Home > Uncategorized > Simon Peter Groebner finds success across multiple media platforms

Simon Peter Groebner finds success across multiple media platforms

By Tess Williams
University of Nebraska-Lincoln

For his 12th grade speech class project, Simon Peter Groebner conducted a mock job interview with the Star Tribune in Minneapolis.

Then, the New Jersey student had no plans to pursue a career in journalism, but he ended up landing his dream job at the Star Tribune several years later in 1999.

“I double majored in American studies and geography,” Groebner said. “I kind of took the other track and I didn’t go to the journalism school, which is something that I wouldn’t necessarily recommend. I had an emphasis in writing in my American studies degree, but I’m in many ways self-taught.”

Groebner began working for the Star Tribune in 1999 and was promoted to the online entertainment editor in 2001. He became the print editor of vita.mn when it was created in 2006. The weekly publication is an Arts and Entertainment guide published by the Star Tribune.

“Vita.mn first started 9 years ago just on the Web,” Groebner said. “And when they decided to expand it, I was asked to be the print editor. We wanted to appeal to a younger crowd or someone who wouldn’t normally pick up the Star Tribune and read it, so I was tagged in to work on it and develop it, and it was a really natural progression for me.”

Groebner credits two major internships and the University of Minnesota’s newspaper, the Minnesota Daily, for opening doors and teaching him many skills.

“College newspapers are really essential for any students looking at professions in journalism,” Groebner said. “I got into the paper without really knowing that’s what I’d do, I think it was just a feeling.”

His first internship was at Request Magazine, a music magazine that is no longer in publication. Groebner then interned at City Pages, which is now in direct competition with vita.mn as another Twin Cities A&E weekly. While at City Pages, Groebner was a news assistant, which he saw as an entry level journalism position that allowed him to get his foot in the door.

“Every job that I’ve ever had has been due to those internships,” he said. “I was hired at the Star Tribune because of my work at Request and City Pages.”

Groebner’s experience at the Minnesota Daily helped him discover that he was most comfortable in an editorial position.

“It’s surprising how similar what I’m doing at my job today is to what I was doing in college,” he said.

Groebner advises students to use caution when editing and edit with a light touch in order to preserve the writer’s style and meaning.

“I try to uplift the story subtly without tearing it apart,” Groebner said.

Groebner said the best part about being the editor of vita.mn is that he stays involved in arts and culture in Minneapolis. Vita.mn features a wide variety of topics, so Groebner’s job can vary from directing a fashion shoot to  creating funny headlines for a story about a band.

“It’s more fun than any other normal career would have,” Groebner said. “It’s really a labor of love. We do it because we actually like it.”

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