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2011 APME CONFERENCE BLOG
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APME-ASNE conference starts Friday!Open in a New Window

 

The conference for the nation's top editors is Oct. 16-18 at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. The Associated Press Photo Managers is also a conference partner.

 

See the program here. 

 

The theme for the Silicon Valley conference is 3-D: Digital, Diversity, Disruption.

 

The conference will open with an evening reception FridayOct. 16, at the Frances C. Arrillaga Alumni Center. Join your colleagues under beautiful October skies for a taste of California wine and music and an intimate conversation with David Kelley. A creator of the Apple mouse and founder of the groundbreaking d.school at Stanford, Kelley will share his thoughts on how each of us can find joy in our creative endeavors.

 

 

APME survey: Editors remain concerned about quality and tone of online commentsOpen in a New Window



By Gary Graham
The Spokesman-Review

Newspaper managers and editors strongly support online comments about their daily content and most are unlikely to ban comments, but that doesn't mean they are satisfied with the quality and tone of comments.

An APME Sounding Board survey of newspaper editors, publishers and online editors in April drew 101 responses and 94 percent of the group reported that they consistently allow comments. Many of the respondents said they believe allowing comments is important to encourage community discussions in a public forum.

Editors were critical of the general nature of comments because, in their view, comments are too often negative, off the topic, uninformed and lacking civility. Several editors said a small number of individuals tend to dominate the online conversation.

Asked how likely is it that their organizations will ban online commenting, 71 percent said it is unlikely and another 11 percent said they never would.  Nine percent said it is very likely they will ban all comments and another 8 percent said such a step is likely. While the majority of editors who responded said they are not inclined to eliminate all comments on their sites, many attempt to ban readers who consistently abuse the website's policies on commenting or ignore the standards altogether. One editor said the comments don't reflect poorly on the website and that editors should spend less time worrying about the nature of the comments.

Fifty-five percent of those responding said they place a moderate amount of value on commenting and another 14 percent said they placed a great deal of value on it. Editors said the comments are beneficial because they encourage an exchange of ideas and that readers often have suggestions for follow-up stories or point out inaccuracies.

The editors surveyed seemed relatively split on the issue of allowing anonymous comments. Fifty-four percent do not allow anonymous postings, but 46 percent do. Only 38 percent of the news organizations require commenters to identify themselves by first and last name.  Several editors noted they restrict commenting to online or print subscribers.

More than half, 56 percent, use a comment-hosting service. Of those services, Facebook appeared to be the most popular with 61 percent of the editors using it, followed by Disqus with 21 percent. Only 12 percent of the editors report the comments are monitored by staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Twenty-seven percent monitor comments 13 to 16 hours a day, while 15 percent monitor only two to four hours daily.

Editors who only allow commenting through Facebook said the Facebook emphasis on using a first and/or last name has resulted in a slight improvement in the level of community conversation, but others noted many commenters don't seem concerned about the lack of anonymity.

Several editors who responded said that in a time of diminishing newsroom resources they are concerned about the amount of staff time required to moderate the comments. One editor requires that all comments be reviewed and cleared by an editor before they are posted on the newspaper's website.

 

APME launches Career Center for job postings and job-seekersOpen in a New Window

Today there is a new way to find great applicants for your newsroom. 

The Associate Press Media Editors' Career Center is free and focused on journalism.

Visit www.apme.com/networking to post open positions. No login is required. APME will help drive traffic to your listings through social media, our weekly APME Update email and more.

If you are looking for a new career opportunity, get a free Job Seeker account or login with your APME member account, fill out your profile and upload your resume. You can also sign up for notifications of relevant new positions in your areas of interest.

This is a new feature for apme.com, so if you have suggestions or encounter trouble, please contact Laura Sellers.

 

Linda Austin hired as NewsTrain directorOpen in a New Window



APME is pleased to announce a new project director for its popular regional New Train workshops. Veteran editor and educator Linda Austin will run NewsTrain, a 10-year-old national touring workshop serving journalists in their own cities. Programs are designed to provide training in the skills, knowledge and information newsroom leaders need in a rapidly changing media environment. 
This year's News Train workshops will be hosted in Vancouver, Canada; Columbus, Ohio; Las Vegas, Nev., and Austin, Texas.
"APME looks forward to delivering the high-quality, low-cost training to journalists that has been one of our core initiatives and is thrilled that Linda Austin will lead our efforts," said APME President Debra Adams Simmons.
Austin has been the executive director of the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism and a professor of practice at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication for the past five years. Before that, she was the editor of the Lexington Herald-Leader in Kentucky; executive editor of The News-Sentinel in Fort Wayne, Ind.; and managing editor of the News & Recordin Greensboro, N.C.  She also held leadership positions at The Philadelphia Inquirer, including business editor, graphics editor, assistant managing editor/finance and editor/publisher of PhillyTech magazine. She was a fellow in the Punch Sulzberger Executive News Media Leadership Program at Columbia University’s Journalism School and earned a master’s degree in educational technology from Arizona State University.   
She will jump right in. The first News Train of 2014 is April 25-26 in Vancouver.
“I want to continue helping journalists to access high-quality, low-cost training after I leave the Reynolds Center in March,” Austin said. “As a former APME member and NewsTrain attendee, I know firsthand how essential this training program is. I’m honored to help continue its proud tradition in its second decade.”

 

APME Member Photograph of the Month for November 2013Open in a New Window


The APME has honored this photograph as National Member Photo of the Month for November 2013.

Thanks to John Rumbach and staff at The Herald in Jasper, Ind., for judging this month.
Here is what the judges had to say about the winning image:
"This photograph of firefighters preparing to fight a wildfire tells the story of what they face. The fire burns across the background while, by the light of their headlamps, the firefighters huddle making final preparations. The fire covers acres, the group, a few square feet. The light in the photograph — deep orange fire, pale white and yellow lamp light — enriches the contrast."
Below is the link to all images entered for November and the winner is slide #3.
Caption:
Firefighters from Schell Vista of Sonoma County and Santa Clara County Cal Fire prepare to put out hotspots on a fire in the hills of Soda Canyon above Napa, Calif., Friday, Nov. 22, 2013. The fire grew to over 300 acres by daybreak, fanned by high winds. (AP Photo/Santa Rosa Press Democrat, Kent Porter)

 

APME Journalism Excellence Awards: Deadline is APRIL 7Open in a New Window


UPDATE:  We've extended the deadline for the 2013 APME Journalism Excellence Awards, which honor superior journalism and innovation among newspapers, radio, television and online news sites across the United States and Canada, to MONDAY, APRIL 7. 

The awards seek to promote excellence by recognizing work that is innovative, well-written and incisively reported. A special award honors innovation by colleges and universities.

All awards will be presented for journalism published or launched between Jan. 1, 2013, and Dec. 31, 2013. Because of the change in the entry period, first-place winners in the previous contest (running from May 1, 2012- April 30, 2013) are not eligible to enter their winning work in the current contest. All other entries are eligible and will be considered by judges.

Besides the new deadline, the APME awards will feature a new category: Best Mobile Platform.  This new category will honor a news organization that produced or made significant improvements to a mobile application or platform in 2013.

Four of the categories offer monetary awards: the Seventh Annual Innovator of the Year Award for newspapers, the Best of Show in the Public Service Awards, The Al Neuharth Award for Innovation in Investigative Journalism and the Tom Curley Sweepstakes Award in the First Amendment Awards.
The entry fees are $75 per entry for APME members and $100 per entry for non-members. To see if you are an APME member click here to log in. If your newspaper is not listed, enroll as a member now or renew and receive many valuable benefits of membership, including reduced fees to attend the annual conference and to submit your quality work for consideration for an APME Journalism Excellence Award. The awards will be presented at the ASNE/APME Conference Sept. 15-17 in Chicago, and are linked on the APME website. The finalists of the newspaper Innovator of the Year will make presentations at the conference, and the winner will be selected by conference attendees.

Nominations are received online only.

The first step is signing up as an "entrant" at the APME contest site. Please keep your entrant username and password. You will need it to submit entries and return to the site to edit or add more entries before submitting them for judging. Submit all entries before accessing the payment page to check out.

