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APME Update for Thursday, Aug. 23, 2012
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APME Update
APME Update for Thursday, Aug. 23, 2012
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Register for APME Conference, Sept. 19-21, Nashville
• Aug. 18, Deadline for Booking Conference Hotel Rooms at Hilton Garden Inn in Nashville
• Aug. 31, Deadline for Donations for Silent/Live Auctions at APME Conference, Nashville
• Sept. 1, Deadline for Registering for APME Conference, Sept. 19-21, Nashville
• Sept. 13-14, NewsTrain, Toronto
Sept. 19-21, 2012 - APME Conference, John Seigenthaler Center, Nashville, Tenn.
• Sept. 20, Election voting ends for APME Board of Directors


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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 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.



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Frist plans a treat for APME

Nashville's Frist Center for the Visual Arts, venue for the Sept. 19 reception and auction on the opening night of the APME annual conference, will offer conference participants and guests an early look at an exhibition devoted to contemporary artist and photographer Carrie Mae Weems. The exhibition -- the first major museum retrospective devoted to Weems’ work -- will open to the public on Sept. 21. Weems is widely regarded as one of today’s most eloquent and respected interpreters of the African-American experience. The Frist exhibition contains 225 photographs, installations, and videos from more than 15 museums and private collections.

It’s another reason why you should join the Associated Press Media Editors Sept. 19-21 at the John Seigenthaler Center on the campus of Vanderbilt University.

Come to APME in Music City and go home with takeaways for your newsroom.

What does it take to win a Pulitzer? Hear from five Pulitzer prize winners in the very first session.

You need social media help? You’ll be at the right place when we present Social Media Friday on the closing day.

Need to refocus on watchdog reporting? Several sessions, including one from NewsTrain Phoenix by Pulitzer winner

Michael Berens of The Seattle Times, are on our agenda.
Stick in a rut? Find out about innovations going in newspapers big and small, broadcast outlets and colleges, and vote to choose the Innovator of the Year.

Concerned about increasing government secrecy and wondering about the presidential race? Don’t miss out panels that update you on what’s actually happening.

Ever see a performance by Freedom Sings? It’s special. You’ll see one in Nashville.

We can go on, and we will in Nashville. Visit and register now for an affordable conference with takeaways that will help your newsroom.

Register now!

See you in Nashville.


Members can vote now in the APME Board of Directors election

Voting ends 1 p.m. EDT Thursday, Sept. 20

Twenty candidates are vying for a seat on the APME Board of Directors. Seven will be elected at-large, one will win the small-newspaper post, one will become an online director and two will be elected to represent broadcast.

Candidates are:

At-Large Candidates
Newspapers, Broadcast stations and associated media with 35,000 or more circulation

Michael A. Anastasi, Vice President and Executive Editor, Los Angeles News Group
Dennis Anderson, Executive Editor, Peoria (Ill.) Journal Star
David Arkin, Vice President of Content & Audience, GateHouse Media
Mark Baldwin, In transition to new post. Formerly editor of The Republic of Columbus, Ind.
Richard L. Berke, Assistant Managing Editor for News, The New York Times
Kimberly Christ, Senior Features Editor, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Little Rock, Ark.
Chris Clonts, Managing Editor, St. Paul (Minn.) Pioneer Press
Alan English, Vice President of Audience, The Augusta (Ga.) Chronicle
Gary Graham, Editor, The Spokesman-Review, Spokane, Wash.
Monica R. Richardson, Managing Editor, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
George Rodrigue, Vice President and Managing Editor, The Dallas Morning News
Laura Sellers, Digital Development Director, East Oregonian Publishing Co.
Jim Simon, Assistant Managing Editor, Seattle Times

Small-Newspaper Candidates
Newspapers and associated media with 35,000 or less circulation

Chris Cobler, Editor, Victoria (Texas) Advocate
D. Reed Eckhardt, Executive Editor, (Cheyenne) Wyoming Tribune Eagle

Online Candidates

John Boogert, Deputy Editor/Interactive, The Wichita Eagle/
Angie Muhs, Executive Editor/Interactive, Portland (Maine) Press Herald

Broadcast Candidates

Mark Casey, VP/News Director KPNX-TV, Phoenix
Eric Ludgood, News Director at WGCL/CBS, Atlanta News
Elbert Tucker, Director of News, WBNS-10TV, Columbus, Ohio

APME members can vote at

If you have questions, contact Carol Hanner, elections chair.


