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APME Update for Thursday, June 14, 2012
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APME Update
APME Update for Thursday, June 14, 2012

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June 15, Deadline for Nominations for McGruder Awards for Diversity Leadership
• July 16-17, Community Journalists Symposium
• Sept. 13-14,
NewsTrain, Toronto
Sept. 19-21, 2012 - APME Conference, John Seigenthaler Center, Nashville, Tenn.


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We want your Great Ideas!

We are now accepting submissions for APME's 2012 "Great Ideas" book.

What's a great idea? It can be a new concept for print or online, or a major improvement to something we do every day. This is a chance for your newspaper to show off great work and to help fellow editors by providing ideas that might work in their markets. APME is again focusing on watchdog stories – big and small – because of the difference they can make in the community.

Our "Great Ideas" website allows you to quickly submit entries and upload images that accompanies the Great Idea.

If you have questions, contact David Arkin, GateHouse Media vice president of content & audience, at


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 is an AP-member group of newspaper, broadcast and college education 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.



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


A Pulitzer winner panel will kick it all off. A performance of Freedom Sings will follow.

Great sessions on watchdog reporting, covering the presidential race, and navigating the sports credential challenges will take place, and there will be takeaways offered for every size newsroom.

We’ll vote on the Innovator of the Year, and we’ll hear from the small newspaper that won an APME grant earlier this year to conduct a project.

A day-long focus on social media will conclude it, with top speakers and great ideas presented.

Join us for APME Nashville 2012 at the beautiful John Siegenthaler Center on the campus of Vanderbilt University, Sept. 19 to 21.

There will be fun too. A night and the APME auction at the Frist Art Museum, and a country music night at Margaritaville in downtown Nashville.

And it’s affordable. APME has a $139 nightly rate at the Embassy Suites Nashville, on Music Row within walking distance of the conference site. With a $250 registration rate for members, and within driving distance for many, this is one that will go easy on expenses.

Perhaps plan a weekend in Nashville after the conference sessions. See the Country Music Hall of Fame, take in the Opry, and perhaps see the Tennessee Titans in action on Sunday. What better place to relax before heading back to the office.

Join us at APME Nashville 2012. Register now.



The Associated Press Media Editors, in partnership with the American Society of News Editors, is accepting nominations for the 11th annual Robert G. McGruder Awards for Diversity Leadership.

Two awards are given annually: one for newspapers with a circulation up to 75,000; one for newspapers with more than 75,000 circulation.

The awards go to individuals, newsrooms or teams of journalists who embody the spirit of McGruder, a former executive editor of the Detroit Free Press, former managing editor of The Cleveland Plain Dealer, graduate of Kent State University and relentless diversity champion. McGruder died of cancer in April 2002.

This year, the awards are being sponsored by the Free Press, The Plain Dealer, Kent State University and the Freedom Forum Diversity Institute.

Jurors will be looking for nominees who have made a significant contribution during a given year or over a number of years toward furthering diversity in newspaper content and in recruiting, developing and retaining journalists of color.

Announcement of the winners will be made at the annual APME conference Sept. 19-21 in Nashville, Tenn. The recognized honorees each receive $2,500 and a leadership trophy.

Who is eligible? Individuals, newsrooms or teams of journalists from U.S. daily newspapers are eligible. A nominee's newspaper must participate in the American Society of News Editors' annual employment census.

The awards recognize achievement for the past 12 months or contributions over a number of years.

What are the criteria? The Diversity Leadership Awards honor an individual, a newsroom or a team of journalists for significant leadership in diversity through:

Recruitment: by providing opportunities for journalists of color to learn about news careers and to enter the newspaper industry in internships and full-time jobs.

Development: by offering opportunities for journalists of color to grow in their current roles and to receive mentoring and training to advance to positions of greater authority, responsibility or expertise.

Retention: by ensuring that journalists of color want to remain in the news industry by providing an inclusive work environment that offers opportunities to contribute and advance.

