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APME Update
APME Update for Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2011
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Sept. 19-21, 2012 - APME Conference, John Seigenthaler Center, Nashville, Tenn.

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ABOUT US: APME Update is published regularly by the Associated Press Media Editors Association. APME Update is edited by Sally Jacobsen. Send submissions by e-mail or call Sally at (212) 621-7007.

To receive APME Update by e-mail notify apme@ap.org. APME is an AP-member group of newspaper and broadcast leaders founded in 1933 to provide input on the services of The Associated Press and to help newsroom managers become better leaders. A business league under section 501(c)(6) of the Internal Revenue Code, APME is funded through registrations and sponsorships at the annual conference, APME Supporting Memberships and in-kind support. The Associated Press Media Editors Association Foundation, Inc., a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, supports educational programming. Membership in APME is open to senior print and online editors at AP-member newspapers and news directors, news managers or other senior positions at AP broadcast outlets in the United States and Canadian Press publications in Canada. It is also open to administrators, professors, instructors, leaders or advisers of journalism studies programs at recognized colleges and universities and to editors or leaders at newspapers, radio stations, websites or other news outlets at recognized universities and colleges.

Mailing address: Associated Press Media Editors Association, c/o Sally Jacobsen, The Associated Press, 450 West 33rd Street, New York, NY 10001. Phone: (212) 621-7007.

E-mail: apme@ap.com.

Web: www.apme.com

Please help us keep your contact information up-to-date. To change your profile, please click here.

 

October Winners of Monthly Innovator, Great Ideas

The Press of Atlantic City, N.J., and a reporter for the Lawrence (Kan.) Journal-World are winners of October's "Innovator of the Month" and the first "Great Idea of the Month."

Innovator of the Month: The Press of Atlantic City was honored for its interactive special section and mobile site, covering the club scene on the Jersey Shore. The project, as explained by Neill Borowski, executive director and content director, can be found at http://www.apme.com/news/77568/Octobers-Innovator-of-the-Month-Press-of-Atlantic-City-wins-for-Jersey-Shore-Nightlife.htm

Great Idea of the Month: For the first time, APME awarded a monthly "Great Idea," building off the popular "Great Ideas" book distributed at the annual APME conference. The winner is Andy Hyland, a reporter for the Lawrence Journal-World, for donations he gives to charitable organizations when he has a correction in his newspaper. More information on Hyland and his thoughts about his "Great Idea" can be found at http://www.apme.com/news/77569/Octobers-Great-Idea-of-the-Month-Lawrence-Journal-World-reporter-pays-for-his-mistakes.htm
Congratulations to the October winners!

The winners were selected from the many ideas submitted by newspapers to Kurt Franck, executive editor, The Blade of Toledo, Ohio, for APME's "Great Ideas" book. The 2011 book can be found at www.apme.com.

Has your newspaper launched an outstanding innovation or produced a great idea?

Submit your innovation at http://www.apme.com/?page=Innovator and your great idea at http://www.apme.com/?page=GreatIdeasform).

Judges for October's entries were Jon K. Broadbrooks, executive editor, The State Journal Register in Springfield, Ill; Kathy Best, managing editor, The Seattle Times; and Laura Sellers-Earl, director of digital development, East Oregonian Publishing Co. David Arkin, executive director, News and Interactive Division, GateHouse Media Inc., and Joe Hight, director of information and development, The Oklahoman/NewsOK.com, coordinate the contest.

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One Week Left to Bid in APME’s Online Holiday Auction

Hot items: AP’s iconic images from 2011, Pro Hockey Package, Historic NBA Program and Ticket, Gameday Program Signed by Former Dallas All-Pro Linebacker, Seattle Gift Certificate, Great Books and Much More!

BID NOW! at http://www.apme.com/?page=online_auction

Here's how it works: Bid now and bid often. You will receive a reply to your email bid letting you know it was received. But, you need to check back often, since other bidders may try to claim your prize. At 5 p.m. EST, Thursday, Dec. 1, the top bid wins. If you are a winner, we'll notify you to make the payment and get it shipped anywhere you designate in the U.S. (or make arrangements for extra shipping).

