APME supports AP CEO's call to make it a war crime to kill journalists
APME endorses a call by Associated Press CEO Gary Pruitt for changes to international laws that would make it a war crime to kill journalists or take them hostage.
Speaking to the Hong Kong Foreign Correspondents' Club on March 30, Pruitt said a new framework is needed to protect journalists as they cover conflicts in which they are increasingly seen as targets by extremist groups.
"It used to be that when media wore PRESS emblazoned on their vest, or PRESS or MEDIA was on their vehicle, it gave them a degree of protection" because reporters were seen as independent civilians telling the story of the conflict, Pruitt said.
"But guess what: That labeling now is more likely to make them a target," he said in a speech at Hong Kong's Foreign Correspondents' Club.
Last year was a particularly deadly year for the AP -- four of the news cooperative's journalists were killed on assignment. Globally, 61 journalists were killed in the line of duty in 2014, bringing to more than 1,000 the number who have died since 1992, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.
"From our comfortable homes and offices, we tend to forget that people are putting their lives on the line daily to bring us news from war zones," said APME President Alan D. Miller, managing editor/news for The Columbus Dispatch. "The loss of more than 1,000 journalists since 1992 is staggering, and we must take action to better protect those brave reporters, photographers, videographers and other news personnel."
For Sunshine Week, Sonny Albarado, chair of APME's First Amendment committee, examined the state of the public's right to know. One theme that emerges is the double-edged gift of technology. Another new trend to watch is how the rush to equip police with body cameras sheds new light on the perpetual balancing act between privacy rights and public access rights. One other common thread: in several states, there are efforts to put stumbling blocks in the way of citizens who want public records, especially large requests.
Apply now for APME's Community Public Service grant
The outstanding work of smaller news organizations continues to be a priority of the Associated Press Media Editors as it announces the fourth year of the Community Journalism Public Service Initiative.
Media companies in metropolitan areas (MSA) of 100,000 or fewer people are encouraged to apply for the grant. The recipient will receive $1,000 to jump-start the initiative and a trip to the annual APME conference to present the project.
It's easy to enter: Draft a proposal of 500 words or less and include examples of how you would approach the project. It should be multiplatform, include social media and address a long-standing community issue.
Last year’s winner was the 13,000-circulation Enid, OK, News & Eagle for its community initiative "Under Pressure." Staff Writer Dale Denwalt discussed how the project unveiled that the city wasn't providing services for its poorest neighborhoods. Previous winners were The Sedalia Democrat in Missouri for its "Meth at the Crossroads” series and the Beaver Dam News of Beaver Dam, Wisc., for its series on mental illness in its community.
The 2015 winner will present its work at the joint ASNE/APME Conference Oct. 16-18 at Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif.
APME launches Editor Educator Exchange pilot program at Ball State
To strengthen the relationship between newsrooms and journalism classrooms, APME has launched a pilot exchange program for editors and professors.
Bob Heisse, executive editor of The Times of Northwest Indiana and past president of APME, is spending this week (March 9-13) with Ball State University's media students and faculty, and Ball State professor Juli Metzger will spend time later in Heisse’s newsroom in Munster.
The Editor Educator Exchange partnership between classrooms and newsrooms was developed by APME board member Mark Baldwin, executive editor of The Rockford Register Star in Rockford, Ill., who shared the feelings of many APME board members that we need to do more help journalism programs stay abreast of the rapid changes occurring in U.S. newsrooms.
"We’re excited about the plan Mark put together and that Juli embraced enthusiastically,” said Alan Miller, APME president and managing editor / news at The Columbus Dispatch. "The demands of modern newsrooms are evolving so rapidly that we wanted to make sure classrooms are up to speed on what we editors expect from those entering the workforce.”
Assuming the pilot program goes well, Miller said, the goal will be to identify funding to expand it and connect more journalism schools and newsrooms in other states.
Metzger, a veteran editor and publisher who now directs the Ball State journalism program’s Unified Media Lab, described it as something akin to a reverse internship.
The Associated Press Media Editors is pleased to announce its 2018 president, Jim Simon, deputy managing editor of The Seattle Times.
The APME board of directors voted last week to move Simon to the leadership ladder following the resignation of APME Vice President Teri Hayt, who is now the executive director of the American Society of News Editors.
Simon has been an APME director since 2011. He has served as conference planning co-chairman for two years.
"Jim is as dedicated to APME and its programs as he is passionate about good journalism," said Alan D. Miller, 2015 APME president and managing editor / news at The Columbus Dispatch. "Jim brings a wealth of experience and enthusiasm for APME's work to support journalists in newsrooms across the country. The board enthusiastically supported his move to the leadership ladder."
Simon is the deputy managing editor for The Seattle Times. He has worked as an editor and reporter at the Times for most of his career, including stints covering the environment, politics and the statehouse, and as staff writer for the Times' Sunday magazine. As an editor, he helped oversee the team that won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for breaking news for its coverage of the killings of four suburban police officers. Prior to joining the Times, he worked as a UPI reporter in the Philippines.
News organizations across U.S. launch 'Fractured Framework'
national reporting project examining crumbling infrastructure
The first installment in the new AP/APME national reporting project "Fractured Framework" launched Sunday, Feb. 22, with national and local stories appearing on websites and front pages across the country.
"It was impressive to see the collective journalistic muscle of so many news organizations being used to lift up something so important to the future of the country," said Alan Miller, 2015 president of APME and managing editor/news at The Columbus Dispatch. "Without special attention to the nation's infrastructure -- and the lack of funding to maintain it -- our roads, bridges and other critical components of the foundations of commerce and society will crumble."
We began this occasional series with a hard look at roads and bridges because everyone wants good roads, but no one wants to pay for them.Read more...
The Associated Press Media Editors has endorsed a congressional effort aimed at updating the federal Freedom of Information Act and codifying the presumption of openness under the law.
APME joined other open-government and news organizations in signing a letter of support for the FOIA Oversight and Implementation Act (HR 653) and the FOIA Improvement Act of 2015 (S 337). The letter was spearheaded by OpenTheGovernment.org.
Both pieces of legislation would require records to be released unless there is a foreseeable harm or legal requirement to withhold them; improve public access to released records; restrict and ultimately end the use of the "withhold it because you want to” exemption; and clarify and reform the fees assessed by agencies.
APME also signed on to a letter opposing a permit and fee requirement for "professional” photographers on public parkland in Fairfax County, Va.