Content: by reflecting a diverse community accurately and in a way that demonstrates community and industry leadership. The definition of diversity in content includes ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, religious background, political bent and physical ability.

Nominations can be made by individuals, newspapers, professional organizations, schools of journalism and others.

Rules for entries: Send a letter (no more than three pages) outlining specific information about the achievements and how they benefited the community, the industry and journalists of color. The letter should include the name of the person making the nomination and his/her signature and telephone number.

You may supplement an entry with electronic clips, but please send no more than four. Send copies no larger than 11 by 17 inches.

Send material by email to:

Sally Jacobsen,
The Associated Press
450 West 33rd Street
New York, N.Y. 10001

Deadline: Material must be received by close of business on Friday, June 15.



The Associated Press Media Editors Foundation needs your help to make our auctions successful.

The silent and live auctions will be held at the opening night reception at the annual conference in Nashville. We'll party at the Frist Center for Visual Arts on Wednesday, Sept. 19. As always, auction proceeds will go to support the APME Foundation and valuable programs, such as NewsTrain.

In August, we will feature some of the great items on the slate in September and allow folks to place an opening bid. We'll also have some online-only items, such as tickets to activities in Nashville, as well as an APME memberships conference registrations. This is a great way to give tickets to events or travel either before or after the conference

Right now we need donors – editors and friends of APME who can contribute items for the online, silent and live auctions. We're looking for anything newspaper or Web-related such as award-winning photos, umbrellas, signed comics and autographed books. Jewelry, art, wine and other libations are always popular sellers. Sports tickets and trips are big-ticket items that bring in the cash. A round of golf at a great course or a weekend stay at a resort hotel would be wonderful donations.

You can indicate the auction to which you wish to donate – maybe you will choose both – on the pledge form. We’ll need donations for the online auction by July 15, and for the silent and live auctions at the conference by Aug. 31.

Follow this link to the pledge form, which should be sent to Kim Meader of the Arizona Republic, NM19, 200 E. Van Buren St., Phoenix, AZ 85004 or e-mail

Once you've made a pledge, we will coordinate with you about where to mail the donation.

Your donation is tax-deductible and much appreciated by APME and its foundation.

Please be creative and generous.

Thank you, Hollis Towns, APME Foundation president.



We are now accepting submissions for APME's 2012 "Great Ideas" book.

What's a great idea? It can be a new concept for print or online, or a major improvement to something we do every day. This is a chance for your newspaper to show off great work and to help fellow editors by providing ideas that might work in their markets. APME is again focusing on watchdog stories – big and small – because of the difference they can make in the community.

Our "Great Ideas" website at allows you to quickly submit entries and upload images that accompanies the Great Idea.

If you have questions, contact David Arkin, GateHouse Media vice president of content & audience, at



Atlanta Journal Constitution: Cheating Our Children: Help on tests can cross the line
Cleveland Plain Dealer: Some connected parked free at Browns games for years
Houston Chronicle: Emails indicate cancer agency sought to bypass scientific review
Kansas City Star: DMV computer system is still making Kansans wait
Minneapolis Star Tribune: Free laptops for kids, big money for tutors
Philadelphia Inquirer: Hotel operators criticize slow Convention Center bookings
The Commercial Appeal: Brownsville factory accused of toxic history
Reno Journal-Gazette: Campaign sign law fine print trips up candidates
Rochester Democrat & Chronicle: Toxins from algae found in New York lakes

Read about these and more by clicking here


BEAT OF THE WEEK: Washington's Robert Burns

National security writer Robert Burns was reading an internal Pentagon document when his curiosity was piqued by a statement by Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, about the military's suicide problem. Dempsey said there have been more suicides than combat deaths over the past 10 years.

Burns went to check it out and, in his customary straightforward and friendly manner, asked a Pentagon official for more information. Dempsey’s statement turned out to be wrong – not even close – for the full 10-year period, but the official slipped Burns a copy of a Pentagon report that spelled out the trend in detail. And it turned out to be absolutely right for 2012: After leveling off the last two years, U.S. troops were killing themselves at a rate of nearly one a day.