Want a sneak peek at the APME Foundation Auction?

Donations needed through Aug. 31!

The pre-conference APME Online Auction kicks off. We are featuring 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 conference T-shirts, books, as well as an APME memberships and conference registrations.

Nashville conference T-shirts are on sale now! go to the auction page to reserve yours today!
We are still need more great auction packages and prizes for the conference.

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.

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 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.

To bid and see a preview, click here.


Toronto NewsTrain Planned for September

NewsTrain will be in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on Sept. 13-14 for a two-day workshop. NewsTrain is sponsored by APME and this workshop is hosted by Metroland Media Group and Newspapers Canada, with representatives from Canadian Press, Ontario Community Newspapers Association, The Toronto Star, and Ryerson University serving on the planning committee.

Location & times: Toronto Star Press Centre, 1 Century Place, Woodbridge, ON, L4L 8R2. Sept. 13-14, 2012.

Registration: Registration is $50. Register on the APME web site at via this link. Deadline is Sept. 5.

Questions? Contact:

Michael Roberts, NewsTrain Project Director,

Tina Ongkeko, Newspapers Canada,; 1-877-305-2262 ext. 325.


Planning & Coaching Content for Multiple Platforms: How staff and managers can develop clear standards and SOPs to produce a consistent – and growing – body of quality content across platforms. The focus is on building a strong set of online tools for covering your community and how to enable everyone on staff – reporters, editors, online producers, visual journalists -- to use the tools effectively.

Continuous Coverage: Once your set of online tools is in place, how to plan and manage continuous news coverage across digital and print platforms, and create content specifically for the web and print. This program offers a model for developing a story online and then using print to offer more.

Smart Phones for Journalists: A program on many basic (and free) tools reporters and other mobile journalists with smart phones can use to capture and post news and images from the field. Includes gear, apps, free software, reference materials, and easy-to-use web platforms. Bring your smart phones for demos and practice.

Social Media: Creating Brands: How to use social media to engage readers, bring them to your web site, and along the way create strong news-oriented brands for individuals and your newsroom as a whole.

Social Media: Tap Into the Crowd: How reporters and editors can use social media as a reporting tool when faced with breaking news or enterprise projects. Includes how to use social media to locate sources, for "crowdsourcing,” how to use advanced search features on major social media sites , and how to curate social media content to augment your own content.

The Seven Habits of Effective FOI Filers: How to develop regular, systematic filings of FOI requests to hold governments and officials to account -- and to produce exclusive, investigative stories. Includes advice on framing effective FOI requests.

Impact Stories: In the constant stream of instant news, readers still want stories that explain the impact of the news on them. Increasingly, impact stories are the primary role of the daily newspaper. This program for reporters and editors examines the difference between a breaking news story and an impact story, how to frame an impact story, then report, write, and edit so "impact” is the primary focus, even across different types of stories.

Video 1: Effective Shooting: Shooting effectively and efficiently makes it much easier to quickly edit and post high-quality video. This session offers a model for anticipating and capturing the visuals and sound needed for good video. Includes simple standards for framing, lighting, and sound, whether using a video camera or point-and-shoot / Flip-style camera, and the use of a "shot list” for planning and coaching.

Video 2: Video Story Forms: Many newsrooms start out shooting video that resembles the basic TV news segment. But there are more video story forms that can be used to deliver different kinds of video, including video that will have a much longer shelf life on your web site. Examples of video story forms, standards for each, and how each newsroom can and should develop its own set of forms to improve planning, communication, and execution of video.


Mandy Jenkins is Digital Projects Editor for Digital First Media. Her new duties involve work with papers on special projects, digital strategy and breaking news strategies. Previously she was the Washington D.C. Social News Editor for the Huffington Post; Social Media Editor for the startup; Digital Content Editor / Social Media & Projects at the Cincinnati Enquirer; Social Media Editor and Online Special Projects Editor, Cincinnati Enquirer; and an online news producer, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. She also writes the Zombie Journalism blog on digital media.