Enter at: https://www.omnicontests4.com/Default.aspx?comp_id=1265

AGAIN, the deadline to submit entries will be midnight EST Monday, March 31.
For more information, contact Sally Jacobsen (sjacobsen@ap.org) at The Associated Press at 212-621-1838 or Joshua Schwartz (jsschwartz@ap.org)  at The Associated Press at 212-621-7831.

Here are the categories:

Eighth Annual Innovator of the Year Award 

The award recognizes innovation in print, online, management, structure or other area that demonstrates a bold, creative effort to improve a news or information product and increase audience. Demonstrable success is required for the entry’s standing. The winner will be awarded $1,000. The sponsor is GateHouse Media.

Definition of Innovation: A new, creative and forward-thinking concept that has long-lasting effects and attracts new audiences or dollars. It can be a product, a technique or a new structure, but it must be able to show how it met a specific goal over a period of time. It should have potential to become an industry standard over a period of time.

Eligibility: The competition is open to any editor or staff member of an AP-member news organization, a team from a member news organization or a member news organization.

Submissions: A total of 20 files can be uploaded with each entry. This can include a combination of documents, published pages and multimedia files, if applicable.

Online innovation: The entrant is responsible for making the site available to judges through a Web link. URL should be submitted with the application.

Print innovation: Submit electronic files of published tear sheets.

Online and print: Combinations are welcome, and should be submitted according to rules for both.

Management, structure or other: Explain thoroughly the innovation and how it improved or increased efficiency, effectiveness, coordination and audience or enhanced the newspaper’s competitiveness or ability to improve content. Provide examples of resulting content as appropriate.

Judging: A panel of APME board and committee members will judge all entries and select three finalists. The finalists will be presented to attendees of the ASNE/APME joint conference in Chicago, and a vote of attendees will determine the winner. A representative of each finalist will be asked to present his or her news organization’s entry at the conference. Attendance is not required to win, but it will difficult for attendees to select a winner without a representative’s presentation.

Enter at: https://www.omnicontests4.com/Default.aspx?comp_id=1265

 
Third Annual Innovator of the Year awards for Television and Radio 

The awards recognize innovation in television and radio that demonstrates bold, creative efforts to improve a news or information product and increase audience. Demonstrable success is required for the entry’s standing. An award will be given for the TV winner; another for the radio winner.

Definition of Innovation: A new, creative and forward-thinking concept that has long-lasting effects and attracts new audiences or dollars. It can be a product, a technique or a new structure, but it must be able to show how it met a specific goal over a period of time. It should have potential to become an industry standard over a period of time.

Eligibility: The competition is open to any news manager or staffer of an AP-member TV or radio station or network, or a team from a member TV or radio station or network.

Submissions:A total of 20 files can be uploaded with each entry. This can include a combination of produced segments or stories, documents, and/or multimedia files as appropriate.

Management, structure or other: Explain thoroughly the innovation and how it improved or increased efficiency, effectiveness, coordination and audience or enhanced the station or network’s competitiveness or ability to improve content. Provide examples of resulting content as appropriate.

Judging: A panel of APME board members will judge all entries and select the winner.

Enter at: https://www.omnicontests4.com/Default.aspx?comp_id=1265

Third Annual Innovator of the Year Award for College Students 

The award recognizes innovation by university students in print, online, management, structure or other area that demonstrates a bold, creative effort to improve a news or information product and increase audience. Demonstrable success could improve the entry’s standing.

Definition of Innovation: A new, creative and forward-thinking concept that has long-lasting effects and attracts new audiences or dollars. It can be a product, a technique or a new structure, but must be able to show how it met a specific goal over a period of time. It should have potential to become an industry standard over a period of time.

Eligibility: The competition is open to any APME affiliate member who is either an enrolled student or faculty member.

Submissions: A total of 20 files can be uploaded with each entry. This can include a combination of documents, published pages and multimedia files, if applicable.

Online innovation: The entrant is responsible for making the site available to judges through a Web link. URL should be submitted with the application.

Print innovation: Submit electronic files of published tear sheets.

Online and print: Combinations are welcome, and should be submitted according to rules for both.

Management, structure or other: Explain thoroughly the innovation and how it improved or increased efficiency, effectiveness, coordination and audience or enhanced the newspaper’s competitiveness or ability to improve content. Provide examples of resulting content as appropriate.

Judging: A panel of APME board members will judge all entries and select the winner.

Enter at: https://www.omnicontests4.com/Default.aspx?comp_id=1265

The Al Neuharth Award for Innovation in Investigative Journalism
 
This award recognizes groundbreaking work by a newspaper that creatively uses digital tools in the role of being a community’s watchdog. The winner in each circulation category will be awarded $2,500.

Eligibility: The awards are given to Associated Press or Canadian Press member newspapers.

Criteria: This award recognizes groundbreaking work by a newspaper that creatively uses digital tools in the role of being a community's watchdog. Special consideration is given to journalism that helps a community understand and address important issues. Criteria for evaluating innovation include interactivity, creation of new tools, innovative adaptation of existing tools, and creative use of any digital medium.

Nominations: Nominations may be made by a newspaper itself, other newspapers, by AP bureaus or by civic or cultural organizations.

Circulation categories: There shall be two awards: one for newspapers with average daily circulation up to 75,000, and the other for newspapers of 75,000 average daily circulation or more, according to the latest audited figures. The winner in each category will receive $2,500 in prize money. APME reserves the right to decline to award a winner in any category.

Submissions: Entries should include electronic files of clippings of stories, series and/or editorials and community reaction. No more than 20 electronic files may be submitted, including a detailed letter outlining the background, accomplishments and results of the effort. Entrants are responsible for making the digital tools available to judges through a Web link. URL should be submitted with the application. The letter should discuss significant challenges to the accuracy or the approach of the entry, and steps the newspaper took to address those concerns. The entry must include all published corrections or clarifications.

Judging: Judging will be done by a panel of APME board members, including the APME president.

Enter at: https://www.omnicontests4.com/Default.aspx?comp_id=1265


NEW: Best Mobile Platform 

This award is presented to the news organization that produces or made significant improvements to a mobile (smart-phone or tablet) application or platform in 2013, which most advances the state of the art in utility and engagement. The ideal entry will embody improvements in content, design, functionality and technology that set an example worthy of emulation by the industry.

Eligibility: The competition is open to any editor or staff member of an AP-member news organization, a team from a member news organization or a member news organization.

Submissions: A total of 20 files can be uploaded with each entry. This can include a combination of documents, published pages and multimedia files, if applicable.

Online: The entrant is responsible for making the site available to judges through a Web link. URL should be submitted with the application.

Management, structure or other: Explain thoroughly the mobile application and how it improved or increased efficiency, effectiveness, coordination and audience or enhanced the newspaper’s competitiveness or ability to improve content.

Judging: A panel of APME board and committee members, including one who has experience with development of mobile apps, will judge all entries and select the winner.

Enter at: https://www.omnicontests4.com/Default.aspx?comp_id=1265

44th annual Public Service Awards 

The APME Public Service Awards are given to Associated Press or Canadian Press member newspapers for meritorious service to the community, state or nation. From the three division winners, an Overall Winner will then be chosen and receive $1,500, as provided by the APME Foundation.

Criteria: Entries will be judged on the basis of how the newspaper made full use of its resources in serving the public good and on the high quality of journalism exhibited in the work. Work that demonstrates evidence of positive change that has benefited the public or its institutions will be given strong consideration. The entry may be a single article or a series, and, in addition to the primary print coverage, can include sidebars, graphics, online work, commentary and editorials.

Nominations: Nominations may be made by a newspaper itself, by other newspapers, by AP bureaus or by civic or cultural organizations.

Circulation categories: There shall be three awards: one for newspapers with average daily circulation to 39,999; one for newspapers with average daily circulation of 40,000 to 149,999; another for newspapers of 150,000 average daily circulation or more, according to the latest audited figures. APME reserves the right to decline to award a winner in any category. Only newspapers are eligible to submit entries, except that bureau work may be entered by a single newspaper for judging in the 150,000-and-over circulation category regardless of the size of the paper in which the work appears.

