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Disambiguation: for the Minnesota politician, see Nicholas D. Coleman.

Nicholas J. (Nick) Coleman,(born June 26, 1950 in Saint Paul, Minnesota) is a veteran Minnesota journalist and former columnist for the Star Tribune, the daily newspaper published in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Coleman is on his second stint at the Star Tribune, having begun his career there in 1973 before becoming a news columnist at the St. Paul Pioneer Press in 1986. He returned to the Star Tribune in 2003.

Coleman has published more than 3,000 newspaper columns and 300 television commentaries on subjects such as politics, Native American issues and the Northern Ireland peace process, as wella s hosting two radio talk show programs.[1] In his 35 year newspaper career, Coleman reported on Minneapolis city government, business, Metropolitan Government, out-of-state issues, media, editorial and general news.

His work has won numerous awards including Page One Awards from the Minnesota Society of Professional Journalists, a Frank Premack Award as lead writer on The New Face of Minnesota, an AP Sweepstakes Award as lead writer on the 1997 Pioneer Press coverage of the Red River Valley Flood; a Gene O’Brien Excellence in Journalism Award as co-writer of a 1987 Pioneer Press series on the 1862 Dakota Indian War, a 1985 Lowell Mellett Awards special citation for Improving Journalism Through Critical Evaluation and a Walter Duranty award for political writing in 2005. City Pages, the Twin Cities alternative weekly, named Coleman "Best Columnist" three times in recent years -- 2002, 2005 and 2008. In 2008, he was also honored as the "Readers' Choice for Best Columnist."

Coleman has worked almost equally for the St. Paul and Minneapolis newspapers -- 18 years at the Star Tribune in two different stints (1973-86 and 2003-present) and 17 years at the Pioneer Press (1986-2003). He returned to the Star Tribune in November, 2003, as a Metro News columnist.

Coleman's political colummns are anti-Republican, with occasional attacks on Democrats.

Coleman has stated he is a believer in Finley Peter Dunne’s adage that a journalist’s job is to ‘comfort the afflicted, and afflict the comfortable.’ Coleman’s print persona is similar to styles made famous by Mike Royko, Jimmy Breslin, and others.

Thematically, Coleman alternates through a handful of topics throughout the year. He is fanatical about crime, corporate subsidies (specifically as embodied by the new Twins stadium), Indian nicknames, 35W Bridge collapse, and the defunding of public education and social programs.

He has engaged in rhetorical feuds with local Twin Cities writers and bloggers, and others who publicly critique his work. In 2004, Coleman criticized the role of local Power Line bloggers in the Dan Rather / Killian documents controversy. A back and forth exchange ensued for some weeks in local print and on the internet. The flame email spats he initiated with local writer Steve Marsh and New York University Professor Jay Rosen spilled out onto the internet as well.

Coleman has done regular TV commentaries for KTCA-TV and KMSP-TV, and hosted talk radio shows in the Twin Cities, including a weekly show for 10 years at KSTP-AM 1500. He was briefly a morning host at Air America Radio’s affiliate in the Twin Cities in early 2005. His engagement at Air America ended after a feud with management, with Coleman unsatisfied with the centrist positioning of the station by its owner, Janet Roberts.

Coleman is the eldest child of the late Nicholas D. (Nick) Coleman, who served as majority leader of the Minnesota Senate from 1973-81, and Bridget Finnegan. He is also the oldest brother and godfather of Chris Coleman, current mayor of Saint Paul, Minnesota, and stepson of Deborah Howell, ombudsman for the Washington Post. Howell was editor of the Pioneer Press when Coleman was hired there in 1986.

Coleman was educated in Catholic schools in St. Paul, and at the University of Minnesota, where he was editor-in-chief of the student newspaper, The Minnesota Daily. Coleman is 6 ft tall and has a concealed handgun carry permit. His second wife is freelance writer and former Pioneer Press columnist, Laura Billings. The couple have three children.


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