Your donation or your winning bid goes directly to help this volunteer organization advance the cause of professional journalism for AP-member publications and broadcasters in practical, meaningful ways.

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It’s Time to Sign Up or Renew Your Membership in APME: Special Offer During the Holiday Season

Budget now for your $150 annual membership to the Associated Press Media Editors.

With more than 1,600 participants and 200 supporting members, APME continues to be the practical voice for news leaders.

Take advantage of our special holiday offer. You can choose to pay $75 now and the other $75 during the first quarter of next year. This offer will expire in January.

The benefits will outweigh the $150 cost of membership. You'll receive substantial discounts for the annual conference, APME journalism contests and APME webinars

But there’s more:

• APME brings together news leaders from all sizes of publications and broadcast stations.

• The APME board of directors has dedicated seats for small newspapers, online and broadcast.

• Myriad programs, such as Sounding Board, help keep the lines of communication open with AP.

• News leaders can tap into AP resources on national projects, such as Broken Budgets and Aging America.

• Your newsroom can benefit from training that comes to you through NewsTrain and state APME organizations.

• APME is leading the First Amendment charge through its active committee work and with the help and resources of the AP.

• APME and APPM are at the forefront of the sports credentialing questions.

• Your organization can gain from Credibility Roundtables that offer research and insight into online issues nationwide.

• You can get great advice from the trenches.

Great Ideas program and the Innovator of the Month contest help to keep the ideas rolling all year long.

• For educators: Access to the newsroom and broadcast leaders who do the hiring.

• Weekly APME Update with news from around the industry and the AP.

APME News, the quarterly magazine that offers industry insight and guidance.

• The annual conference is held with Associated Press Photo Editors.

• Trade ideas and ask for advice from your peers at facebook.com/apmenews.

Sign up now for 2012 at: http://www.apme.com/?page=Join_Renew

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Looking for Your Ideas: 2012 APME Annual Conference

Let us know what you’d like to see on the program at next year's annual conference Sept. 19-21 at the John Seigenthaler Center on the campus of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn.

Among the highlights: a performance by Freedom Sings, the group that tells the story of the First Amendment through music that has been banned or censored or sounded a trumpet for social change.

Send us your ideas by Twitter @APMEsings2012 or through our comment form at http://www.apme.com/general/?type=CONTACT

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NEWSTRAIN: Interested In Hosting a 2012 Workshop?

Would you like to have a NewsTrain workshop in your area next year?

Check the APME web page on what it takes to have a NewsTrain in your area. Then contact NewsTrain project director Michael Roberts with your thoughts.

NewsTrain workshops are changing to better meet specific needs in each location.

Planning now includes a local needs assessment to identify where and how training can have a significant impact. Work with Michael Roberts on training for print, online, and broadcast journalists, from frontline staff to department heads and senior managers.

Locations for 2012 will be selected soon to begin the planning process. Please consider your needs and how a NewsTrain workshop might help.

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APME50: Reaching Out to All 50 States

APME50 is our new initiative, reaching out to active editors and broadcast news directors on state boards across the country.

Our goal is to connect with more editors and let them know about APME training opportunities, the AP-APME national reporting initiatives, innovative work and more.

"We'll reach out in a personal way to the newspaper and broadcast editors' boards in each state and offer a helping hand,” said APME president Bob Heisse.

Nearly every state is covered in this effort that will start in November, but a few are missing in action. We're looking for lead editors in New York, Nevada, Minnesota, North Dakota, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, Massachusetts and Maine. If you can help please contact our co-chairs.

For more information or to get involved contact APME50 co-chairs Laura Kessel at lkessel@news-herald.com or Jon Broadbooks at jon.broadbooks@sj-r.com.

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Stay in touch with what other newsroom leaders are talking about and doing on the APME blog

Take a look at the new APME Update blog at http://apmeblog.blogspot.com/.

The blog offers regular updates on APME activities, industry news and more. It’s the latest way the Associated Press Media Editors are keeping in touch.

Enjoy this email update weekly, and then visit the blog for even more.