Submissions: Entries should include electronic files of clippings of stories, series and/or editorials and community reaction. No more than 20 electronic files may be submitted, including a detailed letter outlining the background, accomplishments and results of the effort. The letter should discuss significant challenges to the accuracy or the approach of the entry, and steps the newspaper took to address those concerns. The entry must include all published corrections or clarifications.

Judging: Judging will be done by the president and three past presidents of APME plus a senior editor of The Associated Press. Judges will select the Overall Winner from the three division winners.

Enter at: https://www.omnicontests4.com/Default.aspx?comp_id=1265

First Amendment Award and Citations 

The 2013 APME First Amendment Awards will be given to journalists or newspapers for work that advances freedom of information, makes good use of FOI principles or statutes, or significantly widens the scope of information available to the public. Other distinguished efforts will be honored with First Amendment citations. The Tom Curley Sweepstakes Award of $1,000 will be given to the winning entry that best exemplifies the spirit of the First Amendment.

Criteria: The objective is to honor journalists and newspapers for significant or breakthrough work that protects or advances the First Amendment or federal and state FOI statutes. A story or project that makes good use of an FOIA law does not necessarily meet the criteria for the APME First Amendment Award, and may be deserving of consideration in the APME Public Service competition. Judges in the First Amendment contest will give preference to entries that break ground in the use of freedom of information principles or overcome significant official resistance to legal application of the First Amendment or FOI laws. Newspapers must choose whether to enter their projects in the First Amendment or Public Service contests.

Nominations: Nominations will be made by individuals, newspapers, professional societies, journalism schools, state AP associations and others.

Circulation categories: There shall be three awards: one for newspapers with average daily circulation to 39,999; one for newspapers with average daily circulation of 40,000 to 149,999; another for newspapers of 150,000 average daily circulation or more, according to the latest audited figures. The Tom Curley Sweepstakes Award, carrying a $1,000 prize, will be given to the winning entry that best exemplifies the spirit of the First Amendment. APME reserves the right to decline to award a winner in any category.

Eligibility: Individual staff members of The Associated Press or Canadian Press member newspapers, or the newspapers themselves, are eligible. However, an individual or newspaper may be nominated for contributions to freedom of information over the years.

Submissions: The objective is to honor newsmen, newswomen and newspapers for efforts to obtain information to which the public otherwise would not have access. It is important that entries emphasize and document those efforts. Electronic images of pages must include publication dates. A total of 20 files may be uploaded and can be a combination of published pages, documentation and/or multimedia files. A detailed explanation of the entry to be submitted as a document file to your online application should discuss significant challenges to the accuracy or the approach of the entry, and steps the newspaper took to address those concerns. The entry must include all published corrections.

Judging: Nominations will be judged by members of the APME Executive Committee, the chairman of the APME First Amendment Committee and distinguished experts on public access issues.

Enter at: https://www.omnicontests4.com/Default.aspx?comp_id=1265


Digital Storytelling Awards 

The award recognizes Associated Press or Canadian Press member newspaper, television, radio and online partners for the effective use of digital storytelling.

Criteria: These awards recognize print-online or broadcast-online combinations that draw on feature storytelling, data visualization, social media, use of apps, games, video and/or blogs in presenting the story. The article can be on any topic, but it must have a narrative or feature approach to it. Entries should demonstrate the effective use of the digital medium, highlighting its ability to engage readers, viewers or listeners and present information in compelling new ways.

Nominations: Nominations may be made by a newspaper or broadcast outlet itself or its online partner.

Circulation categories: There shall be three awards: one for newspapers with average daily circulation to 39,999; one for newspapers with average daily circulation of 40,000 to 149,999; another for newspapers of 150,000 average daily circulation or more, according to the latest audited figures. APME reserves the right to decline to award a winner in any category.

Submissions: Entry should include main URL, three supporting URLs, plus a 500-word (max) statement explaining why the work deserves recognition. Judges will give special weight to entries that highlight reader engagement and interactivity. You can include electronic files of stories, series and/or editorials and community reaction. No more than 20 electronic files may be submitted, including a letter describing the nominated story and how it was developed. The letter should discuss additional elements produced for online and how the online efforts contributed to development of the story in print or broadcast. The letter also should discuss any action resulting from the coverage. It also should mention significant challenges to the accuracy or approach of the entry, as well as steps the news media outlet and/or the online unit took to address those concerns. Published corrections or clarifications must be included.

Judging: Judging will be done by a committee appointed by the president of APME.

Enter at: https://www.omnicontests4.com/Default.aspx?comp_id=1265

International Perspective Awards 

The 2014 APME International Perspective Awards will be given to Associated Press and Canadian Press member newspapers for outstanding coverage of international news for local readers.

Criteria: These awards recognize newspapers that provide effective and thoughtful coverage of world events for a local audience. This could be reflected in coverage from the newspaper's own foreign staff; consistent, discriminating selection of news agency and syndicate material with an eye to overall importance, the quality of writing and the specific interests of the local community; locally produced stories tracing the international connections of people, businesses and other organizations in the newspaper's circulation area; articles about, or by, local people living or traveling abroad; and the effective use of local experts to provide background on international developments.

Nominations: Nominations may be made by a newspaper itself, by other newspapers, by AP bureaus or by civic or cultural organizations.

Circulation categories: There shall be three awards: one for newspapers with average daily circulation to 39,999; one for newspapers with average daily circulation of 40,000 to 149,999; another for newspapers of 150,000 average daily circulation or more, according to the latest audited figures. APME reserves the right to decline to award a winner in any category.

Submissions: An entry can include electronic files of stories, series and/or editorials and community reaction. The files should include proof of publication date. A total of 20 files may be uploaded, and should include a letter with a description of the newspaper’s criteria and philosophy for internationally related coverage. The letter also should discuss any accomplishments resulting from the coverage. It should also discuss significant challenges to the accuracy or approach of the entry, and steps the newspaper took to address those concerns. Published corrections or clarifications must be included.

Judging: Judging will be done by a committee appointed by the president of APME, to include a senior online editor of The Associated Press and other top online journalists.

Enter at: https://www.omnicontests4.com/Default.aspx?comp_id=1265
 
Here are last year’s APME award winners: 

43rd Annual Public Service ·  
Winner of Public Service Best of Show and $1,500: The Asbury Park Press, "Superstorm Sandy.”
Under 40,000 circulation   Winner: The Virgin Islands Daily News, "Our Money, Their Failure.”
40,000 to 149,000   Winner: The Asbury Park Press, "Superstorm Sandy.”
Over 149,000   Winner: The New York Times, "Unlocked.”

Seventh Annual Innovator of the Year Award Winner:
The Arizona Republic, for its AZ app of an evening news magazine for the iPad.

Second Annual Innovator of the Year Awards for Radio and TV ·        
Winner: Cognoscenti, for its platform that takes the concept of "letters to the editor" and infuses it with performance enhanced perspectives.

Second Annual Innovator of the Year Award for College Students ·        
Winner: "Campus Lifeline: A Report on College Suicide," a project of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Kent State University. The special project examined suicide, the second-leading cause of death among college students.

Fourth Annual Gannett Foundation Award for Innovation in Watchdog Journalism ·        
75,000 and below winner: The Journal News, White Plains, N.Y., "District in Crisis.”       
Above 75,000 winner: The Blade, Toledo, Ohio, "Battle Lines: Gangs of Toledo.”

43rd Annual First Amendment Award and Citations ·        
The Tom Curley Sweepstakes Award Winner: The Virgin Islands Daily News, "The Battle for V.I.,” senator’s spending records ·        
150,000+ Winner: The Wall Street Journal, "Watched.”
40,000-149,999 Winner: The Tennessean, "Department of Children’s Services Special Report” ·
40,000-under Winner: The Virgin Islands Daily News, "The Battle for V.I.,” senator’s spending records

Digital Storytelling Awards ·        
150,000 or More Winner: The Detroit Free Press, for its examination of the defunct Packard Plant, "now home to graffiti artists, illegal dumpers, scrappers, urban explorers and thieves who rob and mug them, arsonists, firefighters who risk their lives and camera crews from around the world." ·
40,000 to 149,999 Winner: The Commercial Appeal, Memphis, Tenn., for its digital narrative telling the dramatic story of Martin Luther King Jr.'s last hours before his assassination.
Less Than 40,000 Winner: Waterloo-Cedar Falls (Iowa) Courier, for its coverage of two missing girls and the long, tragic search that followed.

