APME HAS A NEW WEB SITE AT apme.com
The Associated Press Managing Editors has launched apme.com on a new platform, hosted by yourmembership.com. It offers greater interactivity, membership management and an easy-to-use content management system.
New features include embedded video training libraries, wiki-type articles for editors to add to the discussion, an online payment processor and user profiles. There are easy links to APME's twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn pages. The calendar function makes it simple to see what training opportunities are ahead and to check on upcoming award and conference deadlines.
We welcome your thoughts and suggestions on the new site at
http://www.apme.com/link.asp? ymlink=206786&finalurl=http% 3A%2F%2Ftinyurl%2Ecom% 2Fapmefeedback
2009 APME Journalism Excellence Awards: Deadline Monday, July 12, 2010
The 2009 APME Journalism Excellence Awards honor superior journalism and innovation among newspapers and online news sites across the United States and Canada. The awards seek to promote excellence by recognizing work that is well-written and incisively reported and that effectively challenges the status quo.
All Awards are presented for journalism published or launched between July 1, 2009, and June 30, 2010.
The deadline for entry is Monday, July 12, 2010.
The Awards will be presented at the APME annual training conference at the Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Fla., Oct. 20-22 and linked on the APME Web site.
The Awards include the Annual Innovator of the Year Award, Public Service Awards, First Amendment Award and Citations, Online Convergence Awards and International Perspective Awards. The Gannett Foundation Award for Innovation in Watchdog Journalism will be offered for the first time this year.
Nominations are received online only.
For more details, go to:
SAVE THE DATES for these APME / NewsU Webinars
APME and NewsU will team up for two more webinars on journalism credibility topics. A code will allow APME members to sign up for $9.95.
Mark your calendar now for these dates:
June 2, 2 p.m., Credible Use of Social Media / Dave Olson, editor, The Salem News in Massachusetts
July 21, 2 p.m., Archived Content and "Unpublishing" Requests / Kathy English, public editor, Toronto Star
Journalism educators and college media advisers: Apply for a McCormick Award to attend NewsTrain in Nashville
Journalism educators and college media advisers may apply for awards to attend the Nashville NewsTrain, Sept. 23-24, 2010.
Click here for more information or to apply for a McCormick Award for the Nashville NewsTrain.
APME and Freedom Forum will host this NewsTrain at the John Seigenthaler Center, Freedom Forum, Nashville. Attend both days, or pick a day/pick a track. Registration costs $50 for one or both days.
FOR GENERAL REGISTRATION FOR THE WORKSHOP, CLICK HERE.
KEYNOTE SPEECH ON THURSDAY, SEPT. 23: JOHN SEIGENTHALER
Track 1: The Nimble Leader
- Helping Reporters to Develop Their Beats / Jacqui Banaszynski
- The Skeptical Editor / Jacqui Banaszynski
- Covering the New America / Bobbi Bowman
- Creating a Constructive Culture / Ronnie Agnew
Track 2: The Evolving Journalist
- Coaching Writers and Planning Content for Multiple Media / Michael Roberts
- Great Ways to Tell Stories With Data / Patrick Beeson
- Ethical Decision-Making – Social Media and Breaking News / Banaszynski and Roberts
Third Rail / Extra Jolt
- Coaching Narrative Storytelling / Jacqui Banaszynski
- A course for educators: Journalism Class Exercises that Work
WE WANT YOUR "GREAT IDEAS"
We are accepting submissions for APME's 2010 "Great Ideas” book. What's a great idea?
It can be a new concept for print or online, or a major improvement to something we do every day. This is a chance for your newspaper to show off great work and to help fellow editors by providing ideas that might work in their markets. APME is again focusing on watchdog stories — big and small — because of the difference they can make in the community.
Our "Great Ideas” Web site allows you to quickly submit entries (150-word limit) and upload a picture (.jpg, .pdf) that accompanies the Great Idea. When the Great Ideas page opens, click on the "Submit Your Great Idea!” link and input the entry. The process is simple, quick and painless.
If you have questions, contact Kurt Franck, executive editor of The (Toledo) Blade or Terry Orme, managing editor news/business at The Salt Lake Tribune.
Kurt: 419-724-6163, firstname.lastname@example.org
Terry: 801-257-8727, email@example.com
|APME UPDATE NEEDS YOUR HELP
Please send links to your best impact reporting — whether of the watchdog variety or a look at stimulus spending — or to any other subject you would like to share with other editors. Please e-mail the link to firstname.lastname@example.org
WATCHDOG REPORTING: SUMMARY OF RECENT IMPACT JOURNALISM
The Associated Press reported that federal officials ignored warnings three years ago that new mine safety regulations would trigger a surge of legal cases that could bog down enforcers. The backlog of cases is now blamed for thwarting enforcement at mines across the country, including the site of a deadly West Virginia explosion. Despite the predictions of an overwhelming caseload, the head of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission told Congress in 2007 that he expected the rate of new cases to slow down – and therefore his agency didn't need more money. The estimate from the commission's former chairman, Michael Duffy, that cases would slow to about 3,000 a year turned out to be wildly inaccurate. New cases actually tripled in 2008, reaching nearly 9,000, as mine companies began aggressively contesting violations. The massive backlog has now ballooned to more than 16,000 cases. Lawmakers and President Barack Obama have accused Massey Energy Co., owner of the Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia, and other companies of tying up resources with frivolous appeals just so they can avoid tougher enforcement.
