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APME Update for Thursday, Aug. 30, 2012
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APME Update
APME Update for Thursday, Aug. 30, 2012
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Register for APME Conference, Sept. 19-21, Nashville
• Aug. 31, Deadline for Donations for Silent/Live Auctions at APME Conference, 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@ap.org. 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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APME’s NASHVILLE CONFERENCE, Sept. 19-21

Special one-day rate for Social Media Friday at APME Nashville

Can’t break away from your newsroom for all of APME Nashville, Sept. 19-21 at the John Seigenthaler Center at Vanderbilt University?

We understand, so we’re opening Social Media Friday on Sept. 21 to editors, broadcasters and educators for a special $35 rate, which essentially covers the box lunch.

About 20 spots are open. Just contact Sally Jacobsen at sjacobsen@ap.org to register.

Here’s the full schedule for Social Media Friday:
8:30 a.m. AP Stylebook moment

8:35 a.m. Political panel
Who's up? Who's down? In what states will Election 2012 be won or lost? An how will social media help – or hurt – campaign coverage? Get the latest insights into this year's general election campaign from a panel of top AP editors and political reporters.

9:35 a.m. Concurrent sessions:

Is There More to Social Media Than Being Liked? Why are we tweeting and hanging out on Facebook when we have a newspaper to put out – and with fewer people than previously. Ellyn Angelotti of the Poynter Institute will moderate a panel discussion on best ways to make social media campaigns effective, how to measure our social media effectiveness, and strategies for using social media to engage more deeply audiences that might help us generate revenue.

You First Saw This on Twitter and Facebook – The methods companies use to get their message out has changed. Find out what they’re doing and why and how well it works, and learn some techniques you might be able to use in your organization. Moderator will be Jack Lail, website director for the Knoxville (Tenn.) News Sentinel.

10:45 a.m. Break

10:55 a.m. Concurrent sessions repeat.

12:15 p.m. Keynote Lunch
Katie Rogers is social news editor for Guardian US, where she innovates the newsroom's daily social presence, plans digital projects and reports using social media. Previously, she was a local news blogger and social media manager for The Washington Post, where she helped create the newsroom's first comprehensive "living document" of social journalism guidelines, trained other journalists and covered D.C. stories as they happened in digital. Before all that, she was a blogger for The Chicago Tribune's RedEye, where she used social media to create a feature that matched job-seeking Chicagoans to employers that is still in effect today. Her work has appeared in The Chicago Tribune, The Miami Herald and The Elkhart Truth (Indiana), her hometown newspaper.

1:45 p.m. Diversity Moment

1:50 p.m. How Do You Measure Success?
Matt DeRienzo, Connecticut group editor for Journal Register Co., leads a dynamic discussion of top ways to measure your social media success.

3 to 3:15 p.m. Closing remarks from incoming APME President Brad Dennison

A highlight of September's conference will come Thursday night, when journalists and guests gather at Margaritaville, in the heart of Nashville's honky-tonk district. There, we'll enjoy music performed by a band whose members have written songs for Ray Charles, Trisha Yearwood, Sara Evans, Martina McBride, Tanya Tucker, and Hootie and the Blowfish. They’ve performed with Ringo Starr, Cheap Trick and Poco. This line-up of talented singer-songwriters, including Bill Lloyd, Jonell Mosser and Don Henry, will play their own songs along with rock and country classics.

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 www.apme.com and register now for an affordable conference with takeaways that will help your newsroom.

Register now!

See you in Nashville.

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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
VOTE FOR SEVEN

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
VOTE FOR ONE

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

Online Candidates
VOTE FOR ONE

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

Broadcast Candidates
VOTE FOR TWO

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 http://www.apme.com/?page=2012_elections

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

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New items up for grabs at APME Auction; more needed!

Donations needed through Aug. 31!

Some new items have been added to the annual Associated Press Media Editors auction, which is previewed online at www.apme.com.

Check out the new T-shirt quilts and more and get the bidding started.

A live and silent auction will be held at APME Nashville on Sept. 19 at the Frist Center for Visual Arts.

A special preview will be offered featuring the work of 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.

All APME attendees are invited to the Frist auction/reception and the Weems’ preview.

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

Right now we need donors – editors and friends of APME who can contribute items for the 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.

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 kim.meader@arizonarepublic.com.

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 see a preview, click here.