Kathy Kieliszewski, Deputy Director of Photo and Video for the Detroit Free Press, is a four-time National Emmy Award winning video producer. Most recently, she and her staff were also awarded a National Edward R. Murrow Award, a Salute to Excellence Award from the National Association of Black Journalists and a National Headliners Awards in Online Videography for the 40-minute documentary "Living with Murder.” At the Detroit Free Press, Kathy oversees daily video production and larger video projects for the newspaper’s website Previously she served as the newspaper's picture editor, and as editor for the paper's 13 weekly community sections. In 2004, she was named Michigan Picture Editor of the Year. Prior to that, Kieliszewski worked as a staff photographer at the Lansing State Journal and The Grand Rapids Press. She is a journalism graduate of Michigan State University.

Dean Beeby has been a frequent user of freedom-of-information laws since the early 1980s. He has a master’s degree in modern history from the University of Toronto, and joined The Canadian Press news agency in 1983, where he has worked in Toronto, Halifax and currently Ottawa as deputy bureau chief. He has been an FOI speaker, panelist and workshop leader at many venues, including the Canadian High Commission in London, the CBC, the Canadian Association of Journalists, Canadian Journalists for Free Expression, Newspapers Canada and the Canadian Access and Privacy Association. He was also a member of the external advisory committee for the federal Access to Information Review Task Force in 2001-2002. He has published four non-fiction books, all of which have drawn heavily on freedom-of-information requests.

Michael Roberts is a newsroom trainer and consultant and Project Director for NewsTrain. Previously, Michael was Deputy Managing Editor Staff Development at The Arizona Republic (2003-2010), responsible for all newsroom training, served as writing coach, and edited major projects. Outside his own newsrooms, Roberts helped create and launch NewsTrain, designed and taught the American Press Institute’s first online seminar for copy editors, and has presented programs for the Poynter Institute, American Press Institute, the Maynard Institute, Freedom Forum, and various National Writers Workshops. Before the Republic, Roberts was Features Editor, AME/Features-Business, and then for 10 years the Training Editor/Writing Coach at The Cincinnati Enquirer. He also worked as a writer and editor at the Midland (MI) Daily News, the Detroit Free Press, and as a senior editor at two magazines. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan and holds a masters degree in training and human resource development from Xavier University, Cincinnati.



AP: Without fixes, social security deficit likely to be staggering
Seattle Times: Law denies health care benefits to other-than-honorably discharged vets
Arizona Daily Star: Arizona border deaths at historic highs even as crossings plunge
Arizona Republic: Mobile dental clinics for disadvantaged youths drawing scrutiny
Atlanta Journal-Constitution: School dropout problem bigger than reported
Miami Herald: Nearly one in 10 missing a month of school
Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: FBI crime audits are shallow and infrequent
Minneapolis Star: Heavy use of medications for pain by football players causing alarm

Read about these and more by clicking here


BEAT OF THE WEEK: Paul Wiseman

In this U.S. election year, it’s the biggest story out there – the economy. But no matter how important it is, explaining the economy to readers in an informative and engaging way is always a challenge.

Business News economics writer Paul Wiseman, based in Washington, managed to do that. But he didn’t stop there: He stepped back and asked a question nobody else was really asking, much less answering.

As the official end of the Great Recession reached its three-year anniversary this summer, Wiseman wondered: What kind of economic recovery has it been? Certainly, the current recovery was unusually weak, probably the weakest in decades. But just how weak, and how did that compare to previous U.S. recoveries?

Wiseman studied a list of recoveries since World War II and decided to concentrate on the nine postwar periods that lasted at least three years. Tapping into the Commerce Department’s database on gross domestic product, he compared economic growth in the first three years of each recovery, determining that the current recovery proved to be the weakest by far.

Next, he explored why, breaking GDP into its component parts to identify the sources of the weakness. The picture that emerged was surprisingly clear: The economy had been held back by historically weak levels of consumer spending, lackluster investment in housing, and record cutbacks by federal, state and local governments.

And still, Wiseman dug further. To provide a deeper explanation for the weakness in consumer spending, he turned to the Federal Reserve’s quarterly Flow of Funds report. That allowed him to calculate the loss of wealth from the housing market’s collapse. And he obtained figures showing that while consumers have been reducing their debts, they still have a long way to go.