International Perspective Awards ·        
Over 150,000  Winner: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Paper Cuts,” John Schmid and Mike De Sisti
40,000 to 149,999 Winner: Omaha World-Herald, "China Connection,” Paul Goodsell and Matt Miller.  
Under 40,000 Winner: Argus-Leader, Sioux Falls, S.D., "South Dakota to South Sudan,” Steve Young.  

 

Applications sought for NewsTrain project managerOpen in a New Window



Job description

The Associated Press Media Editors seeks a project manager for its signature NewsTrain Project.

NewsTrain provides regional training workshops for news leaders, especially frontline editors who are leading rapidly changing digitally focused newsrooms. NewsTrain has provided leadership and journalism skills training to more than 6,000 frontline editors in the United States and Canada since its inception almost 11 years ago.

The project manager plans and produces NewsTrain training workshops for the APME in locations throughout the United States and Canada. This is an independent contract position that reports to a committee of the APME board. The position is funded through grants and donations secured annually by the board for the following year. The initial term is for one year, with renewal dependent upon funding.

Responsibilities:

1. Plan and produce workshops based on the NewsTrain process/model. This includes:·

-- Selecting sites and workshop dates (currently up to four a year);
-- Assembling and leading a planning committee at each site;
-- Holding a planning meeting at each site to create the program, plan logistics and divvy up tasks;
-- Recruiting and coaching faculty members on their seminar material;
-- Building an agenda that meets the stated needs of the planning group and can be effectively run in the available room space;
-- Supervising and working with the NewsTrain program assistant (another contract position), to ensure the timely and accurate completion of logistical, financial and administrative tasks;
-- Managing workshop registration on the APME website; and
-- Running the workshops successfully (in person) for hosts, faculty or participants.

2. Work with the APME board committee to select workshop sites.

3. Conduct workshops within a process/model that has been approved by funders and donors and is overseen by a committee of the APME board.

4. Collect and evaluate feedback from participants and hosts after each workshop. Strive to continually improve or adapt workshops to the changing needs of the industry.

5. Manage the NewsTrain portion of the APME website.

6. Attend APME board meetings and report to the APME board about each workshop.

7. Contribute information for reports that the APME board committee prepares for funders.

Qualifications:
The successful candidate will be a seasoned newsroom veteran with 10+ years of experience, and experience operating successful newsroom training programs. Must be able to work independently and flexibly; demonstrate an understanding of the learning needs of newsrooms; demonstrate an understanding of how to create effective training seminars; manage oversight of the program overall; manage every content and logistical aspect of each workshop; travel to sites around North America; and work within a budget.

How to Apply:
Applicants should submit a cover letter and resume detailing credentials, qualifications and experience to apme@ap.org.  

Deadline for applications is Jan. 15, 2014

 

Applications sought for journalism fellowship on resilience and recoveryOpen in a New Window

   Stories about natural and manmade disasters have become, sadly, an all-too-familiar element of the news. While there is ample coverage of them while the disaster is unfolding — Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Katrina, mass shootings, and the Gulf oil spill are just a few examples — in most cases coverage fades when the immediate disaster is past.
   With funding from the Rockefeller Foundation, which has a long-standing commitment to support work on the issue of resilience, the AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research will sponsor a 9-month fellowship in which a journalist will receive special training and a significant opportunity to do high-impact journalism on issues related to economic, psychological, and social resilience.
   The fellowship is designed to provide time to explore community resilience in all its forms. The daily workflow of most newsrooms often prevents reporters from taking the time they need to acquire the skills and background needed to synthesize and interpret the scope of the story, how it ties one community to another, and what might be learned so that policy makers can take action.
   In addition, there is a wealth of cutting edge information about resilience and recovery that is being collected and analyzed at research institutions around the world on resilience and its definition and measurement that is never delivered into the public domain. Journalists too often lack the time and the tools to uncover these sources for stories that illuminate what is known about resilience.
   The AP-NORC Journalism Fellowship on Resilience and Recovery will train a person in the skills needed to do research-based enterprise journalism about community resilience in all its forms. The fellowship will have an impact that will reach far beyond the fellowship term.
   The journalist will return to the newsroom with new skills and background to continue to report on resilience and recovery issues, and share that knowledge with colleagues. It is anticipated that over time other journalists will receive the same training, leading to a cadre of experts skilled in the use of research to tell some of the most important stories of the day.





 

APME-ASNE protest White House photo restrictionsOpen in a New Window


The Associated Press Media Editors and American Society of News Editors, along with a coalition of other press organizations, today formally expressed concerns about the Obama administration's policies regarding photographic access to the president while he performs official duties.The letter to Press Secretary Jay Carney expressed the groups' concerns about the White House practice of instead issuing handout photographs of official activity.

Below is the letter that APME President Debra Adams Simmons and ASNE President David Boardman jointly issued to their members.






November 21, 2013

Dear Members of the American Society of News Editors and the Associated Press Media Editors:

For decades, American news photographers have captured iconic moments in and around the White House: President Kennedy, from behind in silhouette in the days before the Cuban Missile Crisis. President Carter, triumphantly joining hands with Anwar Sadat and Menachem Begin at the signing of the Camp David Accords. President Reagan, walking out of the Oval Office for the final time. President George W. Bush, taking counsel from President George H.W. Bush along the White House Colonnade.

These presidents have recognized that photographic access by the public's press to their leader is essential to Americans' trust in the workings of government.

But not this president. The administration of President Obama is routinely denying the right of independent journalists to photograph or videotape the president while he is performing official duties. Instead, the White House is issuing visual press releases – handout pictures taken by official government photographers – and expecting news outlets to publish those.

These are not instances where national security is at stake, but rather, presidential activities of a fundamentally public nature. In recent months, these restricted events have included President Obama meeting with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, with African-American clergy, and with Pakistani human rights activist Malala Yousafzai.

In each case, the White House deemed the events "private,” but then sent its own photographs to the press and directly to the public over social media. This is, we are sure you will agree, unacceptable practice, raising both constitutional and ethical concerns. These photographs are, in essence, government propaganda tailored to serve the president's interests and not the public's.

Today, a coalition of press organizations, including ASNE, APME, the White House Correspondents Association and many others, delivered a letter to White House Press Secretary Jay Carney expressing our concerns about this practice and asking for an immediate meeting to discuss those concerns.

In the meantime, we must accept that we, the press, have been enablers. We urge those of you in news organizations to immediately refrain from publishing any of the photographs or videos released by the White House, just as you would refuse to run verbatim a press release from them. We urge those of you in journalism education to highlight this issue in your classrooms. And we urge those with editorial pages to educate and activate the public on this important issue.

Sincerely,

David Boardman         Debra Adams Simmons
ASNE President         APME President

 

It's a holiday muggingOpen in a New Window



APME wants to mug you. 

Give $80 this holiday season to support APME in its 80th year, and we’ll send you one of these stylish mugs. 

Tax-deductible donations to the APME Foundation assist newsroom leaders by providing training and ideas, protecting First Amendment rights, safeguarding Freedom of Information and fostering innovation and watchdog journalism. 

Another way to help: Become a NewsTrain Ambassador with a donation of $100 or more. The low-cost, high-impact NewsTrain traveling short-course program is 10 years old and remains wildly popular. The ’Train will make four stops in 2014. 

And consider joining APME or renewing your membership heading into a momentous year that includes an unprecedented joint conference with the American Society of News Editors Sept. 15-17 in Chicago. Memberships are $150 a year, with $50 student memberships available. Also offered are $75 for associate members and retirees.
Or, for $800, you can become a lifetime member in recognition of the 80th anniversary.

Members receive discounts on APME Journalism Excellence Contest fees and annual conference registration, which more than pays for your membership.

 

Roberts Receives 2013 APME President's AwardOpen in a New Window


Veteran journalist Michael Roberts was honored Wednesday by the Associated Press Media Editors for his leadership with APME’s signature program, NewsTrain.