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Watchdog Reporting

• AP: Child sex abuse declines in U.S. over past two decades
• AP:
USDA targets stores in food stamp trafficking
• Santa Fe New Mexican:
More than 75% of parking fines in Santa Fe go unpaid
• Oklahoman:
Lots of exceptions to Oklahoma’s sales tax
• Newark Star-Ledger:
Campaign cash pays for pricey trip to wedding
• Denver Post:
Unsafe school designed to standard used for sheds shut down
• Austin American-Statesman:
Firm urges outsourcing aid work, then gets contract
• Arizona Republic:
Tax cuts in Arizona seek to woo corporations and create jobs
• Albuquerque Journal:
Prisons official returns to firm he spared from state penalties

• Read all watchdog reports at: http://www.apme.com/?page=WatchDog

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AP Beat of the Week: National Writer Martha Mendoza, Worldwide Staffers

When In the past decade, countries around the world rapidly adopted freedom of information laws, some responding to public demands for accountability, others seeking financial incentives. By the end of 2010, more than 5.3 billion people had the right – on paper – to their government records.

But just how real is this right?

During a stint in Mexico working on FOIA stories with staff there, AP National Writer Martha Mendoza came up with the inspired idea to examine that question.

The project was ambitious, but one ideally suited to the AP's global scope and resources: A team of reporters around the world made requests to 106 governments for numbers on terrorism arrests and convictions.

And the results were groundbreaking: More than half the countries with such laws did not follow them, and just 14 of the 106 governments responded in full within their legal deadlines.

There were a number of unusual aspects to this project.

First, its scope. More than 120 AP journalists were involved, making FOIA requests in 105 countries and the European Union, something nobody has ever done before. Mendoza, International Enterprise Editor Mary Rajkumar, and AP attorney Karen Kaiser framed the questions, and Mendoza interviewed more than 100 transparency experts and coordinated AP's requests and responses. Ravi Nessman in India, Charles Hutzler in China and Adriana Gomez Licon in Mexico contributed reports on people profoundly impacted by these laws. Social Media put the entire project on Facebook. Photos, TV, Interactive and Online video all provided rich content.

Second, its transparency. The AP made every document from every country available online. Readers can also turn to the accompanying interactive to learn how to make their own FOI requests in any of the countries with FOI legislation.

Third, its presentation. The project's Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/notes/ap/testing-freedom-of-information-laws-and-taking-your-requests/10150914656220651 – puts everything in the project in the same place, stories, interactives, photos, video. It also invites readers to join in the FOI conversation by suggesting what the AP might want to FOIA next in any country. "If we like the idea, we'll do it," says Rajkumar.

Fourth, the response, which was both extraordinary and global. NPR's "On The Media" and BBC's "The World" interviewed Mendoza. "Great, ground-breaking work," said Ken Bunting of the National Freedom of Information Coalition. "I am not aware of anything as comprehensive ..." More than a dozen blogs highlighted the project, including the Committee to Protect Journalists. On the Facebook page, there have been hundreds of comments, and they're still coming in.

The project was not without its amusing aspects. In China, the team was asked to file a FOI request -- to find out how to use the FOI law. In the United States, the government says it is still working on an FOI request for data on a Greek terror group. The request was filed 10 years ago; the group is now defunct.

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Editors-in-the-News: Tutt, Thomas

Phillip Tutt, a veteran financial journalist who has spent the last 12 years at the Financial Times in a variety of editing roles, has been named Europe business editor for The Associated Press. The appointment was announced last week by AP Business Editor Hal Ritter.

"Phill Tutt is a terrifically talented editor and manager who is ideally suited to drive the AP's coverage of the unfolding story of economic and financial distress across Europe," Ritter said.

As Europe business editor, Tutt will be based in London and will oversee AP business reporters from Paris to Moscow. "Phill has the ability to see beyond the details and help us understand why they matter," said Europe Editor Niko Price. or the past two and a half years, Tutt, 44, has been companies news editor of FT.com. Before that, as chief production journalist, he helped lead a team of 14 editors that produced the FT's section front pages and the Companies & Markets section of the newspaper.

Before joining the FT in 1999, Tutt was production editor at Travel Trade Gazette. He has also worked as an editor for The Times Saturday Magazine and The Guardian.

