is run out of some humble office space in a Northeast Minneapolis warehouse with a skeleton staff and free contributions from some of the country's foremost photojournalists. Finding enough revenue to support its mission was always a challenge.

When last we checked in with its editors, they were exploring social media as a means to build readership and contributions, including on Facebook and Twitter, and organizing meet-and-greets at local cafes to introduce the public to its contributors and subjects. NEED's Facebook friends are expressing dismay about the likely closure.

Most recently, Kelly Kinnunen ventured to Afghanistan to film a documentary with Dina Fesler of the nonprofit Children's Culture Connection. Locally, the Star Tribune, KARE 11 and Fox 9 all covered their work. Here's video, first from KARE 11, then from Fox:



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