It was his casual way of asking for the data, a technique honed in 22 years of working sources, that Burns credits with getting the report, which was stamped "For Official Use Only" and was not intended to be made public.

Burns also interviewed Kim Ruocco, the widow of a Marine major who hanged himself between Iraq deployments in 2005. The Broadcast News Center produced a video package with the interview.

"He was so afraid of how people would view him once he went for help," she said. "He thought that people would think he was weak, that people would think he was just trying to get out of redeploying or trying to get out of service, or that he just couldn't hack it – when, in reality, he was sick."

Ruocco, who now runs a support group that usually gets one or two calls a day, said she had received 20 calls from relatives of suicide victims the day after the story was published.

Burns also cited a statement in a January blog by Maj. Gen. Dana Pittard, commander of the Army's 1st Armored Division, telling soldiers who consider suicide to "act like an adult and deal with your real-life problems like the rest of us."


BEST OF THE STATES: Idaho's Todd Dvorak and Becky Boone

Idaho Correspondent Todd Dvorak and reporter Becky Boone knew they had a right to see the state’s entire process for executing a criminal. But Idaho barred any witnesses, including the media, from seeing prison officials bring the condemned prisoner into the death chamber, strap him in, insert the catheter and begin the flow of saline that precedes the toxic chemicals. Only after that was completed, did Idaho officials pull back the curtain and let witnesses watch the condemned prisoner die. Not only was the principle of access to state actions being violated, but the state was keeping the public from seeing how those steps are completed, and the prisoners’ reactions, which are often a big part of an execution story.

So when Idaho announced its policy, Dvorak and Boone were ready to fight. They rallied members in the state, filed a lawsuit, saw it through appeals and won -- not only winning access to Idaho’s entire execution procedures, but likely those of three other Western states that also limit access.

Boone did her homework, and working with Raghu Vadarevu on the West desk, produced a story looking at the history of how executions have changed and how states have come a long way from the noon hanging in the public square to an almost secret proceeding deep inside prison walls. She consulted with Dvorak, who persuaded member news organizations to get behind the AP in a push to force the state to open the entire proceeding. Dvorak said members were willing to join the fight, with all of them contributing some money to hire local counsel to assist AP associate general counsel Karen Kaiser in pulling together a strong case.

They won, and when the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled late Friday, Idaho newswoman Jessie Bonner was ready with spot coverage that played prominently on the web and in Idaho. The ruling not only opened access to Idaho, but also in Arizona, Washington and Montana.

Tuesday, the state of Idaho executed a man who stabbed a woman to death 30 years ago, and Boone witnessed the whole thing.



Herald-Tribune publisher hired as UF dean

The publisher of the Herald-Tribune in Sarasota is leaving the newspaper to become dean of the College of Journalism and Communications at the University of Florida.

The Herald-Tribune reported that Diane McFarlin is leaving after 13 years as publisher and nine years before that as executive editor. The 1976 UF graduate will assume her new position July 1. She replaces John Wright, who will return to teaching in 2013.

Allen Parsons has been named interim publisher of the Herald-Tribune. He previously worked there as managing editor. More recently, he was publisher of the Ocala Star-Banner.

Gold retires as Review editor; Todor takes over

Sarah Reed Gold has announced her retirement from The Review in Alliance, Ohio, effective July 2. Robert W. Todor, presently sports editor of The Youngstown Vindicator, will replace Gold as editor.

Gold began her career at The Malvern Community News in 1972. That newspaper was purchased by Alliance Publishing Co. in 1974 and she was named editor.

Gold held the editor position until 1993, when The Alliance Review Weekly Division was formed in Minerva, comprising the Malvern newspaper along with The Minerva Leader and The Press-News. Gold was named editor of both the Malvern and Minerva newspapers and managing editor of the weekly division.

