McFarlane Media Interests, Inc.
1815 Bryant Avenue North
MINNEAPOLIS, MN 55411
Insight News started in 1974 as a colorcover magazine based in and serving Minneapolis’ African American Northside. It was owned by Graphic Services, Inc., a general printing and magazine publishing firm in Northeast Minneapolis. Al McFarlane, headed the Midwest Public Relations division of Graphic Services. McFarlane, a 26 year-old media enthusiast, had previously worked for the St. Paul Pioneer Press as a reporter and for General Mills in public relations. He purchased rights to Insight News in 1975 and began publishing as a community newspaper in 1976. Conceived as a free to the reader, advertiser supported newspaper, Insight
News was at the forefront of a burgeoning neighborhood and community newspaper industry in the Twin Cities. Insight News created a niche by providing concentrated distribution, both door-to-door and newsstand delivery, in communities that had the least effective penetration by the daily newspapers. In addition, Insight News tackled tougher stories than its competitors, with a strident, yet, professional voice. Insight News championed the idea of culture as an asset, not a liability, in a marketplace that would soon be transformed by waves of immigration of African Americans from Chicago, Gary, IN and Kansas City, and by Africans from, Lagos, Accra, Mogadishu and Addis Ababa, joined by Spanish speaking immigrants from the Caribbean, Central and South America, and by Asian immigrants from Vietnam, Laos, Thailand and Cambodia. McFarlane and Insight News supported the creation of other newspapers serving communities of color. He organized ethnic newspaper owners to form the Minnesota Minority Media Coalition, now MMMC - Minnesota Multicultural Media Consortium. In 1996 Insight News became the first African American-owned publication in Minnesota to establish a presence on the World Wide Web. As one of only a handful of Black newspapers on the Internet, Insight News has enabled readers all over the world access to its unique brand of journalism.
In 1997 Insight News once again distinguished itself from its competitors by initiating a series of public policy forums. In partnership with community radio stations KMOJ FM 89.9 and KFAI FM 90.3 Insight News brought the people who would serve the community in elected office, in education and in business to meet African American voters and consumers face to face, on air, and in the newspaper.