Wiseman then compared job growth in each of the nine postwar U.S. recoveries and determined that the current recovery was only the second-worst in job creation, behind the recovery from the 2001 recession. But those numbers concealed a bigger truth: The Great Recession of 2007-2009 destroyed a breathtaking 8.8 million jobs. So, this time, the economy needed to create jobs at a much faster pace than in the past to refill the jobs hole.

To calculate how many of the lost jobs had been recovered in the three years after a recession, Wiseman used Bureau of Labor Statistics data to pinpoint how many jobs had been lost and what percentage of them had been regained three years into a recovery. Again, his findings were stark: Only 46 percent of the lost jobs had been recovered in this recovery, compared with an average of 350 percent in previous recoveries.

Wiseman also used the Labor Statistics database to compare the unemployment rate and long-term unemployment in the nine postwar recoveries. By both measures, the current recovery was the worst.

Over several weeks, Wiseman compiled and updated the numbers. To illustrate the human toll of the agonizing recovery, he used Twitter – with the help of social media expert Emily Fredrix at the Nerve Center – to find a man who has been fending off homelessness and struggling to find for work for three years. He also spoke to Nobel Prize-winning economist Peter Diamond and to University of Chicago economist Steven Davis, who has conducted groundbreaking work on the economic damage caused by political uncertainty.


BEST OF THE STATES: Holly Ramer, David Caruso

Concord newswoman Holly Ramer had been covering the story of an apparently drug-addled radiology technician who was fired from his job in New Hampshire – accused of infecting at least 30 patients with hepatitis C – when she began to hear rumblings that the man had been fired from several other jobs, too.

She suspected there was a bigger story beyond just the incident in New Hampshire and so mentioned it on the East desk’s weekly call with the regional investigative team, piquing New York City newsman David Caruso’s interest. The two teamed up and started delving into the technician’s work history and the system that allowed him to move around the country.

Together, Ramer and Caruso provided the first comprehensive account of how a broken system allowed a medical worker who had been repeatedly fired to keep getting jobs in 18 hospitals in eight states, despite allegations that he used dirty needles on patients and came to work with drugs in his system. The pair couldn’t have pulled it off without help from AP staffers in Michigan, Arizona Washington and NIRC, ensuring the AP was the first to get explanations from every hospital that employed David Kwiatkowski and the first to report on his background and the details of at least one firing.

Kwiatkowski was able to keep getting jobs, Caruso and Ramer revealed, because a medical technician’s work history isn’t recorded by any regulatory boards, the way it is for doctors, even though technicians also hold patients’ lives in their hands. And, in some cases, hospitals were skittish about calling the police because they were afraid they didn’t have enough evidence to make a claim.

Two hospitals reacted quickly, with one citing the story in calling for mandatory disclosure by health-care facilities about problem workers. Ramer’s follow on how the case might give momentum to federal legislation to fix the system also won front-page play.

Interactives also produced a map that allowed users to click on the various places Kwiatkowski worked to see more information about how he hopped around the country.



Sara Burnett, an award-winning political reporter who has covered presidential campaigns and congressional elections in the battleground state of Colorado, has been hired to cover Illinois politics for The Associated Press.

The appointment was announced Aug. 20, by Central Regional Editor David Scott and Illinois News Editor Hugh Dellios. She will join a team of reporters, including Springfield, Ill., Correspondent Christopher Wills, in the coverage of state government and politics in Illinois.

"Sara is a journalist who breaks news, and that's the hallmark of our state government and political report in Illinois," Scott said. "She's a former cops reporter who brings a reporting approach honed on the street to city halls and state buildings, and we're thrilled she's joining our team here in Illinois."

Burnett, 38, is a former reporter at the Daily Herald of Arlington Heights, Ill., where she covered politics and education after earning a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University in 1998.

She moved to the Rocky Mountain News in Denver in 2005 and served as the paper's lead reporter on the 2008 presidential campaign as Barack Obama became the first Democrat to carry Colorado since 1992. In 2011, Burnett joined The Denver Post and was again on the presidential campaign trail this year.

In Illinois, Burnett will be based in Chicago. She will join Wills, Springfield-based investigative reporter John O'Connor and Chicago-based reporter Sophia Tareen to craft the AP's report on one of the nation's most consistently intriguing state government and political scenes.

"She's smart and tough and has great reporting instincts, all of which came together in her excellent work on voting controversies in Colorado and digging inside FBI investigations," Dellios said. "We're really excited about her applying those instincts here in Illinois."