From 1986 to 1993 Gold led The Review's Newspaper in Education program and circulated a monthly newsletter to 1,200 teachers in 11 school districts in the area. She also was named chair of the Ohio Newspaper Association's Newspaper in Education committee. Under her leadership that committee earned an excellence award for literacy from Newspaper Association of America, as did The Review's Newspaper in Education program. Gold also earned the NIE national Bright Ideas Award. She was a presenter at the NAA national NIE conventions in Denver, Colorado and Chicago, Ill.

In 2002, Gold was named executive editor of The Alliance Review, the position from which she will retire in early July. She and her husband, Michael, live in North Benton.

Gold's replacement, Todor, has deep roots in The Alliance Review subscription area.

Todor spent his youth in Beloit, where he grew up on a crop farm in Mahoning County. He graduated from West Branch High School in 1979 and graduated from Mount Union College in 1983.

Todor started his writing career at The Alliance Review and The Minerva Leader, eventually covering Mount Union College and high school sports until 1990. Todor was then hired by The Youngstown Vindicator for high school sports coverage and was developed to cover Youngstown State and Ohio State, and professional sports in Cleveland and Pittsburgh.

Writing for The Vindicator, Todor had the opportunity to interview some of the great athletes of our time, including Nolan Ryan, Michael Jordan, Jerry Rice and Annika Sorenstam.

Todor was named The Vindicator's sports editor in 1999 and has remained in that position. Todor and his coverage team won the Ohio Associated Press award for the best daily sport section in the state four times.

Post and Courier publisher retiring at end of year

The editor and publisher of The Post and Courier of Charleston, S.C., is planning to retire at the end of the year.

Bill Hawkins announced that he will retire at the end of 2012 after almost 44 years in the newspaper business.

Hawkins came to Charleston in 2005 as the executive editor of the newspaper and was named editor and publisher in 2009.

Hawkins began working as a journalist in 1968. He was a reporter for the Baltimore Evening Sun and The Patriot-News in Harrisburg, Pa.

Prior to joining The Post and Courier, Hawkins had been the executive editor of The Herald-Sun in Durham, N.C., and vice president of the Durham Herald Co.



• Newspapers fighting Postal Service
• News organizations may not cover CONCACAF match
• New online journalism outlet formed in New Mexico
• 3 Alabama newspapers cutting about 400 jobs
• Mexican journalist disappears, feared kidnapped

Read about these items and more by clicking here



Lebanese journalist Ghassan Tueni dead at 86

Ghassan Tueni, a veteran Lebanese journalist, politician and diplomat who headed one of the Arab world's leading newspapers, An-Nahar, for half a century, died after a long illness, his family said. He was 86.

A fierce defender of Lebanese sovereignty and freedom of the press, Tueni was often referred to as the "dean of Lebanese journalism."

Born on January 5, 1926 to a Greek Orthodox Christian family, Tueni studied at the American University of Beirut and went on to earn a master's degree in political science from Harvard University in 1947. He returned to Lebanon and took over the An-Nahar newspaper, founded by his father, serving as its editor-in-chief and publisher for decades.

Known for his keen intellect and ambitious nature, Tueni branched into politics and served several terms in parliament and as head of several ministries, including higher education and social affairs. He was Lebanon's ambassador to the U.N. between 1977 and 1982 at the height of the Lebanese civil war and is remembered for having stood before the Security Council and delivering an impassioned plea: "Let my people live!"

Tueni was a bold and outspoken journalist whose editorials published on An-Nahar's front page every Monday morning were awaited by many in Lebanon and across the Arab world and landed him in jail on several occasions.

On the personal level, Ghassan Tueni's life was marked with tragedy. His wife Nadia, a poet, died young after a struggle with cancer, as did his daughter, Nayla, at the age of seven. His son Makram died in a car accident in his youth.

His other son, outspoken journalist Gebran Tueni, was killed by a car bomb in Beirut in 2005 while serving as An-Nahar's editor in chief.