http://www.courant.com/ business/nationworld/wire/sns- ap-us-mine-explosion-warnings- ignored,0,2945899.story
The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that in the three decades since the death penalty was reinstated, 86 condemned inmates have died in California. Just 13 were executions. Death-row prisoners are far more likely to succumb to natural causes. That's what claimed 50 of them. Suicide is more common, too. There's disagreement about whether it's good or bad that so few have been executed, but no one disputes the conclusion of a state commission two years ago that capital punishment in California is "dysfunctional” — costly, inefficient, deadlocked. There are about 700 condemned inmates in California now, the most of any state. For the vast majority, death row has been home for more than a decade. California added 29 people to its list last year, up from 20 added in 2008. In doing so, the state bucked a trend that saw the fewest number of death sentences handed out nationwide last year since capital punishment was reinstated by a U.S. Supreme Court decision in 1976.
http://www.signonsandiego.com/ news/2010/apr/25/hollow- promise/
The Salt Lake Tribune reports a small real estate data-management company is the focus of a widening legal controversy that could affect millions of U.S. foreclosures, including thousands filed against distressed homeowners in Utah. The nation's largest lenders created Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS), of Reston, Va., in 1994 as a loan registry designed to save millions of dollars on paperwork and recording fees. By registering mortgages with the private computer-tracking system and, in effect, putting loans under MERS' name, lenders could avoid having to file public documents each time a mortgage was bought and sold. The arrangement served its purpose well as markets went up. By MERS's own estimates, it saved mortgage lenders more than $1 billion during a decade, and the efficiencies it brought to mortgage trading played a key role in the growth of mortgage-backed securities and the housing boom. But with the economic downturn and crush of foreclosures, MERS is now showing up on tens of thousands of foreclosure notices sent to delinquent homeowners, including nearly 3,000 sent in Utah since July 2008, most of them in Salt Lake County. In Utah and nationally, the company's legal status as a party in these actions is increasingly being challenged.
http://www.sltrib.com/ci_ 14953404?IADID=Search-www. sltrib.com-www.sltrib.com
The Providence (R.I.) Journal says the boarded-up buildings tell a tale of destitution in Rhode Island's smallest and poorest city, Central Falls, but it also represents a boon for a businessman who is pals with the mayor. In 2008 and 2009, Mayor Charles D. Moreau hired his old friend and campaign contributor Michael G. Bouthillette to board up or clean up some 200 abandoned or foreclosed buildings –– at a cost of about $2 million, according to city records. A Journal review of land records found that the city has filed $2.1 million in liens on property to secure Bouthillette's bills to the city. Those liens, which include a 10-percent "administrative charge” by the city, must be paid off by the buildings' owners when the properties are sold. To date, The Journal found, Bouthillette has received about $1.4 million. He stands to collect another $400,000 to $500,000 on the remaining liens. The Rhode Island State Police say that they have launched an investigation; detectives are looking into whether Bouthillette's fees were excessive, and whether Moreau accepted any kickbacks in return for awarding him the work.
http://www.projo.com/news/ content/Central_Falls_ Boardups_04-25-10_UQHSU35_ v115.3a580b3.html
The Providence (R.I.) Journal reports the firm hired to help steer investment decisions for West Warwick's $33-million pension fund has resigned, citing the local pension board's refusal to heed repeated warnings against investing with an Arizona-based real-estate company. "As a firm, we advise over 150 other institutional investors with aggregate assets in excess of $30 billion. Our staff has, collectively, hundreds of years of investment experience. And we have rarely, if ever, seen a potential investment that is more inappropriate for an institution than this one,” wrote the former investment consultant, Massachusetts-based P-Solve Asset Solutions, in a memo to West Warwick board members last fall. The five-member board, led by chairman and local liquor store owner Geoffrey E. Rousselle, is responsible for the fund that covers pension payments for hundreds of retired West Warwick municipal employees, police and firefighters. "I could never really understand the rationale behind any of the issues,” Rousselle said of P-Solve's concerns. "And apparently, neither could any of the other committee members.”
On Nov. 16, the board voted unanimously to send $3 million to Arizona-based Cole Credit Property Trust III.
http://www.projo.com/news/ content/WEST_WARWICK_PENSION_ INVESTMENT_04-25-10_BKI7_v53. 360ab1e.html
The Press of Atlantic City, N.J., reports on the 20 concrete vaults that sit side-by-side, like self-storage containers, next to the Oyster Creek nuclear power plant in Lacey Township. These concrete tombs hold fuel cells, each containing 12-foot rods of enriched uranium. The rods are toxic and radioactive and were never intended to be stored here indefinitely, among Ocean County's 560,000 residents. Nationwide, about 70,000 tons of fuel rods wait for long-term storage — the very long term. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that spent fuel stored at New Jersey's four nuclear power plants will remain dangerous to humans for at least 10,000 years and harmful to the environment for 1 million years more. Nobody, not even the owner of the southern New Jersey power plant, wants to keep this radioactive waste so close. But as a new presidential panel investigates what to do with spent fuel, nuclear energy experts say there are few options. Oyster Creek, which is owned by Exelon Corp., and New Jersey's three other nuclear plants in Salem County store their fuel on-site, as do virtually all of America's 104 nuclear plants.