Roberts, who received the APME President’s Award, has been involved with NewsTrain from its inception in 2003. After starting as a featured speaker for the low-cost, national traveling journalism workshop, he became a crowd favorite and remained a staple of the program. Roberts became the program’s director in 2011.

"We are indebted to Michael for his service and dedication to NewsTrain,” said APME President Brad Dennison. "He’s passionate about the program and protective of its quality, and we’re fortunate to have him. It’s time to say ‘thank you’ in a public way.”

The President’s Awards are given at the discretion of the organization’s president, and this recognition comes as NewsTrain celebrates its 10-year anniversary. Roberts received the award during the 80th APME conference, which was held in Indianapolis.

Roberts is overseeing four NewsTrain workshops in 2013 – Springfield, Ill.; New York; Colorado Springs and Seattle.

Sponsors of NewsTrain 2013 include The Associated Press, the APME Foundation, the Ethics & Excellence in Journalism Foundation, the Gannett Foundation, the Scripps Howard Foundation, GateHouse Media Inc., Medicare News Group, Athlon Sports, and The World Company.

Outside of his work with NewsTrain, Roberts is a newsroom trainer and consultant who works with news organizations in the United States and Canada. He was deputy managing editor of staff development at The Arizona Republic from 2003 to 2010, where he was responsible for all newsroom training, served as writing coach and edited major projects. Previously, Roberts designed and taught the American Press Institute's first online seminar for copy editors, and has presented programs for the Poynter Institute, American Press Institute, the Maynard Institute, Freedom Forum and various National Writers Workshops. Before the Republic, Roberts was a senior editor, including 10 years as training editor/writing coach at The Cincinnati Enquirer. He has also held writing and editing positions at the Midland (Mich.) Daily News and the Detroit Free Press, and worked as an editor at two magazines. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan and holds a master’s degree in training and human resource development from Xavier University in Cincinnati.

The Associated Press Media Editors is an association of top newspapers, digital and broadcast editors, as well as journalism educators and students in the United States and Canada. APME works closely with The Associated Press to foster journalism excellence and to support a national network for the training and development of editors who will run multimedia newsrooms in the 21st Century. APME is on the front line in setting ethical and journalistic standards for newspapers and in the battle for freedom of information and the First Amendment.

 

Buffett expert: Newspapers still valuable community assetsOpen in a New Window

By Matt Holden | Ball State University


            Warren  Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Media Group has purchased 28 newspapers for $344 million in just the last two years, signaling that one of the world's richest men and his company's shareholders believe local news - the printed kind - remains a valuable community asset and can turn a profit.
            "It is an exciting time in the industry," said Terry Kroeger, president and publisher of The Omaha World-Herald, just days before making similar remarks at the 2013 Associated Press Media Editors Conference in Indianapolis. He noted he isn't the only one who shares enthusiasm for the medium, pointing to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who purchased for $250 million in early August.
            "I reached out to Jeff after I heard, and I told him I was rooting for him," Kroeger said. "We are sort of in this together in not knowing what is going to happen over the next several years."  
            The BH strategy is focused on small newspaper markets and the local franchise each represents at a time when print journalism is struggling to develop new business models that don't involve cutting pages or employees.
            "Print will still be an important part of the business, while digital will continue to have a growing market share," Kroeger said.
Earlier this year Buffett was quoted in Forbes magazine: "Wherever there is a pervasive sense of community, a paper that serves the special informational needs of that community will remain indispensable to a significant portion of its residents."
            The concept of hyper-local news coverage is nothing new. Kroeger pointed out that The Omaha World-Herald still publishes seven days a week (bucking a recent trend of papers reducing frequency or even going all digital) while they offer a metered-approach online.
            What remains unknown is how advertising will evolve. Kroeger admits that making money digitally is still a challenge. "We're always trying new things in advertising, but print advertising is still very effective and very important to us," said Kroeger.
            Kroeger said uncertainty isn't a reason to stop innovating but doing the basics well is equally important.  In order to make money through advertising, newspapers have to continue to create quality content that is worth paying for, he said.  BH Media Group believes that communities want local content, and that they are willing to pay for it.
            In order to get great content, Kroeger says he wants to hire people who are energetic and talented, who have skills in all areas of journalism.
            "We aren't looking for one specific type of skill set, we want people who want to do the work and are comfortable writing stories on any platform," said Kroeger.
            This is especially true when print is leveraged as premium paid content to supplement digital news. Kroeger says that his newspaper's most active digital readers are the same ones who subscribe to the print paper, so they have to be ready to tell stories in different ways in order to give the audience a well-rounded and diverse selection of news.
            The Omaha World-Herald is starting to do this by diversifying its products, with the addition of apps for the Apple and Android devices. Apps such as the NE Prep Zone and Big Red today are sports-focused applications that provide readers with extra content exclusive to their region. While free right now, these soon will be paid apps that add another revenue stream to the OWH's media packages.
            These sorts of additions are part of Kroeger's plan to tell stories on as many platforms as possible. "If there is a technology that has public acceptance, we need to embrace that technology," said Kroeger. "I tell my staff that if it is a hologram on a table, we need to figure out how to tell a story using it."
            Whether it's a hologram on a table or a printed newspaper delivered to the driveway, the one Berkshire Hathaway constant is to produce the best possible local content for that local audience - a commodity they cannot get anywhere else.

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Berkshire Hathaway newspaper chief sees long future for newspapersOpen in a New Window

 

By Alan Miller

Associated Press Media Editors

The leader of Warren Buffett's newspaper group told newspaper editors today that he sees a long future for newspapers, especially if they are thoughtful and creative in adjusting to changes in the media landscape.

 

"We will do very well in this business if we make good decisions, not just cut," said Terry Kroeger, chief executive officer of Berkshire Hathaway Media Group and publisher of the Omaha World-Herald. He spoke during the Associated Press Media Editors conference in Indianapolis.

 

He said recent reports that BH Media is interested in some Tribune properties is accurate and old news. While BH Media is interested, he said, he is not in any talks with anyone at Tribune about its papers.

 

He said Buffett, chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, is interested in continuing to buy papers in mid-size and small markets. A paper with a circulation of "30,000 to 100,000 is our sweet spot," he said. And he said Buffett is looking for a return on investment of about 10 percent.

 

He said that short-term financial difficulties at any of its properties won't lead to a sale or closure, but that the company won't buy or keep a paper that has long-term losses for which there appears no end. An example, he said, was in Manassas, Va., where the paper was losing money when BH Media acquired Media General papers.

 

"We sent in our best thinkers and couldn't come up with a way to save it, so we closed it," he said. "It had sustained losses we couldn't overcome."

 

Kroeger said his philosophy of newspapering is to develop trust between publishers and editors and allow editors to do good journalism without interference. Editors build trust, he said, by holding fast to core journalistic values of accuracy and fairness.

 

He said consolidated copy and design desks – including advertising design – "make him nervous" and he prefers to see those functions done locally at each newspaper to reduce the chance for errors by someone editing a story for a paper and audience that could be a state away.

 

"Media General papers had those when we bought them, and we have fewer of them now," Kroeger said.

 

Too many nuances can be lost in the miles between newspapers and consolidated desks, he said. And he said repeatedly that while BH Media editors meet occasionally to share ideas, news markets and consumers are so different that Kroeger says it is vital to allow local autonomy in decisions about coverage and display.

 

And local advertising is too important to turn over to someone in another state or overseas. When it comes to print versus digital advertising value, Kroeger said that "print is very critical to our business. Our advertisers will tell you that print is their most effective form of advertising."

 

BH Media paper websites are now using metered paywalls "or will be."

 

He said the newspaper industry blundered by giving away valuable content for years and now is trying to recover, and metered paywalls carry less risk than some other models of alienating readers.

 

"The last thing we want is for people to think we're an exclusive club they can't get into," he said. "We want them to come in and look around, and hopefully they like us and want to stay."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Q&A with APME President-Elect Debra Adams SimmonsOpen in a New Window

By Devan Filchak| Ball State University

dfilchak@bsu.edu

 

 "Critical to my career has been having mentors, people both within the newsrooms where I've worked and in other parts of the news industry, were there to support me and to help direct me," Simmons said.

