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APME launches Editor Educator Exchange with pilot program at Ball State

To strengthen the relationship between newsrooms and journalism classrooms, APME is launching a pilot exchange program for editors and professors.

Bob Heisse, executive editor of The Times of Northwest Indiana and past president of APME, is spending this week with Ball State University's media students and faculty, and  Ball State professor Juli Metzger will spend time later in Heisse’s newsroom in Munster.

The Editor Educator Exchange partnership between classrooms and newsrooms was developed by APME board member Mark Baldwin, executive editor of The Rockford Register Star in Rockford, Ill., who shared the feelings of many APME board members that we need to do more help journalism programs stay abreast of the rapid changes occurring in U.S. newsrooms.

“We’re excited about the plan Mark put together and that Juli embraced enthusiastically,” said Alan Miller, APME president and managing editor / news at The Columbus Dispatch. “The demands of modern newsrooms are evolving so rapidly that we wanted to make sure classrooms are up to speed on what we editors expect from those entering the workforce.”
Assuming the pilot program goes well, Miller said, the goal will be to identify funding to expand it and connect more journalism schools and newsrooms in other states.

Metzger, a veteran editor and publisher who now directs the Ball State journalism program’s Unified Media Lab, described it as something akin to a reverse internship.

"In a normal internship, a single student is embedded at a newsroom to gain the lessons available in a professional environment,” she said. “In this program, newsroom professionals and university professors swap places to gain perspective that sharpens their focus and recalibrates their purpose."

Heisse, formerly executive editor of The State Journal Register in Springfield, Ill., and before that, executive editor of the Centre Daily Times in State College, Pa., is hosting lectures for the program this week (March 9-13) in Muncie. Topics include getting a journalism job in 2015, being an editor/leader today, online strategies, digital success, social media and managing a newspaper covering a big, breaking story.

Metzger, who worked for the Gannett Company for 22 years as a top editor of three newspapers and publisher of three others before joining Ball State in 2011, will travel to Heisse's newsroom this semester to observe the latest tools and techniques in newsgathering and delivery.

“For us, it’s about exposing students to all forms of media and getting them comfortable delivering on all platforms,” said Metzger. “We’re now bringing the editors right to school – to join us as partners in learning and to provide valuable insights from the industry to entire classes.”

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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