http://www. pressofatlanticcity.com/news/ press/ocean/article_3193bfda- 4fac-11df-a525-001cc4c03286. html
The Press Democrat of Santa Rosa, Calif., reported on marijuana enthusiasts from across the country flocking to Ukiah to talk about the future of pot should California voters in November legalize its use for all adults. More than 200 people attended a day-long forum to address concerns that legalization could lead to a collapse of the North Coast's lucrative underground pot industry. A smattering of government and business representatives attended, but the greatest number were associated with the marijuana industry. The November ballot initiative would make it legal for anyone over 21 to possess up to an ounce of marijuana and to grow it for personal use. Commercial operations would require government approval. The measure also would authorize local governments to regulate and tax pot, which remains a primarily underground economy despite being legal for medicinal use. Some marijuana growers fear legalization will draw corporate tobacco companies into the business, flooding the market and causing pot prices to plummet.
http://www.pressdemocrat.com/ article/20100424/ARTICLES/ 100429671/1349?Title=Legal- pot-The-good-and-bad
The Palm Beach Post says for the first time in more than a decade, the Florida Retirement System no longer has 100 percent of what is needed to pay all current and expected retiree benefits. Instead, it has about 88.5 cents for every dollar needed, according to the most recent annual report – a $15.4 billion shortfall. While that's above the 80-cents-on-the-dollar threshold signaling trouble, it's close enough to have gotten lawmakers' attention. Legislation passed by the Senate would wrest a key concession from state workers, calling for the employees to pay a fraction of their paychecks into the retirement system for the first time in about 30 years. To critics, it's overdue. To others, it's a flat-out betrayal.
http://www.palmbeachpost.com/ news/state/state-workers-may- be-asked-to-pay-for-614823. html?printArticle=y
The News Tribune of Tacoma, Wash., reports the number of Pierce County employees earning six-figure salaries rose dramatically last year even as the county struggled to balance its budget. County records show 371 employees – 1 out of every 8 full-time workers – earned at least $100,000 in 2009. That's a 70 percent increase over 2008, a News Tribune analysis of county pay records shows. County officials cited several reasons for the growth in six-figure salaries. Overtime at the short-staffed county jail is a factor. An extra paycheck for all employees also boosted pay last year. But cost-of-living pay raises for county employees – including a 5.2 percent raise last year – have drawn the most attention from elected officials. Some want to rein in those raises when union contracts are renegotiated next year.
http://www.thenewstribune.com/ 2010/04/25/1162258/a-news- tribune-analysis-finds.html
The Cincinnati Enquirer reports 21 people draw $100,000-plus annual pensions from the troubled Cincinnati Retirement System, many by including tens of thousands of dollars in overtime and unused vacation and sick time to boost their retirement benefits. The list of the city's top-paid retirees, which also includes another 18 people receiving pensions that top $90,000, is led by Karen Jetter, a former University Hospital nurse now drawing a $191,400 annual pension – more than three times her salary when she retired. That was made possible by a since-discarded formula under which more than $130,000 a year in overtime, cash-outs of unused leave and other extras factored into Jetter's retirement benefits, city records show. Jetter, 65, of Erlanger, makes no apologies for her $15,950-a-month pension, arguing that she often "worked the equivalent of several jobs" over her 30-year career.
http://news.cincinnati.com/ article/20100426/NEWS01/ 4250361/Formula+bloated+city+ pensions
The Charlotte (N.C.) Observer reports the Charlotte Housing Authority, in its most ambitious effort yet to move people more quickly out of homelessness, has joined charities and churches to pull 60 families from shelters, put them in apartments and help find them jobs. The first five families start moving in last week. Their new homes will be at Hampton Creste apartments, a 239-unit community near North Wendover and Monroe roads in east Charlotte. The effort is a first for the authority, which has united a wide range of groups, from grassroots volunteers to government agencies, in a push that should last years. Advocates believe broad-based support is key at a time when low-income housing proposals elsewhere have ignited uproars. Spokesperson Jennifer Gallman said authority officials expect a warmer reception to the Hampton Creste apartments. They're in an area that is economically, culturally and racially diverse, she said, and will have tenants of mixed incomes.
http://www.charlotteobserver. com/2010/04/25/1397373/ finding-quicker-route-out-of- homelessness.html
The Burlington Free Press reports Vermont has a plan for restoring stormwater-damaged streams in Chittenden County: Make nine communities, two government agencies and the University of Vermont responsible for getting the job done within 10 years. Parts of the plan, embodied in a proposed stormwater permit, have drawn sharp protests from most of the communities, although none disputes the importance of reducing stormwater pollution. In comments filed with the Agency of Natural Resources, the cities and towns argued the proposed permit imposes potentially large costs on residents and property owners; sets unreasonable deadlines; and hands off to local government responsibilities and costs that rightly belong to the state.
http://www. burlingtonfreepress.com/ article/20100425/NEWS02/ 100424019/Chittenden-County- communities-object-to-costs- mandates-in-stormwater-plan
The Buffalo (N.Y.) News reports public school teachers across the region have reason to wonder whether New York's budget crisis will cost them and thousands of their colleagues their jobs, but while teachers worry about pink slips, superintendents are seeing lots of green. Nearly all of the region's 37 superintendents in the suburban, small city and rural communities outside Buffalo broke new ground this decade with annual salary-and-benefit packages that raced well beyond inflation and pushed many into the $200,000-a-year range. What is widely considered "the lost decade" for the financially beleaguered private sector here and the rest of the country, was no loss for public schools superintendents.
http://www.buffalonews.com/ 2010/04/24/1030228/salaries- soar-for-top-jobs-in.html
The St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times looks at the case of Derrick Humbert, the 55th person to die in Florida after being shot by a Taser in the past decade. His death tied Florida with California for the most Taser-associated deaths in the nation. (Now, Florida stands alone in first place, with 57 deaths.) Humbert's death put the case at the center of a national Taser debate, which pits the increasing popularity of the weapon against mounting evidence of its risks. But as the Humbert case shows, police depend on the Taser so much that in some cases they may overlook evidence that it may be doing harm.
http://www.tampabay.com/news/ publicsafety/article1089912. ece
The Rochester (N.Y.) Democrat and Chronicle reports that when the Rochester School District and the city undertook the billion-dollar task of updating its aging school buildings, announced in 2007, School 22 was an obvious choice. The old school, by some measures, was the worst building in the district: cramped and outdated, with a frame made of century-old timber, asbestos behind the walls, and a small green area and dreary parking lot across the street that passed for a playground. But as the project moves closer to putting shovels in the ground, School 22 is no longer among the first schools on the list. In the most recent draft plan, many of the city's oldest and most dilapidated schools have been removed from the project's first phase in favor of younger buildings that require less work. And as frustration with the project's pace grows, inflation is driving up costs. In fact, while inflation since 2006 has totaled about 9 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Producer Price Index, the cost of new K-12 school construction has jumped about 32 percent,
The Maine Sunday Telegram of Portland used a planned gathering of gun owners – carrying firearms in holsters to assert their constitutional right to bear arms – to look at some of the most permissive firearms laws in the nation. Carrying a firearm in Maine requires no permit unless the weapon is concealed. There are no state background checks, waiting periods, licenses or safety instruction requirements for unconcealed firearms. Municipalities are prohibited from adopting more restrictive rules. The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence gives Maine laws a score of 11 of a possible 100. By way of comparison, the highest state score of 80 went to California and the low of zero went to Utah. Maine is among the majority of states that allow firearms to be carried openly. Thirty-five states allow it, three prohibit it and 12 require permits. Maine has no statute that spells out the right to openly carry a firearm – there is merely no prohibition.
http://www.pressherald.com/ news/pro-gun-rally-shines- light-on-liberal-laws_2010-04- 25.html
The Orlando Sentinel reports Florida's Orange County public-school managers are being criticized for sloppy and haphazard control over millions of dollars' worth of routine construction and maintenance projects on the 180 campuses that make up the nation's 10th-largest school district. The district has had no formal system of checks and balances over how contractors for smaller construction and maintenance projects file estimates, charge for work or get paid, it reported. The lack of such a system has meant that at least one contractor has been able to charge whatever he deemed appropriate without an initial district review of those costs. Auditors told the Orlando Sentinel that their findings raise troubling questions: Did the district pay for work that should have been done for free? Did the district pay too much for some of these jobs? Who, they ask, was minding the money?
http://articles. orlandosentinel.com/2010-04- 24/news/os-orange-schools- district-capital-audit- 20100424_1_school-district- auditors-district-managers
The Virginian Pilot of Norfolk reports the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control began sending underage operatives into stores in the 1990s in an attempt to buy alcohol, usually beer, but in the past year, they have been targeting another beverage: alcoholic energy drinks. They pose a special problem because they look like their non-alcoholic counterparts, making them easy to slip past distracted or uninformed cashiers and fool parents and sometimes even police, he said. But with as much caffeine as several cups of coffee and twice as much alcohol as beer, they can be dangerous in the hands of teenagers. Alcoholic energy drinks are not new. They started showing up in stores in early 2005. But the issue was brought home recently when police linked an alcoholic energy drink to the March 7 death of a Virginia Beach teen.
http://hamptonroads.com/2010/ 04/how-are-these-different- three-have-alcohol-one-doesnt
The South Florida Sun-Sentinel of Fort Lauderdale reports, in the past five years, more than 175 Florida teachers have lost their licenses for sexual misconduct ranging from inappropriate comments to touching and actual affairs with students. Other teachers have been accused of or arrested for alleged sexual misdeeds, and their cases are still winding through school disciplinary proceedings and the courts. It looks at the events that turned a Tamarac family upside down which began with a mother's discovery of a love letter to her 17-year-old son written by his biology teacher at J.P. Taravella High School in Coral Springs – 30-year-old Josie Stratton. Within a month, the student had dropped out of school, moved out of his family's home and married his teacher. Their marriage lasted just six weeks, ending in divorce and dashing the hopes of a teenager whose family said he had planned to enlist in the military after graduation. Stratton resigned, and the state permanently revoked her teaching certificate in March 2009.
http://www.sun-sentinel.com/ news/education/fl-teacher- student-sex-20100416,0, 7924233.story
The Record of Bergen County, N.J., reports some of state's most influential lobbyists — including a onetime Democratic operative now making more than $500,000 a year — are set to collect public pensions, their reward as political appointees to part-time government commissions. New Jersey commissions, boards and authorities counted 69 lobbyists among their members in 2000. Last year, the number of lobbyists on New Jersey commissions grew to 168. Several get an even sweeter deal: lifetime enrollment in the state's health care plans, leaving taxpayers on the hook for yearly premiums that average $5,200 for individuals and $13,000 for families. Gov. Christie last month signed legislation to give pensions only to full-time state and local employees, but the legislation grandfathers those already eligible for benefits.