 

Q&A with APME incoming President Debra Adams Simmons

 

Debra Adams Simmons joined The Plain Dealer in Cleveland as managing editor in 2007. She was named editor in 2010. Previously, she worked as the editor and vice president of news at the Akron Beacon Journal for four years. Other stops included the Detroit Free Press and The Virginian-Pilot.

Simmons earned her bachelor of arts degree from Syracuse University. She says networking and mentors have been keys to her success.

 

Q: What drew you to journalism?

 

A: Really wanting to make a difference in the world is what drove me to this profession. My original plan after college was that I was going to take a year off to travel the world and go to law school. During that year, I was offered …  a nine-month internship at the local paper in Syracuse, N.Y. I was going to do that nine-month postgraduate internship and then I was going to go to Africa and Europe. And then I was going to start school in September. Two weeks into my post-graduate internship, I was offered a full time permanent job. That was in 1986 and I'm still in the industry, all of these years later.

 

Q: What are some of the biggest challenges facing APME this coming year?

 

A: I think APME has a unique opportunity this year to innovate and collaborate. As you know, the industry is changing dramatically and APME is an organization of leaders who are trying to lead through a period of dynamic change. I think anything that we can do that helps our members develop tools to be successful as we navigate changes would be a key calling for us. Certainly, we are celebrating APME's 80th anniversary. APME was founded 80 years ago in French Lick, Ind. And I think it is important to celebrate the past 80 years and the work that has come before us, as well as to plot of course for the future.

 

Q: What do you believe is in the future of print?

 

A: Based on the readers that I hear from every day, I think print will continue to have a future. I don't think print is going away tomorrow. There are many people who continue to like words on paper. I would also say though, based on the feedback I have received as we've gone through substantial change here in Cleveland, the response is generational. Many of the readers of our content under 40 really prefer digital content. Many of those people say, 'I never pick up a paper. I read the e-edition of the paper. I read your website, but I'm not a paper person." The 40- to 70-year-old age group knows digital is where the future is moving. They don't love it, but they have kind of resigned to the fact that this is the direction we are moving in. The 70 and over crowd is angry. They want print; they want it every day, and they want it to be the way it used to be. The challenge for newspaper editors is figuring out how to navigate all of the ways our audience likes to access our information. Print continues to be a huge part of that. For most news organizations, print revenue continues to pay the bills, even as their digital audiences are expanding exponentially. So we're going to have to figure out how to do it all. But print is still alive and well and making a huge difference in communities across America. 

 

Q: How would you describe the importance of social media in today's media environment?

 

A: I think social media is critical in today's media environment. When I think about some of the biggest stories covered in my community in the past couple of years, social media was in the center both in terms of newsgathering and news dissemination. Engagement is key to the work that we do. We need new sources talking to us, so social media is a great way to access people and information. And we need to spread information on as many platforms as we can. Social media enables us to do both of those things better than we have ever been able to before. For years, our work was a one-way conversation with our audience. Social media has opened up tremendous opportunities to have a two-way conversation or a multiple way conversation with the audience.

 

Q: What do you believe the future of pay walls will be?

 

A: I think that the future of pay walls is undecided. Clearly, there are two schools of thought. One is that people should pay to access information, but we also know that young people believe that information should be free. At least in my organization, there's a hesitancy to cut information off from significant numbers of audience members who want to engage with that information. I think there is a lot of experimentation right now, and experimentation is critical for our industry. I think we will assess the results of those experiments before a decision is made about what the future of pay walls will be. I don't think we are absolutely moving toward pay walls or we're absolutely not. Several news organizations have dipped their toe in. Some have had tremendous success; others have backed away. I think pay walls are one of many experiments happening in the news industry. The verdict is still out on what the ultimate outcome will be. 

 

 


 

 

 

APME elects new leadershipOpen in a New Window

The Associated Press Media Editors organization elected four members to its board of directors and installed new leadership today during its annual conference in Indianapolis.

Elected to at-large positions were Meg Downey, managing editor of The Tennessean in Nashville; and Thomas Koetting, deputy managing editor at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Autumn Agar, editor of the Twin Falls (Idaho) Times-News, was elected to represent small newspapers; and David Arkin, vice president of content & audience for GateHouse Media, was elected to represent online media.

The new APME officers are president, Debra Adams Simmons, editor, The Plain Dealer in Cleveland; vice president, Alan D. Miller, managing editor/news, The Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch; secretary, Teri Hayt, executive editor of GateHouse Ohio Newspapers in Canton, Massillon and New Philadelphia; and journalism studies chair, Laura Sellers-Earl, digital development director for the EO Media Group in Salem, Ore. The treasurer is Dennis Anderson, editor of the Peoria (Ill.) Journal Star.

APME wrapped up its annual convention Wednesday.

Its 2014 conference will be held with the American Society of News Editors in Chicago.

APME members are newsroom leaders at newspapers and broadcast outlets, journalism educators and student leaders in the United States and Canada. APME works with The Associated Press to encourage journalism excellence and support training and development of journalists in multimedia newsrooms.

 

Editors vote for Innovator of the YearOpen in a New Window

 

Editors vote for Innovator of the Year

 

Devan Filchak

Ball State University

dfilchak@bsu.edu

 

APME editors today voted on three finalists for Innovator of the Year and the winner will be announced at the awards luncheon on Wednesday.

 

Editors from The Arizona Republic, The Columbus Dispatch and WLRN-Miami Herald gave presentations about their latest efforts.

 

Meg Downey, managing editor of The Tennessean and moderator of the presentation, said this is her favorite session each year.

 

"The news organization has to be able to offer a new, creative and forward-thinking concept that has long lasting effects and attracts new audiences or dollars," she said.

 

"So it can be a product, it can be a new technique or a new structure. But it must be able to show a specific goal over a period of time, and it should have the potential to become a industry standard over a period of time."

 

Keira Nothaft, a deputy managing editor with The Arizona Republic in Phoenix, presented AZ, a semi-weekly newsmag for iPad.

 

The app focuses on presenting feature stories in a more in-depth and interactive way.

 

Nothaft said they found a way to do what monthly iPad magazine publications haven't done – be timely and get readers to come back multiple times a week.

 

Ben Marrison, editor of The Columbus Dispatch, showed how changing the newspaper's format was innovative.

 

The organization moved from a full broadsheet to a tabloid-style newspaper. Marrison said the newspaper is now easier and more convenient to read and carry.

 

The Dispatch also began placing ads in the middle of the spreads. That helps open up room for text while forcing the readers' eyes to go across ads between stories.

 

Kenny Malone, WLRN-Miami Herald reporter, discussed how staffers at his organization started doing something that may sound simple – just listening.

 

Reporters at the radio news and newspaper partnership have gone out to talk with the public about whatever is on their mind, getting the pulse of the community even when not working on a particular story.

 

The practice results in telling unexpected stories that truly show the voice of the Miami area, Malone said.

 

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Five steps to managing newsrooms in times of great changeOpen in a New Window

 

By Alan Miller
Associated Press Media Editors

Successfully managing change in newsrooms during this time of significant change hinges on five points, according to Butch Ward.

 

First, newsroom managers need to provide clarity to middle managers and their staffs about expectations and how they will support them, said Ward, of the Poynter Institute, during a presentation at the Associated Press Media Editors conference today in Indianapolis.

 

Ward said they also need to invest in the ambitions of their staff members, coach them and provide feedback on performance, provide tools and training, and take a risk with staff members when appropriate.

 

Providing clarity is as simple as being clear about your expectations for the staff in covering and presenting the news, said Ward, a former newspaper editor. Not everyone does that well, and the lack of clarity allows for confusion and aimlessness.

 

Investing in employees' goals starts with a manager asking people about their dreams. "Being asked by my boss what I want to be and do says a lot," Ward said. And it gives managers an opportunity to coach their employees and support them toward that goal.

 

Coaching, he said, involves feedback that will help end the need for managers to put out daily fires. "Coaches know that if I said …'if we spend 10 minutes on a problem today and never have to deal with it again,' everyone in this room would do it."

 

He said that coaches have their heads up as opposed to down on today's work: "They have their eyes on the arch of a person's career and know that feedback is the most important thing they have to offer," he said.

 

Provide tools and training, he said, because they reinforce the commitment to your staff members and their development.

 

And when it comes to taking a risk, Ward said, remember the boss who took a risk on you. "That boss who took a risk on you is like a hero."

 

When we find someone who is really good at what they do, he said, we tend to leave that person alone. But taking a risk with that person to help him or her grow toward a goal or into a bigger role often pays dividends for the individual and the news organization.

 

"It is an investment in your relationship with them that they will never forget," he said.

 

Summing up, Ward said, "Remember this: You can't do it alone; get your team involved.

You can't do it from the weeds; you need to get above the daily production. And you can't do it overnight; change and relationships take time."

 

 

 

 

Not dead yet: Print can win by listening to readersOpen in a New Window

Matt Holden

mwholden@bsu.edu

Devan Filchak

dflilchak@bsu.edu

 

  Newspapers should strive for an emotional connection with readers to thrive in the years ahead, according to a consultant with a national research firm.

            Bill Day, executive director of Frank N. Magid Associates, Inc., spoke to editors at the annual APME conference in Indianapolis on Tuesday. He said his studies show that 40 percent of people still read newspapers and that the industry needs to leverage what is left of circulation to build for the future. Day said television news is successful because they do a better job of listening to what viewers want.

            "The most important reason people pick ABC versus NBC versus CBS isn't because they think they're very good. It's not because they need to know the weather. Yet why do viewers still watch their local television news? It's because they have a strong, visceral relationship with the product."

            If newspapers did more of what readers wanted, sales would go up. On his list of things to do:

·      Provide even more depth to its news stories

·      More about local activities and things to do

·      More local coverage in the main section

·      Give them opinions they want to read

 

"You know who people think is doing a really good job?" asked Day. "Judge Judy. What job are consumers hiring her to do? To look in on others amazingly train-wrecked lives and say my life's not that bad." Judge Judy delivers on expectation, Day said, and the show makes $78 million annually.

            Day says his company's studies find similar responses across markets.

"We do this same study in market after market, and the results are amazingly consistent," he said.

            He called on newspapers to make "data-driven" choices about what goes into the paper. He said newspapers often make the mistake of using data derived from a small percentage of readers; those who are the most vocal.

            Day claimed his goal was to not only look at those who felt strongly one way or the other about how a newspaper was doing, he also wanted to look at the all of the people who were undecided in order to get a real sense of what the entire market looked like.

            "We don't want find people who are excited, we want to find everyone else," said Day.

            The theme of the session was to focus primarily on the print product and how to extend its life, because Magid's research showed that 40 percent of all demographics are still reading the paper.

        

            The consistent example used throughout was that of the soda industry. "When people like the soda you make, you need to tell them you have it and keep making it," said Day.

            This was especially true when it came to small-market papers, where readers in his study said that they wanted more local content, such as high school and collegiate sports as well as local lifestyle.       Small-market papers have an advantage because of the lack of options available. Sixty-one percent of people polled in small markets said that it would be a huge loss if the paper in their area were to disappear.

            Justin Rumbach, managing editor of the Dubois County Herald in Jasper, is also seeing this at his paper. "I think that we don't see the decline nearly as rapidly as the big metro papers because we still reach a huge portion of our community with our print product," said Rumbach.

            Day also looked at other media industries, such as television news, and their approach to marketing.

            "Television news shows have a relentless goal of moving the needle (of viewers) to evaluate success," said Day.

            Using this example, he said newspapers should consider evaluating reporters based on how much traffic their stories get, and using this information to guide budget meetings that take place in newsrooms every day.

            Local research could help newspapers better understand reader interests.

"We need to use predictive metrics that will help us understand how our readers feel about stories" we might cover, said Day. "Just because you think it's important doesn't mean that it is."

            Besides editorial decision making, analytics could also be used to help with design, distribution and advertising.

            Layout analytics can be used to guide front-page design, for example.

                "People don't read the newspaper, they scan it," said Day. "Stories must be presented visually."

            Identifying new audiences is important, but newspapers should especially target those who have recently stopped subscribing within the last couple of years, he said.

            "You need to know about people who are no longer engaging with your paper and why."

           The plight of the media is an important story, but Day said newspapers may have gone too far in covering their own troubles.

            "Television never tells people that their numbers are down from the previous year," he said.

            Rumbach agreed.

            "My pitch is always that [some] papers love to report how poorly they are doing, which I think is a terribly stupid thing to do, for one," said Rumbach. "And two, that is not true in our area."

 

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Top 10 Tips to Strengthen Your NewsroomOpen in a New Window

Anna Ortiz 
Ball State University
aeortiz@bsu.edu

Some of the best advice comes from the ones who do it every day. Take a look at what the nation's top editors, attending this year's national APME conference, say are ways to improve your newsroom.

1. Enhancing the story through multimedia. Danny Gawlowski, photo/video editor of The Seattle Times, says text and visuals should not compete but enhance each other. Gawlowski pointed to how his newspaper covered ocean acidification in the Pacific Ocean using a web page to tie in several story elements. His advice: Tell good stories with good tools. Consider how you can make the experience immersive. Combine multimedia elements for a single experience. 

2. Work with what you've got. Thomas Koetting, deputy managing editor at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, said his newsroom has lost about half of its staff in the last six years. Despite downsizing, the newspaper has won three Pulitzer prizes in that time. Pick what you do well and let go of what you don't provide exclusively, he says. Everyone has limited resources. Pick your shots.

3. Have leaders who think ahead. Kay Coyte, The Washington Post managing editor, said having an owner who has deep pockets and out-of-the-box thinking doesn't hurt. But even big newsrooms need to learn how to move more nimbly to keep up with technology and not be distracted by fads. Be ready to use all platforms, even if you don't know what that platform is yet.

4. Be an investigative newsroom that digs deep. Good, old-fashioned, shoe-leather reporting resonates with readers. Boil down the story and offer up strong analysis, advised Coyte. Dig into complex issues that are important to everyone.

5. Embrace social media. Jeni O'Malley, Associated Press Indiana news editor, said she sees social media setting media companies apart in breaking news. There's a lag time between when a reporter leaves the scene and the news is posted. Don't wait. Post early and often.

6. Be the source of breaking news in your community. Linda Negro, Evansville Courier & Press managing editor, says be indispensible. Break news and present it in different ways so readers have a choice how they consumer the information. 

7. Keep up with the community. Listen to what readers want, advises Negro. She said the Evansville Courier & Press is striving to be a community source for what's going on in local education, events and other community news. A newsroom can't just break news, she says. They have to be the pulse of the community.

8. Make news easy to understand. Make the news as digestible by analyzing complex topics. The reader should not have to read 16 inches into the story to know what the story is about, Coyte said. Make it easily understandable to the reader.

9. Keep coaching. Virginia Black, senior writer and writing instructor of the South Bend Tribune, says many newsrooms have cut training across the board. When the level of work rises in one work group, it will in others. 

10) Encourage adaptability. Jeff Knox, director of photography at the Daily Herald, a newspaper in Arlington Heights, Ill., says cross training is essential in today's newsroom. He says writers should be trained in photography and photographers trained in writing. 

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Butch Ward: Elements on what makes a great leader in the newsroom [VIDEO]Open in a New Window

The APME student team spoke with Butch Ward from the Poynter Institute on what makes a great leader in the newsroom.



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Gary Ross Q&AOpen in a New Window


Gary Ross, special agent with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and author of "Who Watches the Watchmen: The Conflict between National Security and Freedom of the Press." Ross said these opinions are his own and not reflective of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Q:Is Edward Snowden a traitor or a patriot? 

A: Edward Snowden signed a non-disclosure agreement as a federal contractor. Having a security clearance is a privilege and not a right. In the non-disclosure agreement there are certain additional requirements including not disclosing classified information to people who are not authorized to receive it, including members of the media. So certainly he violated the nondisclosure agreement and he certainly violated the law. 

Q: If Snowden hadn't leaked that information, what wouldn't we know now?

A: This is an important distinction that needs to be made: In a democracy there needs to be some oversight of what the intelligence community is doing. There's this concept called "proxy monitoring" where there is certain sensitive information that the United States needs to keep secret in the interest of national security.  In this case, that whole process was skewed and Snowden went directly to a member of the media, which in turn got the information to the public. There have certainly been cases where people have brought information to inspector generals' offices and followed the proper processes under the Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act. I think President Obama mentioned that even though what Snowden did was undesirable it has led to a discussion in the public that maybe needed to occur. It goes back to that Pew (Research) poll which talks about what he did was a violation of law, but it has led to some needed discussion about what the intelligence community is doing on behalf of the public. 

Q: What is a reasonable expectation for privacy for the public these days?

A: It seems like the general public now are voluntarily giving up more of their privacy. People are on Facebook and Twitter talking about what they had for lunch or what music they like. There's a term called the "digital wake" now compared to five or 10 years ago people's digital wakes have grown immensely. On the other side with National Security it becomes a balancing act between what is reasonable for the government to help protect against in terms of national security versus what would be considered unreasonable. A great example of this is the Boston bombing. There have been some discussions about cameras and the public being watched here in the United States, while over in Great Britain this is already the case. I think the Boston bombing is a good example of how this can be used because these cameras were in place and there was a lack of privacy. This is all part of a public debate that's going on right now between the cost and the benefit. You have to be able to look at the benefit and then weigh it against the cost, but certainly there is some perceived cost involved by having this lack of privacy.

Q: National Security has changed since 9/11, but has continued to evolve. What is the future of it?

A: Back during World War II, the type of enemy we had was an enemy that was very easy to find, but very hard to kill. Now the paradigm has certainly changed where we have enemies that are very easy to kill, but very hard to find. So the government has become a lot more reliant on intelligence and the intelligence community whose job it is to provide information to the policy makers and decision makers to help them make informed decisions on behalf of the public. There's going to be a greater requirement for the intelligence community to collect more information, so there's a greater quantity. With increases in technology there's probably an increased quality of information as well. It's going to require the intelligence community to improve their capability to support the decision makers and the policy makers by collecting the information so they can make the correct decision, whether it's treaties, drone strikes, or new policy and strategy. We have to do more with less and become more agile. In order to be more agile, you need better intelligence so you can make better decisions and put your assets where they need to be. 

Q: How do you see the availability of information changing in the future?

A: As technology improves, I don't see it decreasing. It's only going to continue on the same path it's on now. My estimation is there is only going to be more information available not just for intelligence but for the general public. Then the question becomes if that information is out there, is that something that law enforcement and the intelligence community should be looking at or if they have the authority to be looking at it. I think what's important is to realize the people in the intelligence community that work for all the 16 agencies, when they get up in the morning their job is to protect the country and protect the public. After 9/11 we learned that there were things we could have been doing that we haven't been doing… and a lack of information sharing. We want to go right up to that line in order to prevent the next terrorist attack. If we go short of that line, people might say, 'Well why didn't the intelligence community do enough to prevent x, y or z from happening.' But then the opposite side of the coin is if we go past that line, then the public says, 'What is the intelligence community and the government doing?' For the intelligence community we have to rely on our general councils and rely on our general attorneys to tell us what we have the authority to do and what we don't have the authority to do. I think employees don't want to have it happen - that we weren't able to prevent something because we weren't able to do enough. Certainly people on the other side may say we'd rather be a little less safe but have the intelligence community doing less and this is the discussion that's going on in the public right now. I don't know the answer, and people through all branches of government are trying to determine where that line should be. 

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Matt Holden
Ball State University

 

Newspapers can win if they ask what readers wantOpen in a New Window

By Alan Miller
Associated Press Media Editors

The bad news about newspaper readership today is that circulation continues to decline. Worse news is that newspaper editors can do something to change that and they aren't doing it.

That was the message from Bill Day of the Frank N. Magid Associates media research firm in a presentation at the Associated Press Media Editors conference today in Indianapolis.

The good news is that newspaper editors and executives can address some key issues that Day says will move the needle in selling papers.

"Our wild and crazy idea is that if you build a product people like and tell them you have it, you will sell more papers," said Day, executive director of advertising effectiveness practice for Magid.

The dirty little secret, he said, is that 40 percent of Americans still read newspapers every day. And young people, particularly in smaller newspaper markets, have an affinity for the local paper and want to read it. But they often think it doesn't do a good job.

In one small market, Magid found that 61 percent of young readers say it would be a huge loss to the area if the newspaper were gone, and 47 percent said it's uniquely important to life in their community.

So to attract them and others not reading the newspaper, Day said, newspaper editors need to ask consumers what they want and how they want it.

"Just because you think it's important doesn't mean anyone else will," he said.

"We've defined our business as the bottom line and lost sight of the top. The top is when someone wakes up in the morning and decides to pick my product," he said.

Once you do market research, you should use it to build your paper, he said.

Readers want investigative reporting and in-depth stories, for example. When you give them more of it, they will buy your paper, Day said.

Beyond news content, he said, it's important to know that readers consider local advertising as content. And they tend to think newspapers don't do a very good job of presenting local advertising.

Finally, he said, distribution is a vital aspect of the equation.

If we make content improvements, Day said, "who are the people most likely to respond and how do we get the paper to them? The circulation problem is a lack of sampling. Part of the solution is to get them to engage with the paper" by making sure that people currently not reading it are seeing it.

Stop worrying about the young generation and worry about the people you lost in the past three to six months. Ask yourself what you did wrong, fix it and win them back, Day said.

 

Associated Press still feels effects following DOJ probeOpen in a New Window

Devan Filchak| Ball State University

dfilchak@bsu.edu

 

Months after private phone records of Associated Press journalists were seized in a Department of Justice investigation, some sources still are wary about talking to the respected news agency.

 

"It is a cliché, but it's true," said Kathleen Carroll, senior vice president and executive editor of The Associated Press. "It's a chilling effect, and people don't want to talk to us." Carroll joined a panel of AP editors at the 80th annual Associated Press Media Editors convention in Indianapolis to discuss the organization's top initiatives.

 

"It's not just Deep Throat sources putting flower pots on balconies. These are good civil servants who care about the job they do for the government that employs them. They worry that if their phone records show up with a call to a reporter, however benign the topic or ordinary the topic might be, it could harm their careers."

 

Could it happen again?

 

"We are unaware of it, but we were unaware of it until after the fact when it happened the first time," she said. "We learned … up to three months after the subpoena was executed. It is possible that another subpoena has been issued but we won't know about it until later."

 

DOJ guidelines say journalists cannot be labeled as criminal co-conspirators when the government seeks a search warrant for obtaining records, similar to the phone records gathered from the AP earlier this year.

 

Last May, 21 phone records of Associated Press journalists were seized. AP estimated the conversations of more than 100 reporters and editors were included in the phone records.

 

Carroll said the telephone companies were told to comply and not tell the news cooperative, and the records were in prosecutors' hands for weeks before the news organization knew about it.

 

"There were 21 phone numbers including fax machines and the locations of a bureau where one of the reporters at the center of this had not worked in many years," she said. "What does that have to do with anything?"

 

Carroll and AP CEO Gary Pruitt worked side by side to fight against the actions of the DOJ. Pruitt's background as a First Amendment attorney was crucial in this case, Carroll said.

 

"(Pruitt) believes deeply in these issues even though he is wearing a much bigger hat now," she said. "To have him as an industry leader on a global scale to be as forceful as he was, really was important for us both in the AP and for the profession at large."

 

Carroll said the best thing journalists can do, whether they are covering city council meetings or stories on a national or global scale, is to know their rights.

 

"If you don't understand those laws, you are failing," she said. "You have completely failed as a journalist, because you are completely unequipped to exercise your rights."


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Gene Policinski: What Makes a JournalistOpen in a New Window

Gene Policinski, chief operating officer of the Newseum Institute and senior vice president of the First Amendment Center, discusses today's definition of a journalist. He moderated a panel at the opening day of the APME national conference in Indianapolis.



APME Student Media Team

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President Brad Dennison on APME theme "Content is King" [VIDEO]Open in a New Window

The student media team spoke with APME President Brad Dennison about the conference's theme,"Content is King"


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Associated Press Media Editors

APME is a professional network, a resource for helping editors and broadcasters improve their news coverage and newsroom operations.

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