Illinois Chief of Bureau George Garties said the addition of Burnett will reinforce the AP's commitment to providing members of the cooperative with the best and most comprehensive coverage of the state's politics and government.

Burnett graduated from the College of Saint Benedict in St. Joseph, Minn., in May 1995 with a degree in communications and Spanish.

Longtime north Florida journalist Margo Pope is retiring. The St. Johns County Commission in St. Augustine designated Aug. 23 as Margo C. Pope Day, saluting her for her contributions to the county and her 40-plus years in the newspaper business. As a teen, she wrote high school football and basketball stories for the Florida Times-Union and was later hired as a general assignment reporter there after graduating from the University of Florida. She worked at the Times-Union for 18 years as associate city editor, features assignment editor and features editor. The award winning journalist was named managing editor of the St. Augustine Record in 1988. She served as opinion editor there for the past five years. Pope has also been an advocate for the preservation and protection of the city's history and buildings

Lawrence K. Beaupre, managing editor of The Times-Tribune of Scranton, Pa., and executive editor of regional media conglomerate Times-Shamrock Communications, announced his retirement. Beaupre, 67, leaves Times-Shamrock after 12 years. Publisher and CEO W. Scott Lynett said there will be a national search for Beaupre's successor, the newspaper reported on its website. "He has made our papers more locally connected and has taught us all how to better serve our readers and grow our audiences, not only in print but also digitally," Lynett said. Beaupre also had executive editor oversight of seven other Times-Shamrock papers, including The Citizens' Voice in Wilkes-Barre and the Standard Speaker in Hazleton. Beaupre told the staff that Dec. 31 will be his last day as editor, though he will continue working full time through March 31 to help his successor in the transition. After that, he will remain with Times-Shamrock as a part-time consultant for another year. Beaupre's retirement ends a 50-year career in print journalism that took him to papers including the Rochester (N.Y.) Times-Union and The Cincinnati Enquirer. Beaupre was the 1995 APME president, presiding over the conference in Indianapolis.



• NYTimes CEO Thompson to make $5 million per year
• Cheaper junk mail? Newspapers decry US Postal plan
• Tuscaloosa News names interim publisher
• Even with asylum, Assange exit from embassy tricky
• Boost in SD newspaper rates for legal ads blocked
• Two student editors rejoin Univ. of Ga. newspaper

Read about these items and more by clicking here



Burl Osborne, former chairman of AP board, dies

Burl Osborne, former chairman of the board of The Associated Press and long-time executive at Belo Corp., has died.

Osborne, who was 75, died Aug. 15 at a Dallas hospital after a sudden illness, his wife Betty said. Osborne, who lived in Dallas, was a member of the AP board for 14 years, the last five as chairman, from 2002 to 2007. He worked for 25 years at Belo, serving as editor and publisher of the Dallas Morning News, president of Belo's publishing division, and as a member of its board. He retired as publisher emeritus of the Morning News in 2007.

Before joining Belo, Osborne worked for the AP for two decades, starting as a correspondent in Bluefield, W.Va., and rising eventually to managing editor, a post he held from 1977 to 1980.

Osborne, a native of Jenkins, Ky., began his career while still a college student with a part-time reporting job at Kentucky's Ashland Independent, kindling a life-long enthusiasm for the news business.

"He lived it and breathed it and would've paid The Associated Press, and the other outfits where he worked, to do the job. That's how much he loved it," Osborne's son, Jonathan, said.

After joining AP in 1960, he worked as a reporter in West Virginia and Washington state, filing stories that included a first-person account of his dependence on an artificial kidney machine. Osborne later underwent a kidney transplant from his mother.

Osborne headed AP bureaus in Louisville, Ky., and Columbus, Ohio, and was assistant bureau chief in Washington, before moving to New York to take the job as managing editor. But, at heart, he remained a reporter, former colleague Terry Hunt recalled.

Soon after Osborne took over as bureau chief in Louisville, a mine explosion killed 38 men in Hyden, Ky. Osborne chartered a plane and flew to the scene, and spent several days reporting in vivid detail. After filing his main story the first night, Hunt says he relayed a request from editors in New York for a feature. "Give me a minute to look at my notebook," he says Osborne answered, before dictating a poignant story of the miners' families.