http://www.northjersey.com/ news/state/92033909_New_ Jersey_lobbyists_get_NJ_ pensions__too_--_and_even_ lifetime_heatlh_benefits.html
The Austin (Texas) American-Statesman reports if prison officials were surprised when a 19-year-old burglar sneaked out of a state prison trusty camp and went shopping at Walmart for cigarettes, they might have been equally shocked by how easily the minimum-security trusty got back in with his contraband. Undetected, prison investigators say. Both ways. Now, authorities increasingly suspect that much more may be slipping in through the 22 mostly unfenced trusty camps where low-risk offenders with good behavior are housed. Contraband such as cell phones, drugs, tobacco and even weapons has continued to flow into state prisons despite an 18-month crackdown, and some officials say the trusty camps might be one of the weak links in security.
http://www.statesman.com/news/ texas-politics/are-trusty- camps-a-weak-link-in-texas- 616918.html
The Akron Beacon Journal reports the Ohio Board of Tax Appeals is overwhelmed with appeals and struggling with staff cuts. The state board has more than 6,100 active cases — a 72 percent increase from just a year ago. The board is so far behind that it's just getting around to scheduling hearings for appeals made in the summer of 2008. State leaders are worried that the board might never catch up and are warning that it will be years before the current cases are resolved. A nearly $1 million budget cut forced the board to lay off employees. The board now has seven workers, down from 19 less than two years ago. And only three of those employees hear appeals.
The Akron Beacon Journal looked at algal blooms in Lake Erie from planktonic bacteria that can produce toxins dangerous to fish, animals and humans. It reports the number of blooms producing scary toxins or poisons is growing in frequency and duration in Lake Erie and many inland lakes and waterways in Ohio and elsewhere. High-altitude photos of western Lake Erie last summer showed it increasingly covered by what looks like a slick of opaque, bright green paint, stretching from Toledo and the Maumee Bay east to the Lake Erie islands. The threat is gaining attention as new testing shows the toxin microcystin from the planktonic bacteria is present in popular recreational lakes and city water supplies, including Akron's. "It is a growing problem that is not going away and is likely to get worse . . . ," said scientist Julie Weatherington-Rice of Columbus. ''Something is out of kilter in our lakes, and it's a very serious problem. And it's something we're all contributing to.''
The New York Times reports from Colorado on Fort Carson's Warrior Transition Battalion, a special unit created to provide closely managed care for soldiers with physical wounds and severe psychological trauma. In the case of Specialist Michael Crawford it didn't help. Last August, he attempted suicide with a bottle of whiskey and an overdose of painkillers. By the end of last year, he was begging to get out of the unit. Created in the wake of the scandal in 2007 over serious shortcomings at Walter Reed Medical Center, Warrior Transition Units were intended to be sheltering way stations where injured soldiers could recuperate and return to duty or gently process out of the Army. There are currently about 7,200 soldiers at 32 transition units across the Army, with about 465 soldiers at Fort Carson's unit. But interviews with more than a dozen soldiers and health care professionals from Fort Carson's transition unit, along with reports from other posts, suggest that for many soldiers, they have become warehouses of despair, where damaged men and women are kept out of sight, fed a diet of powerful prescription pills and treated harshly by non-commissioned officers.
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/ 04/25/health/25warrior.html? scp=1&sq=A%20year%20ago,% 20spc.%20michael%20crawford% 20wanted%20nothing%20more% 20than%20to%20get%20into% 20Fort%20Carson's%20Warrior% 20Transition%20Battalion,%20a% 20special%20unit%20create% 20to%20provide%20closely% 20managed%20care%5C&st=cse
AP'S BEAT OF THE WEEK– Karim Kadim
It was a rare day off in Baghdad, but that didn't mean Karim Kadim wasn't working.
Especially in Iraq, news can break out at any moment, and Kadim, a member of the AP team that won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for breaking news photography, was always on the job. He even carried his camera to prayers to shoot pictures of other worshippers.
Friday, that wouldpay off with the first and best images of the bloodiest day of the year in Iraq. A series of coordinated bombings killed 69 people, most in the Shiite enclave of Sadr City where Kadim had gone with his 9-year-old son for prayers.
As they were kneeling, the first blast struck about 150 meters away. Kadim quickly made sure his son was safe with a friend and rushed down the street.
He was first to arrive and captured dramatic images of Iraqis battling fires to get to the injured, and efforts to evacuate them. He led The New York Times website and had four pictures on a Times slideshow.
He also called in details from the scene, describing bystanders throwing rocks at Iraqi soldiers trying to secure the area.
35th ANNIVERSARY OF THE FALL OF SAIGON: AP WAS THERE
April 30 marks the 35th anniversary of the fall of Saigon, an evacuation of Americans and Vietnamese civilians remembered for chaotic scenes at both the airport and U.S. Embassy.
In The Associated Press bureau, then-Bureau Chief George Esper desperately tried to keep a telephone line open, "a circuit to anywhere," according to Richard Pyle's account in "Breaking News: How The Associated Press Has Covered War, Peace and Everything Else."
Esper and AP reporters Peter Arnett and Matt Franjola stayed behind to cover the aftermath of the American withdrawal. "Cruising the tree-lined boulevards, Arnett and Franjola found a virtual flea market of military uniforms and boots, discarded by soldiers and policemen who had donned civilian garb or run off in their underwear."