At his son's funeral, Tueni stood at the altar and pleaded, "Let us bury hatred and revenge along with Gebran."

Shortly after the bombing, Tueni ran for his son's seat in parliament and won uncontested. In 2008, following clashes between pro- and anti-Syrian factions, Tueni was among politicians who signed the Doha Agreement that ended Lebanon's worst fighting since the civil war.

Former city editor for The Oklahoman dies

Mark Hutchison, Enid native and former city editor for The Oklahoman who battled paralysis with the same incredible vigor he used to exhort reporters into action, has died at 49.

Hutchison struggled with health issues for some time and died at about 11 a.m. in an Oklahoma City hospital, family members said.

The news business is all about speed and Hutchison was a master of instilling urgency in young reporters.

"Hurry!” Hutchison would bark as deadlines approached.

Then he would chuckle as reporters furiously hammered away on their keyboards, struggling to meet his demands.

In one of life’s cruel ironies, Hutchison later would lose his ability to hurry in a tragic 2007 fishing accident. He and a group of friends had gone fishing at a remote spot on the Glover River in McCurtain County when Hutchison slipped, struck a rock, and tumbled into the river, landing face down in 4 inches of water. Paralyzed from the chest down, Hutchison somehow managed to push his nose up out of the water. After 30 minutes to an hour of hollering for help, one of his friends finally heard him and came to his rescue.

Rehabilitation workers marveled at his determination, and in 2009 Hutchison was one of three Oklahomans presented with the Courage Award by the Jim Thorpe Rehabilitation Hospital.

Hutchison said at the time, the accident and recovery had left him a different man — that from that point on he measured life in small triumphs, like holding a spoon, doing laundry, cooking and changing the sheets on his bed without help.

And he made a commitment to spend more time with his three daughters.

Hutchison received a bachelor of science degree in journalism from the University of Kansas at Lawrence in 1986.

He worked three years as a police and area reporter for the Enid News & Eagle before joining The Oklahoman as a reporter in 1989.

Hutchison worked his way up through the ranks, serving as a staff writer, chief of the Lawton bureau, assistant state editor, metro editor and city editor.

Following his accident, Hutchison returned to the newspaper to work as the digital news editor and watchdog editor, before worsening health problems forced him to accept disability retirement.

Longtime Idaho newspaperman dies

Perry Swisher, longtime Idaho newspaperman and former state lawmaker and Idaho Public Utilities Commission member, died in Boise. He was 88.

Born Joseph Perry Swisher in Bruneau, Swisher devoted his life to serving the state of Idaho and the ideals of good government . His work in public service and newspapers took him from his hometown of Pocatello to Lewiston and finally to Boise, where he retired from the IPUC in 1991 after 12 years.

Swisher's professional career with newspapers began in 1943 as the Pocatello News Bureau Manager for the Salt Lake Tribune. In 1952 he became editor and publisher of The Intermountain, a weekly paper primarily serving Alameda, an area later incorporated into Pocatello.

From 1969 until 1976 Swisher served as director of Special Services at Idaho State University before returning to journalism as managing editor of the Lewiston Morning Tribune from 1979 until 1985. He also wrote a column for the Idaho State Journal.

Known as a political maverick, Swisher served in the Idaho Legislature as a Republican in the 1950s and 1960s, on the Pocatello City


AND FINALLY … Prison inmates to transcribe Hawaiian newspapers

Associated Press

A large effort to put 60,000 pages of historical Hawaiian newspapers online is getting volunteers from an unlikely source — Hawaii's prison system.

Organizers and prison officials are pitching the program as a way for incarcerated women to reconnect with Hawaii's rich history and culture — to more fully understand why they see the world the way they do.

Warden Mark Patterson of the Women's Community Correctional Center says most of the inmates there suffered some kind of traumatic event in their lives before committing the crime that got them to prison. He says transcribing the newspapers will help the women make sense of deep-seated anger and other emotions they may not fully understand.

About 30 inmates have signed on to help transcribe newspapers from 1834 to 1948.


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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