Tutt earned a bachelor's degree in management and administrative studies at Aston University in Birmingham, England.

The editor of the Traverse City (Mich.) Record-Eagle, Bill Thomas, said he would retire Jan. 31 after a 44-year newspaper career.

"I have enjoyed the past 9 1/2 years as editor of the Record-Eagle, and I'm extremely proud of the accomplishments of my department and of the newspaper as a whole," Thomas said in a story published on the paper's website. "I have been privileged to work with and lead some of the most talented — and hardest-working — journalists in this state."

Thomas, 66, has been the paper's editor since April 2002. The Record-Eagle has won dozens of state and national journalism awards during his tenure. It has been named the Michigan Press Association's Newspaper of the Year in its circulation category for the last five years and for six of the past seven years.

Earlier, Thomas served as executive editor of The Oakland Press in Pontiac and as publisher and editor of The Macomb Daily in Mount Clemens. He also has worked for newspapers in Ohio and New Mexico.

He was president of the Michigan Associated Press Editorial Association for a one-year term that ended in October.

Thomas began his journalism career in 1967 as a reporter with The Record in Bergen County, N.J.

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In Memoriam

George Wilson, former publisher of the Concord (N.H.) Monitor, has died of Alzheimer's disease. He was 74. In addition to his publishing duties, he was chief executive officer of the family company that also owns the Valley News of Lebanon, the Monadnock Ledger-Transcript of Peterborough, The Recorder of Greenfield, Mass., and the Daily Hampshire Gazette of Northampton, Mass.

Former Monitor editor Mike Pride, who went to work for Wilson in 1977, remembered him as a perfectionist in an imperfect world. "No matter how rich the news report was on a given day, a typo, a poorly reproduced photograph or an italic headline on a news story could ruin his day," Pride wrote in a tribute on the Monitor's website. "I kicked the garbage can in my office more than once after a conversation with George. The flip side was that when I made a real mistake, he helped me get past it without losing confidence or ambition for the paper."

Wilson's first newspaper job was with The Washington Post, where he wrote for the women's section. In 1961, he married Marily Dwight, whose family owned the Monitor, and started selling ads for the paper a year later.

Wilson became publisher in 1974 and served on The Washington Post's board. Post Chairman Donald Graham told the Monitor that Wilson was everything that a community would want in a newspaper publisher. "George was as smart as they come and was also as principled as they come," he said.

Wilson retired in 2005.

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Industry News

Read more at: http://www.apme.com/?page=IBNews

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And Finally … Hugh Grant: Non-Murdoch tabloid hacked me in 2007

By JILL LAWLESS
Associated Press

LONDON (AP) — Actor Hugh Grant told a London courtroom about the dark side of celebrity life, describing mysterious break-ins, leaked medical details and hacked voice mails — and laying blame on the entire tabloid press, not just the now-shuttered News of the World.

Grant's testimony to a judge-led media ethics inquiry capped a tough day for Britain's beleaguered press. Earlier, the parents of a murdered schoolgirl whose phone was targeted by the tabloid described how the hacking had given them false hope that their daughter was still alive.

Grant said he believes his phone was hacked by Britain's Mail on Sunday tabloid — the first time he has implicated a newspaper not owned by media mogul Rupert Murdoch in the wrongdoing.

The actor said a 2007 story about his romantic life in the paper, owned by Murdoch rival Associated Newspapers Ltd., could only have been obtained through eavesdropping on his voice mails.

He said he could not think of any other way the newspaper could have obtained the story alleging that his romance with Jemima Khan was on the rocks because of his conversations with a "plummy voiced" woman the paper identified as a film studio executive.

Grant said there was no such woman, but he did receive voice messages from the assistant of a movie producer friend.

"She would leave charming, joking messages ... and she had a voice that can only be described as plummy," he said.

Grant sued the newspaper for libel and won.

Challenged about whether he had hard evidence, Grant acknowledged he was speculating.

"But ... I'd love to hear what the Daily Mail or the Sunday Mail's explanation of what that source was if it wasn't phone hacking," he said.

The Mail on Sunday said in a statement said that it "utterly refutes" Grant's suggestion it had hacked his phone and described his comments as "smears."

Over two and a half hours of testimony, Grant — by turns charming and censorious — described years of tabloid pursuit that began after his breakthrough hit, "Four Weddings and a Funeral," in 1994. Incidents included a mysterious break-in at his apartment during which nothing was stolen. Descriptions of the apartment later appeared in a tabloid newspaper.

He also said an article published earlier this year in The Sun and Daily Express about his visit to a hospital emergency room was "a gross intrusion of my privacy."

"I think no one would expect their medical records to be made public or to be appropriated by newspapers for commercial profit," he said. "That is fundamental to our British sense of decency."

And he said paparazzi had hounded Tinglan Hong, the mother of Grant's baby daughter, despite the actor's efforts to keep his paternity secret. He said he did not attend the baby's birth in late September, but the next day, "I couldn't resist a quick visit."

"There seems to have been a leak from the hospital," Grant said. "They even knew the fake name she had checked into the hospital under."

Grant had initially refused to confirm the baby was his, but earlier this month released a statement acknowledging it. He told the inquiry that the statement — intended in part to rebuff claims he had "jilted" Hong, with whom he remains friendly — had been composed during a phone call with his publicist while he was on a film set in Germany.

"It was not ideal circumstances," Grant said. "I was dressed as a cannibal at the time."

Prime Minister David Cameron set up the inquiry into media ethics in response to an evolving scandal over phone hacking in Britain. Murdoch shut down the discredited News of the World tabloid in July after evidence emerged that it had routinely eavesdropped on the voice mails of public figures, celebrities and even crime victims in its search for scoops.

The inquiry, led by Judge Brian Leveson, plans to issue a report next year and could recommend major changes to the way the media in Britain are regulated.

Grant, who has become an outspoken campaigner against press intrusion, called for a media code of ethics and tougher regulation.

"There has been a section of our press that has been allowed to become toxic over the past 20 or 30 years," he said, urging Britain to find the courage to stand up to tabloid "bullies."

Grant is one of a string of high-profile witnesses, including actress Sienna Miller and author J.K. Rowling, who will testify about how they were followed, photographed, entrapped and harassed by journalists from Britain's tabloids, which collectively sell millions of copies a day.

The first witnesses were the parents of murdered teenager Milly Dowler, whose mobile phone voice mails were hacked after she disappeared in 2002.

Her mother told the inquiry that she believed her missing 13 year old was still alive once she reached the girl's previously full voice mailbox.

Sally Dowler said when she could finally leave a message on Milly's voice mail weeks after the girl disappeared, she shouted: "She's picked up the voice mails! ... She's alive!"

In fact, messages had been deleted by someone working for the News of the World while the Dowlers and police were still searching for Milly, who was later found dead.

The Dowlers said they had been utterly shocked when police told them, much later, that Milly's phone had been hacked.

Bob Dowler said he recognized immediately that the information was "dynamite." News that tabloid journalists had targeted not just celebrities but a murdered girl shocked many Britons and triggered a police investigation and media recriminations that are still unfolding.

The Dowlers took the stand together and spoke in quiet, composed voices during their 30 minutes of nationally televised testimony.
They described their shock and anger when a private walk to retrace their missing daughter's last steps was secretly photographed by the tabloid.

"It just felt like such an intrusion into a really, really private grief moment," Sally Dowler said. The couple said they later realized that their own phone, as well as their daughter's, had been hacked.

More than a dozen News of the World journalists and editors have been arrested and several senior Murdoch executives have resigned over the still-evolving scandal. Two top London police officers also lost their jobs, along with Cameron's media adviser.

Later this week the inquiry will hear from "Harry Potter" author Rowling, comedian Steve Coogan, actress Miller and former Formula One boss Max Mosley — whose taste for sadomasochism was revealed in a widely publicized News of the World sting.

It's a courtroom lineup that Britain's celebrity-obsessed tabloids would love, if only they weren't the ones in the dock.

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ABOUT US: APME Update is published regularly by the Associated Press Media Editors Association. APME Update is edited by Sally Jacobsen. Send submissions by e-mail or call Sally at (212) 621-7007.
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