The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C. is the March winner of APME's Innovator of the Month contest. The paper is honored for Frontiers of Fat, a series on the science of obesity and an initiative that involves staffers and readers in losing weight.
APME's Innovator of the Year, now in its fifth year, is expanding in 2011 by naming an innovation of the month. Each monthly winner will be invited to enter the annual contest, which is open to all newspapers in the U.S. and Canada and is awarded at the APME conference Sept. 14-16 at the Embassy Suites in Denver.
"Raleigh's project will give ideas to many newsrooms," said Bob Heisse, APME vice president and Innovations Committee chairman. "We're pleased at APME to put a spotlight on innovations at newspapers."
Here's how the entry submitted by Carole Tanzer Miller, features editor, described the Raleigh innovation:
"On Jan. 1, Raleigh started a five-part, front-page series on the science of obesity, ‘Frontiers of Fat.' Scientists at UNC, Duke and East Carolina University are doing some of the deepest research in the world into the causes of obesity.
"Each day, in addition to the front-page science stories, Raleigh's features sections included practical information, including tips from its restaurant critic on how to eat out often and maintain a healthy weight; how to look stylish as you lose the pounds; and how to find a workout routine that works for you.
"Staffers are blogging about their efforts to lose weight,” wrote Miller, who lost 65 pounds while working on the project. "They've been joined by several readers, who are also blogging about their battle of the bulge. Another online component featured readers' success stories.”
Applications for APME's Innovator of the Year are accepted until May 16 at http://www.apme.com/. The annual award winner, as determined by editors attending the APME conference in Denver, will receive $2,000 courtesy of sponsors GateHouse Media Inc. and the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute.