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APME Update Feb. 27, 2014
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APME UPDATE – Feb. 27, 2014


March 3, Share Your Access Stories with APME for Sunshine Week
March 31, Deadline for APME Journalism Excellence Awards
April 25-26, NewsTrain, Vancouver
Sept. 15-17, ASNE-APME Conference, Chicago




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 & Record in 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.”

SUNSHINE WEEK: Share Your Open Government, Access Stories, Editorials with APME

APME is marking Sunshine Week, March 16-22, by asking you to tell us about the obstacles in your way to gaining access to officials, records and meetings at all levels of government.

We’re asking you to send us your stories about roadblocks to access in your communities, and we'll post them on our homepage and use them in a special issue of the APME Update. The AP may also use some of the material in its coverage of Sunshine Week.

We also would like to see any of your editorials that have promoted open government and the community's right to know. We will post those too.

We also plan to offer a forum to discuss issues related to open government.

Please send your stories and editorials to: and to by Monday, March 3.

More on Sunshine Week from ASNE
Let us know what you and your organization are planning to do, so we can add you to this year's participants list! Visit to see a roster of participants and events listings.
Many organizations across the country are making plans to host events spotlighting open government, launch special news reports and campaigns and hold other awareness-building activities.
Among the events and activities already planned for Sunshine Week 2014:

  • The Newseum Institute's First Amendment Center, in partnership with, and separately the Collaboration on Government Secrecy at American University's Washington College of Law, will each hold a celebration of Freedom of Information Day with a series of panel discussions and awards presentations.

  • The Reporters Committee will host a panel discussion with prominent journalists and legal experts discussing transparency and the U.S. Supreme Court. Open government events are also planned during the week by the D.C. Open Government Coalition, FOI Oklahoma and the Northern California Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

  • New Mexico State University is holding an infographic contest for students, utilizing the state's Open Meetings Act or Inspection of Public Records Act as the work's focus. The winners will be announced at a public ceremony during Sunshine Week. The contest is sponsored by NMSU alumnus Tim Parker, the NMSU Library and the NMSU Department of Journalism & Mass Communications

  • In Florida, Lee County Clerk Linda Doggett will hold a free public training seminar on how to find public information posted on the clerk's office website. Training brochures and reference materials will be provided to attendees.
APME, ASNE Protest Press Exclusion at Dalai Lama Meeting

APME President Debra Adams Simmons and ASNE President David Boardman protested the White House’s decision Feb. 21 to bar reporters and photojournalists from a meeting between President Barack Obama and the Dalai Lama.

A coalition of major news organizations, including The Associated Press, has protested restrictions that sometimes keep journalists from taking pictures and video of Obama performing official duties.

In a joint statement, Adams Simmons and Boardman, two organizations leading the coalition, said the White House has agreed previously that in principle, there should be independent press coverage whenever the president meets with a major world leader. They said the White House violated that principle by denying access and then releasing its own pictures as a "visual press release."

"Once again, this amounts to propaganda and is not open access by the people's press to the people's business. We are hopeful this will be the last such instance of such unprecedented restriction," they said.

Obama's meeting with the Dalai Lama drew harsh criticism from China even before the meeting took place, and the White House appeared to be taking steps to keep it low-key to avoid further aggravating Beijing. Obama hosted the Dalai Lama in the White House's Map Room, rather than the Oval Office, where the president traditionally brings a visiting leader for a photo.

At the same time, after declining media requests to photograph the meeting, the White House released its own photograph of the meeting produced by an official government photographer.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said he understood the media's interest in covering the meeting with the Dalai Lama, a prominent world figure. But he said the decision not to allow access was consistent with past meetings Obama has held with the Buddhist monk.

"We have been working, as you know, to provide more access to photographers as well as to all of you," Carney told reporters. "In this case, we weren't able to do that, but we have been working on that effort."

He added that it was the Dalai Lama's choice to depart the White House without speaking to reporters who had gathered in anticipation that he might make some remarks.

APME launches Career Center for job postings and job-seekers

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

The APME Career Center is free and focused on journalism.

Visit 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, so if you have suggestions or encounter trouble, please contact Laura Sellers at

New Deadline: APME’s Journalism Excellence Awards

We’ve changed the deadline for the APME awards to March 31.

We’ve also added a new category: Best Mobile Platform to honor a news organization that produced or made significant improvements to a mobile application or platform in 2013.
Four of the categories in the contest offer monetary awards: the Seventh Annual Innovator of the Year Award for newspapers, the Best of Show in the Public Service Awards, the Fourth Annual Gannett Foundation Award for Innovation in Watchdog Journalism and the Tom Curley Sweepstakes Award in the First Amendment Awards.
Don't forget, the entry deadline is March 31.
The awards will be presented at the ASNE/APME Conference Sept. 15-17 in Chicago.
To enter, go to:


Beat of the Week: Caldwell


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Atlanta Journal Constitution: Lobbyists rush to donate before legislature opens
Austin American-Statesman: Booking suspects costly for Austin
Boston Globe: Massachusetts easing rules for some pollutants
Fort  Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel: Everglades drilling concerns deepen
Minneapolis Star Tribune: Drug sentences all over the map
Orange County Register: University of California loses millions in interest-rate deals
The Press-Enterprise: Concerns cloud popularity of electronic cigarettes
Newark Star Ledger: Potential conflict for NY-NJ port authority chair
Houston Chronicle: Oil drilling boom leaves deadly legacy
AP: More U.S. soldiers forced out for misconduct
Los Angeles Times: GPS alerts overwhelm probation system
Arizona Republic: Border Patrol fails to require use of less lethal weapons
Lexington Herald-Leader: Non-emergencies burden 911 system
Norfolk Virginian-Pilot: Army volunteer for almost three years keeps city job
Philadelphia Inquirer: Unlimited, big money flows into race for governor
Palm Beach Post: Insurers offer discount to track your car
Sacramento Bee: Meddling alleged in review of prison death

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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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