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State Clutters Press Release Website with Useless Graphics, Destroys Useful Old Hyperlinks

Team Noem has dressed up the state press release website but destroyed thousands of useful hyperlinks.

The state’s press release website,, was until the beginning of this year a relatively neat, almost entirely text-based page listing the most recent press releases from the Governor’s office and state agencies. Succumbing to the current faddy insistence that every news link include an image, the revamped now accompanies each headline and first-sentence excerpt with a mostly unnecessary graphic. Campaign-conscious Kristi makes sure every one of her releases has her smiling face on it. The agencies that are too lazy to whip up a graphic just a get a generic and redundant badge showing the URL in three different fonts (which, it appears, have no resemblance to any other official South Dakota branding):

South Dakota state government press releases, home page screen cap 2023.01.26.
South Dakota state government press releases, home page screen cap 2023.01.26.

Note that these graphics add little if any value to the press releases. None of them add any information to the press releases in question: the Governor’s releases all start with her name, so we don’t need her picture to tell us from whom they come. her smiling image contradicts the message of two of the four current headlines: why would we show the Governor smiling when she announces her phone has been hacked or warns pharmacists that she’ll put them in jail for helping women? The placeholder graphic for the lazy agencies gives us the URL we’ve already typed in or bookmarked. The images only add clutter rather than performing the site’s only necessary function, informing the public.

Worse, the new press release site use some new software that has completely redone the URLs of all archived press releases. That means, as I discovered this morning, that the state has broken any hyperlinks posted to state press releases in news stories published prior to this month. For instance, the link to Noem’s press release on restricting property sales and ownership, which I included for reference in my December 15, 2022, blog post on the topic, used to be this:

Click on that link now, and you don’t get the press release. You get a window with South Dakota branding requiring that you sign in to your Microsoft account:

Microsoft login screen, produced by clicking original link to Dec 2022 press release from SD Governor's Office, screen cap 2023.01.26.
Microsoft login screen, produced by clicking original link to Dec 2022 press release from SD Governor’s Office, screen cap 2023.01.26.

Maybe providing my Microsoft login accesses the original press release; maybe it doesn’t. But I’ll be darned if I’m going to give the state my Microsoft login to find out.

The December 2022 press release still exists; I can search the archive (which appears to be cleaner and more useful than the previous version) and track down the CFIUSSD announcement at this URL:

But the state’s overhaul of the press release website does not include any automatic forwarding that allows old links to access press releases at their new addresses. The simple WordPress installation I use to publish Dakota Free Press has that functionality: if I edit the URL of a blog post, links to the old URL still work. Come on, Pierre whiz kids: if a blogger can provide that simple automatic forwarding feature and preserve access to old records on a few donations from eager readers, so can you on your multi-million-dollar taxpayer budget.

The Legislative Research Council created a mess like this a few years ago when it changed its domain from to Years of links to bills from various Sessions were broken, degrading the ease of researching important legislation in old news stories and blog posts. Now the Governor’s office (I’m assuming they had a hand in it, since they are the office taking most advantage of the new branding opportunity) have done the same damage to independent online reporting of state business that refers to official statements from the Governor and other state agencies.


  1. Richard Schriever 2023-01-26 08:36

    Tik Tok didn’t do it.

  2. WillyNilly 2023-01-26 11:17

    I thought I had a petty complaint when some time ago I went to the state website and found it changed. So maybe I was used to the old site and don’t like change, but it takes more ‘clicks’ to find what I’m looking for. And sometimes I just don’t find it. Maybe that change was just a preview of what was to come.

  3. Joe 2023-01-26 13:32

    That three-font mess looks like something off Geocities c. 1997. Yikes.

  4. Mark Anderson 2023-01-26 13:53

    .She will continue to protect South Dakotan’s from the evils of the world. Why not with a smile? Let Americans compare her visage with that of Marjorie Taylor Greene and see who’s countenance they approve of for VP. It’s not really a contest. Melania on one side Kristi on the other, it’s all show biz after all.

  5. Arlo Blundt 2023-01-26 15:23

    It’s our new “Ministry of Truth”.

  6. P. Aitch 2023-01-26 18:41

    It’s difficult and embarrassing to claim American dominance when the ugly history of slavery is present. Things need to be hidden.

  7. P. Aitch 2023-01-26 18:43

    It’s difficult and embarrassing to claim American dominance when the ugly history of INDN land theft is present. Things need to be hidden.

  8. grudznick 2023-01-26 23:40

    This kind of nonsense needs to be stopped. How much of grudznick’s tax dollars did they spend? The people need to know.

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