Some Vietnamese families gathered in the corridor outside AP's door. "They had mistaken our activity for authority, and believed we could provide them sanctuary," Arnett said.
AP General Manager Wes Gallagher messaged AP Saigon that one more helicopter evacuation was possible, and asked remaining staffers if they wanted to try to leave. "Thanks for your offer," Esper answered. "We want to stay."
Esper was on the telephone, trying to reach other bureaus, when three Vietnamese entered AP's bureau. One of them was longtime photo stringer Ky Nhan, who admitted that he'd been a Viet Cong agent but had guaranteed the safety of the AP office. "I have told them about the AP, that you are all good people, and they come here to visit you as friends," Nhan said.
The group ate pound cake and drank Coca-Cola as the two soldiers showed Esper and the group the route their tank brigade had used to enter Saigon that morning.
"For ten years I had written about the faceless, nameless Communist troops," Esper wrote later. "Finally, we were face to face. It struck me that they were no different from the South Vietnamese or, for that matter, my fellow Americans, all of whom had been killing each other."
Esper wrote a bulletin that day from the translation of a broadcast on Radio Saigon. It moved five minutes ahead of UPI's:
"SAIGON (AP) _ President Duong Van 'Big' Minh of South Vietnam announced Wednesday an unconditional surrender to the forces of North Vietnam."
EDITORS IN THE NEWS
Matt Moore, The Associated Press chief of bureau of Germany and Poland for the past two years, has been named news editor for Pennsylvania. The appointment was announced by East Regional Editor Larry Rosenthal. Moore, 39, joined the AP in Jackson, Miss., in 1999 as a reporter and business writer before transferring to AP's business desk in New York as a night supervisor. He later moved to the AP's international desk before going overseas. "News editors are the driving force in fulfilling our promise to deliver great state and global reports," said Senior Managing Editor Mike Oreskes, who oversees AP's domestic operation and all-formats daily news report. "Pennsylvania is a great news state — a perfect match for Matt Moore's proven journalist talents."
Moore arrived in Europe in 2002, when he became news editor for the Nordics and Baltics, based in Stockholm. Three years later he moved to Frankfurt, where he was business writer for Germany and central Europe. Named chief of bureau of Germany and Poland in March 2008, he helped oversee AP's former German service and orchestrated coverage of Germany's role in Afghanistan, the European Union and the 20th anniversary of German reunification.
Moore graduated from Auburn University in Alabama in 1993 with a journalism degree. Before joining the AP, he worked for various publications, including The Dothan Eagle in Alabama, The News Herald in Panama City, Fla., and Florida Trend magazine.
Wall Street Journal revs up New York Times rivalry
NEW YORK (AP) — It might be the last great American newspaper war. And Rupert Murdoch intends to win it. He has made a career of grabbing readers and advertisers from competing newspapers, and now he is racheting up the challenge his Wall Street Journal poses to The New York Times.
On Monday, the Journal launched a metro section that will vie for readers and advertisers on the Times' turf.
Although the new section will be available only in the New York City area, collateral damage could spread around the country. Both newspapers are jostling with each other, USA Today and regional dailies for readers.
By dramatically lowering advertising rates in New York to undercut the Times, Murdoch's assault could leave both newspapers with fewer resources for other expansion plans.
"The Times has a lot of readers and a lot of them are very loyal, long-standing folks. It's not going to be easy to peel off the Times' core constituency," says Dean Starkman, a former Journal reporter who writes for the Columbia Journalism Review. "As a business proposition, I think I'm with the majority of skeptics who think that this could ultimately damage both papers."
Luxury retailer Bergdorf Goodman, a longtime prominent advertiser in the Times, plans to advertise in the new Journal section. "We're going to try it and see," spokeswoman Ginger Reeder says. "We always look for new ways to reach our customers." It's not yet clear whether Bergdorf will reduce its advertising in the Times.
Times President and General Manager Scott Heekin-Canedy says several prominent advertisers have assured him that their promotions in the Journal's new section will not come at the expense of the Times. He declined to name the advertisers.
"We won't get in a pricing war," he says.
BUSINESS OF NEWS
Circulation continues to drop severely at U.S. newspapers, though the rate of decline slowed from the previous six-month reporting period. Figures released this week by the Audit Bureau of Circulations show average weekday circulation fell 8.7 percent in the six months that ended March 31, compared with the same period a year earlier. Sunday circulation fell 6.5 percent. That's a slight improvement from April through September of last year, when average weekday circulation dropped 10.6 percent from a year earlier and Sunday circulation fell 7.5 percent. Even so, the top 25 newspapers in the country showed some huge circulation losses. The San Francisco Chronicle's weekday circulation dropped nearly 23 percent from the year before to 241,330. At The Washington Post, average weekday circulation fell 13.1 percent to 578,482 and dropped 8.2 percent to 797,679 on Sundays.USA Today lost 13.6 percent of its circulation and averaged 1.83 million. That extended a slump that began with a slowdown in travel during the recession, which trimmed sales where USA Today is especially popular, such as hotels and airports.
http://www.journal-news.com/ news/hamilton-business-news/ us-newspaper-circulation- falls-8-7-percent-672523.html
Newspaper earnings in the first quarter:
Here is a summary of earnings reports for selected newspaper publishers and what they reveal about the industry's prospects for the current quarter and beyond:
Gannett Co. says net income jumped 51 percent in first quarter compared with a year earlier. Nation's largest newspaper publisher reports smallest drop in ad revenue in more than a year: 8 percent. CEO says year is "off to a great start."