Osborne left AP in 1980 to become vice president and executive editor of The Dallas Morning News, a market underdog battling the rival Dallas Times Herald in a feverish circulation war.

"It was competitive, and we were in many respects behind, or we thought we were behind. And so everything we did was focused on doing it better than anyone else could do it with the resources available to us, period, just whatever it was," Osborne said in a 2008 oral history interview with an Associated Press archivist.

The Times Herald closed in 1991, the same year that Osborne became publisher of the Morning News. Belo spun off its newspaper business in 2008 into a separate company, A.H. Belo Corp.

Osborne reconnected with AP in 1993, when he joined the cooperative's board of directors. He became chairman of the board in 2002, leading the board when it hired Tom Curley to be the AP's chief executive and working with Curley to transform AP for the digital age.

"He was a man of a thousand ideas and really saw himself as an entrepreneur," Curley said. "He was the one who wanted to make the digital transformation and really encouraged us to move ahead with our changes at AP. It was really extremely helpful to have someone like that supporting the direction that I thought, and the rest of the management group thought, we had to take. I'm not sure too many others ... would have been as confident about the need to change."

Osborne served as chairman of the AP board until 2007. He also served on the board of newspaper publisher Freedom Communications Inc. from 2004 until the company was acquired and taken private last month, including a year as Freedom's interim chief executive in 2009 and 2010. In addition, he served as a director on boards including J.C. Penney Co. and Gatehouse Media.

Jonathan Osborne said his father had been in seemingly good health until suddenly becoming ill and was taken to UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, where he died. In addition to his wife and his son, a former journalist who lives in Austin, Texas, Osborne is survived by a brother, David, and a grandson, Harry.


AND FINALLY … Burl Osborne: One of the best

The Independent, Ashland, Ky.

While none of the current employees of The Independent worked here when Burl Osborne was a young reporter for what was then known as the Ashland Daily Independent — or the ADI — in the late 1950s, the tremendous impact Osborne had on journalism throughout the United States has long been an inspiration for all of us who came after him. His legacy was one of tremendous achievement gained through hard work, high standards, integrity and a passion for keeping readers well-informed through accurate, unbiased reporting.

Osborne, who went on to become publisher of The Dallas Morning News, died late Wednesday (Aug. 15) in the UT Southwestern University Hospital in Dallas. He was 75. The death was unexpected as his family said he had been in what seemed to be good health until that morning.

Osborne was born in Jenkins but his family moved to Ashland when he was 6 when his father became a line supervisor for General Telephone. Osborne graduated from Boyd County High School and Marshall University’s excellent journalism program. He began working for his hometown newspaper in 1958 while still attending college.

Osborne’s list of awards and achievements in the newspaper industry is long and impressive, but even before his first day as a professional journalist, Osborne was an inspiration for many because of his successful battle over kidney disease. He was diagnosed with life-threatening kidney disease while still in elementary school in Boyd County.

In July of 1966, Osborne received a kidney from his mother, Juanita, who died in 2009. At the time, kidney transplants were extremely rare. In 1994, doctors recommended that the kidney he had received from his mother be replaced, and his brother, David Osborne, then a successful engineer in Ashland, not only gave him a kidney but also endured a bone marrow transplant to reduce the need for anti-rejection drugs. Osborne was the first patient to receive both a kidney and a bone marrow transplant from a living donor, a tribute to the love and courage of the Osborne family.

Soon after leaving this newspaper, Osborne became a correspondent for the Associated Press in Bluefield, W.Va. He rose to become managing editor of the AP, a post he held from 1977 to 1980.

During Osborne’s tenure as publisher of the Morning News, the circulation more than doubled and the newspaper received six Pulitzer Prizes.

"Over the years, the ADI has groomed some great talent, but he (Osborne) was head of the class in my opinion,” said Tom Stultz, another former ADI reporter who went on to great success in this industry and is now the managing director of the Capital & Media Division of JMI Sports, LLC. Tim Kelly, retired editor and publisher of the Lexington Herald-Leader, and former Herald-Leader sports editor John McGill are among the others who began their careers at this newspaper and went on to have tremendously successful and inspiring careers.

No, we never had the privilege of working and learning from Burl Osborne, but we have heard stories about his days at the ADI almost from the day we were first hired. For all of us who came after him, he set a high standard of excellence that we daily try to emulate.


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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