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APME Update, July 17, 2014
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APME UPDATE – July 17, 2014


• July 17, Submission Deadline for “Great Ideas Book”

• Aug. 15, Submission Deadline for McGruder Diversity Leadership Awards

• Aug. 22-23, NewsTrain Workshop, Austin, Texas 

• Aug. 29, Deadline for booking hotel rooms at the Hyatt Regency in Chicago for the ASNE-APME Conference 

• Sept. 15-17, ASNE-APME Conference, Chicago

• Sept. 18, Metcalf Institute Seminar on Climate Change, Chicago

• Sept. 20, NewsTrain Workshop, Columbus, Ohio


Enter your nominations for the awards honoring individuals, news organizations or related journalistic organizations or teams of journalists who embody the spirit of Robert G. McGruder, a former executive editor of the Detroit Free Press, former managing editor of The Plain Dealer in Cleveland, graduate of Kent State University and relentless diversity 
champion. McGruder died of cancer in April 2002.

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 are sponsored by the Associated Press Media Editors, American Society of News Editors, The Plain Dealer in Cleveland and the Newseum 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 news content and in recruiting, developing and retaining a diverse workforce.

Announcement of the winners will be made at the joint APME/ASNE convention September 15-17 in Chicago. The recognized honorees each receive $2,500 and a leadership trophy.

Deadline: Material must be received by close of business Friday, August 15th.

Send material to:

Sally Jacobsen, email:


450 West 33rd Street

New York, N.Y. 10001



Learn more about video storytelling, data journalism, viral content and change management at NewsTrain in Austin, Texas, on Aug. 22-23. Registration -- just $75 for two full days of training -- is now open at You can also get information there on a discounted hotel rate and diversity scholarships for the workshop at the University of Texas.

Your instructors are:

• Linda Austin, project director for NewsTrain. She will help you create more time for watchdog reporting with a proven technique called beat mapping.

• Meg Downey, former managing editor of The Tennessean in Nashville. She will offer techniques for planning and coaching content across platforms and for managing and surviving change in the newsroom.

• Kathy Kieliszewski, director of photography and video at the Detroit Free Press. She will introduce you to efficient video story forms for digital platforms and provide tips to shoot more effective video on your smartphone.

• Paul Overberg, database editor for USA Today. He will demystify data journalism, including directing you to data and documents in your community that will translate into enterprising stories.

• Shazna Nessa, former deputy managing editor of editorial products and innovations at The Associated Press. She will help you apply the research on what makes content go viral and also get ready for the next big disruptive changes in news.

Registration is also open for NewsTrain in Columbus, Ohio, on Sept. 20. Topics include social media, video storytelling and data-driven enterprise. A discounted hotel rate and diversity scholarships are also available for this daylong workshop at The Columbus Dispatch. More information and sign-up are at

To keep up with NewsTrain, follow us @NewsTrain on Twitter or like us on Facebook.


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 wih 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.


Exciting program in Chicago!

Join us for the ASNE-APME conference Sept. 15-17 at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Chicago. It's the first time the leading organizations for news leaders are gathering to toast journalism then, now and into the future.

The conference theme is Fast Forward, and it meshes with a packed program that features media thought leaders and digital innovators. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is expected to welcome attendees, and the conference will quickly evolve into a powerful program on leading change.

Key themes are: leadership on Monday, Sept. 15; innovation and engagement on Tuesday, Sept. 16; and values on Wednesday, Sept. 17.

Among the highlights:
• In the kickoff session, Tom Rosenstiel, executive director of the American Press Institute, and Amy Webb, CEO of WebbMedia Group, examine the trends and issues facing newsroom leaders.

• Join us for a conversation with Jim Bankoff, CEO of Vox Media, as we examine the new news ecology and what we can learn from startups.

• What does innovation mean? Find out from leading news innovators, including Raju Narisetti of News Corp., Miranda Mulligan of Northwestern's Knight Innovation Lab and Chuck Peters of The Gazette Company of Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

• An all-star panel will examine mobile realities, including how to win at social media.

• Butch Ward and Jill Geisler of The Poynter Institute will lead a discussion on leadership qualities.

• Penny Muse Abernathy, author of "Saving Community Journalism," is featured in a session for news leaders of community markets.

There's more, from your chance to see news innovators pitch for your vote to luncheons that honor the top journalism efforts of the past year. Plus, you'll have a chance to hoist a few with friends, participate in the live and silent auctions featuring a variety of items, catch a baseball ball game or take an evening cruise on the Chicago River.

The conference will start at 1:30 p.m. CDT Monday, Sept. 15, and conclude about 3 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 17. There’s a post-conference seminar on "Climate Change and the News" from 9 a.m. to noon and 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 18, offered by the Metcalf Institute for Marine & Environmental Reporting.

Registration to attend the conference: $250 for members of APME and ASNE; $350 for nonmembers. 

APME members can go to for details.

A block of rooms is reserved at the Hyatt Regency until Aug. 29 for only $189/night. Make a reservation online or call the hotel directly at 312-565-1234. Mention the block of rooms reserved for ASNE and APME. 

Questions? Contact Sally Jacobsen at or Cindy Roe at


Beat of the Week: Mendoza, Sanchez

Best of the States: Burke


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AP: US given heads up about newspaper data destruction

New York Times: Chinese hackers pursue key data on U.S. workers

Los Angeles Times: VA disability claims rise sharply with U.S. encouragement

Baltimore Sun: Warning signs unnoticed at Maryland group home

Lexington Herald-Leader: Rich schools, poor schools

Des Moines Register: Broken emergency response system endangers Iowans

Columbus Dispatch: Rural hospitals losing money due to rising costs, falling reimbursements

Idaho Statesman: Spectacle of Grand Canyon at risk

Washington Post: District of Columbia homeless shelter beset by problems

New York Times: How One College Handled a Sexual Assault Complaint

Appleton Post Crescent: Teen sex assault cases highlight dangers of apps

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Secretive system keeps parole-eligible inmates behind bars

Hartford Courant: Banned donors skirt law

Read more Watchdog Reporting

EDITORS IN THE NEWS: Beelman, Morrison, Smith, Woods, Wallick, Funk, Moser


South Carolina Supreme Court: Autopsy reports are not public

Tribune sets Aug. 4 date for publishing spinoff

Read more Industry News

IN MEMORIAM: Seigenthaler, Dower

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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