Lee Enterprises Inc., publisher of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and other newspapers, reports third profitable quarter in a row. Ad revenue dropped about 8 percent, an improvement from the 16 percent drop in final three months of 2009.
Media General Inc., whose newspapers include the Richmond (Va.) Times-Dispatch and The Tampa (Fla.) Tribune, says first-quarter loss narrowed. Total publishing revenue, which includes circulation, dropped 9 percent in first quarter, compared with 14 percent in previous quarter. Company expects print revenue decline to "continue to moderate."
The New York Times Co. reports first-quarter earnings of $12.8 million and says advertising revenue fell 6.1 percent from a year ago, the smallest decline since the third quarter of 2007. Company says print advertising trends in current quarter look even better.
McClatchy Co., which publishes The Miami Herald, The Sacramento (Calif.) Bee and other newspapers, says ad revenue fell 11.2 percent in first quarter. That's better than the 20.5 percent decline in the last three months of 2009.
Yakima Herald-Republic Publisher Michael Shepard is leaving the newspaper in June to become vice president of business operations for The Seattle Times, the Herald-Republic's parent company. Shepard announced the change in an e-mail to the newspaper's staff last week. He has been publisher of the Yakima paper since 2003. While Shepard was publisher, the newspaper launched several publications, including Yakima magazine, El Sol de Yakima and Yakima Valley Bride. Revenue from those products and expansion of the paper's commercial printing business has helped the Herald-Republic remain profitable despite circulation declines.
The publisher of the Independent Record says the Helena, Mont., newspaper has cut two full-time and five part-time positions as part of a reduction in force. Publisher Randy Rickman says the continued slowdown in the local and national economy led to the decision to reduce expenses. The newspaper also cut other expenses. Rickman says the newspaper laid off a copy desk editor, three part-time proofreaders and a part-time sports reporter and will not fill open positions in production and advertising.
AP CORPORATE ARCHIVES OFFERS BOOKLET FOR STATE MEETINGS ON RISKS JOURNALISTS TAKE TO COVER WARS
The AP Corporate Archives is producing a 70-page booklet entitled "The Costs of War:AP Journalists in Beirut, Kabul, and Baghdad, 1975-2010.” The booklet highlights the complex risks taken by AP journalists and local staff in covering the Lebanon civil war and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. It features photographs and documents drawn from the Beirut and Cairo bureau records, the text archive, and the photo library, with commentary by Corporate Archives Director Valerie Komor.
The booklet is accompanied by a DVD featuring a selection of oral history interviews conducted last year with AP reporters and photographers in the Middle East.
The Archives is making the booklets available for state AP meetings. For more information, contact Valerie Komor at email@example.com or at 212-621-1731.
APME's GREAT IDEAS CD GIVEAWAY
The Texas APME convention is using APME's Great Ideas CD as a giveaway at the conference. The CD has terrific ideas that editors can use throughout the year. It might work for your conference too.
A.M. "Mac" Secrest, who as editor of a small-town South Carolina newspaper crusaded against Southern resistance to desegregation in the 1950s, has died. He was 86. Secrest also served as a federal mediator throughout the Deep South during the civil rights struggles of the 1960s and taught at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. "He was a true Southern gentleman who stood up for integration. He was very strong on humanitarian issues," said Richard Cole, the former dean of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at UNC-Chapel Hill. "He also was a very warmhearted and giving person who was loved and respected by his students." Secrest was the owner and publisher of The Cheraw Chronicle, a weekly in northeastern South Carolina. He criticized segregationists who followed a strategy of massive resistance after the 1954 U.S. Supreme Court decision on school integration in Brown v. Board of Education. Secrest refused to be silenced, despite threats of violence, attacks on his home and menacing signs placed in his yard.
http://www.latimes.com/sns-ap- us-obit-secrest,0,6070584. story
Allison Stacey Cowles, a member of a Spokane family with large media holdings and the wife of retired New York Times patriarch Arthur "Punch" Sulzberger, has died at the age of 75. Cowles married Sulzberger in 1996, four years after her first husband, William H. Cowles III, died of a heart attack. Sulzberger was chairman and chief executive officer of The New York Times Co. Cowles was born in Elizabeth, N.J. She graduated from Wellesley College and received a master's degree in history from Radcliffe College. She married Cowles, whose family owned The Spokesman-Review newspaper and had many other business interests in the Spokane region. William Cowles was president and publisher of The Spokesman-Review when he died in April 1992.
http://seattletimes.nwsource. com/html/businesstechnology/ 2011699410_apusobitcowles.html
Carolyn Carter, a pioneering photojournalist, has died at 91. Carter was a 1940 graduate of the University of Georgia's Grady College of Journalism who became The Atlanta Constitution's first female photojournalist. She was the first woman to be awarded a master of photography certification by the Professional Photographers Association and the first woman to be named "Man of the Year" by the Industrial Photographers of America. While working for the newspaper she met future husband Don Carter, a reporter who was the first cousin of former President Jimmy Carter. They were married for 67 years. The Carters stayed involved with UGA's journalism school for decades, establishing a professorship in 2004. College dean Culpepper Clark called her "the first lady of the college and of journalism."
HuffPo ascends toward top news sites as it turns 5
By JAKE COYLE
AP Entertainment Writer
NEW YORK (AP) — The Huffington Post will soon turn five-years-old — veritable old-age in Internet years.
As the site, co-founded by Arianna Huffington and launched on May 9, 2005, marks the anniversary, its proclaimed mission to be an "Internet newspaper" gains more credence every time its traffic surpasses the websites of its print brethren.
It recently made the top 10 current events and global news sites, with 13 million unique users in March, an increase of more than 94 percent over the year before, according to Nielsen Online. If the trend continues, The Huffington Post could soon pass The New York Times' website (16.6 million uniques in March) in traffic this year.
The growth is a remarkable feat for a site launched as little more than a collection of celebrity bloggers, a liberal rival to the Drudge Report.
Since then, HuffPo, as it is known, has developed 20 sections ranging from food to books, launched four city-specific pages and integrated itself with social networks, partnering with Facebook and Twitter.
Ken Lerer, chairman and co-founder, says he recently looked up the Huffington Post from 2005 on Archive.org.
"I was floored," he says. "It seemed really boring, very clean. It was great, but there wasn't a lot there compared to where we are now."
Now, the breadth of the Huffington Post — combining work from a paid staff of 70 reporters and editors, some 6,000 bloggers writing for free, and content from The Associated Press (they're a paying customer) and other media companies — is considerably greater.
It's a low cost, high content formula that has proven exceptionally efficient at attracting readers, though it hasn't yet achieved profitability through advertising, which Lerer says is robust this year. (Greg Coleman, formerly an ad executive at AOL and Yahoo, was recently hired as chief revenue officer to increase advertising revenue.)
"I'm completely sure the site will be profitable by the end of the year," Huffington says.
"It would have been profitable a lot sooner if we hadn't kept growing."
Maturing from primarily a political news site to a general interest destination is an interesting proposition in an online world where success has often meant focusing on niche markets. In some ways, HuffPo is beginning to resemble an old-fashioned newspaper.
"Huffington Post is still saying, 'What people still like is everything — or a lot — in one place,'" says Ken Doctor, author of "Newsonomics: Twelve New Trends That Will Shape the News You Get."
"It's the same principle (of a newspaper). It's just some different content and it's organized different. The irony is just too rich."
Becoming all things to all people, though, could be difficult for a site typically seen as left-leaning. Huffington, who is also editor-in-chief, disputes that image, citing the site's reporting on the war in Afghanistan and on the public option in the health care debates.
"We don't have any ideological alignment with either political party," she says. "We have been very critical of both political parties at different times. Our alignment is with what we consider to be in the interests of the public."
To recognize the importance of investigative journalism, the Huffington Post Investigative Fund was started. Its articles are available for anyone to post freely. And the site earned a question at President Barack Obama's first press conference in 2009, although the prearranging of that question brought some criticism, too.
Nevertheless, while HuffPo has made advances in original reporting, it still relies largely on commentary and aggregation for attention.
"We'll always curate news in addition to having our own original content because that's the way the Internet works," Lerer says. "That's the model. If you don't link and if you don't get linked to, then I think it's an impossible model."
Though some sites are adopting or considering pay walls (the Times says it will begin metering traffic next year), the Huffington Post has thoroughly embraced Web culture.
Says Huffington: "Those who still can't believe, 'Why are people updating their Facebook profiles for free? Why are they editing Wikipedia entries for free? Why are they blogging on the Huffington Post for free?' — the truth is that many people want to do that as part of their own self-expression. Nobody asks why are people watching bad TV for seven hours a day."
The site has launched a social news feature with Facebook Connect, which gives users the option to link their commenting to their Facebook profile, thus roping in their friends and family to the discussion. More recently, HuffPo debuted Twitter feeds for each of its sections; it will soon launch one for its home page.
One exception to Web openness: The site moderates commenting to keep the discourse civil. This has helped, Huffington says, to create a sense of community. CEO Eric Hippeau says that there were 2.3 million comments posted in March, "which is a lot of different opinions," he notes.
"They understand the multiplier effect on the Web — how you can generate and multiply traffic by using the vitality of the Web," says the author Doctor. "Clearly, they got more than they ever bargained for when Arianna Huffington got together with some other people and put the site together. That brand rode the Obama wave and now I think it's really running the post-Obama wave in terms of a congenial site for people of the left or progressive political affiliation."
Lerer says that the "majority" of the $25 million that the site received in investment capital from Oak Investment Partners in late 2008 is still left over.
He promises that HuffPo will make a much "deeper dive" into social networks, develop more city-centric sites and a produce a lot more video.
At the five-year-old Huffington Post, optimism abounds to one day pass the Times and Tribune Newspapers (the only newspapers in the top 10) and even the other top sites in traffic: Yahoo! News (40.2 million uniques in March, according to Nielsen Online); CNN Digital Network (38.7 million); and the MSNBC Digital Network (33.8 million).
"We've got cash, we've got traffic — things are pretty good right now," Lerer says. "It's nice to have a pure Internet model."
ABOUT US: APME Update is published regularly by the Associated Press Managing Editors Association. APME Update is edited by Sally Jacobsen. Send submissions by e-mail to mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org?subject= APME%20update%20question/ commentor call Sally at (212) 621-7007.
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