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NewsTrian: New Workshop in Chapel Hill, N.C., Oct. 16 NewsTrain Planned for September

NewsTrain will be in Chapel Hill, N.C., on Oct. 16 for a one-day workshop.

NewsTrain is sponsored by APME and this workshop is hosted by the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association, North Carolina Press Association, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Representatives from Winston-Salem Journal, The Associated Press South Region, Durham Herald-Sun, Rocky Mount Telegram, Spring Hope Enterprise, Fayetteville Observer, Hickory Daily Record, The News of Orange, Sanford Herald, The (Goldsboro) News-Argus and Tabor-Loris Tribune served on the planning committee.

Location & times: 8 am-5 pm Oct. 16, at the UNC School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Carroll Hall, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, N.C.

Registration: Registration is $50. Register on the APME web site via this link: Chapel Hill NewsTrain. Deadline is Oct. 10.

Questions? Contact: Michael Roberts, NewsTrain Project Director, mroberts.newstrain@gmail.com. Beth Grace, North Carolina Press Association, beth@ncpress.com.

WORKSHOP SESSIONS

How to Shoot Great Short Video: Demand for short, timely video is high on all news web sites. This program covers how to shoot three of the most common types of short video with a smart phone or simple point-and-shoot camera. The focus here is on 30-60 second video that requires no or very minimal editing and can be posted quickly, when shooting interviews, man-on-the-street reactions, and breaking news scenes. Skills include framing, light conditions, sequences of shots, and more.

Beat Mapping: How to use a technique called "beat mapping” to improve coverage in daily and enterprise work. Beat mapping is used by reporters and editors to outline new areas of coverage, to merge two or more old beats, and to refocus existing beats on topics and issues that mean the most to readers. The process also helps communicate clear expectations between reporters and editors in managing work across print and digital platforms.

Social Media: Growing Your News Brand: How to use social media effectively in sharing news, driving web traffic, and projecting a strong news brand. Includes use of Facebook, Twitter, company and individual accounts, and how to develop an internal social media policy to help guide the growing use of social media.

Social Media: Reporting Tools: Social media sites provide powerful tools for reporters. How to use the main social media sites as reporting tools when covering breaking news, searching for people or companies, and other tasks. Includes copyright and fair use issues related to content obtained on social media sites.

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.

FACULTY

Chad Graham leads the mobile, social media and search engine optimization strategy in the Republic Media newsroom. Republic Media, which includes azcentral.com, 12 News/ KPNX-TV and The Arizona Republic, has one of the largest converged print, TV and digital newsrooms in the U.S. and is the second largest property in Gannett Co., Inc. Its seven social engagement producers work to enhance real-time conversation and collaboration between journalists, readers and viewers across six platforms: print, desktop, TV, social, mobile and tablet. Graham previously served as a business reporter and columnist for The Republic. He has been an editor for the Advocate magazine and a reporter for the Des Moines Register, Hollywood Reporter and The Associated Press. He got his start on Capitol Hill as a press assistant to Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa.

Val Hoeppner is director of education for the Freedom Forum Diversity Institute, based in the organization’s Nashville offices in the John Seigenthaler Center. She oversees multimedia instruction for the Chips Quinn Scholars program, the American Indian Journalism Institute, the Diversity Institute Multimedia Scholars Program and other Freedom Forum academic initiatives. Hoeppner is an adjunct professor of journalism at Belmont University, Nashville. She is an Associated Press Photo Managers board member. Hoeppner is a member of the Native American Journalists Association and serves on the multimedia committee for UNITY, Journalists of Color. Hoeppner came to the Freedom Forum from The Indianapolis Star where she was the multimedia director and previously the deputy director of photography. Hoeppner spent 10 years as the photo editor and a staff photographer at the Argus Leader in Sioux Falls, S.D. Hoeppner has a bachelor’s degree from Truman State University in Kirksville, Mo.

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 taught feature writing at the University of Cincinnati and regularly presented programs at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism, Arizona State University. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan and holds a masters degree in training and human resource development from Xavier University, Cincinnati.

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WATCHDOG REPORTING: SUMMARY OF RECENT IMPACT JOURNALISM

• Arkansas Democrat: Departing lawmakers take trips at taxpayers’ expense
Austin American-Statesman: Overtime, Drug costs cited in EMS budget overrun
Chicago Tribune: Who tests the safety of new ingredients in food?
Miami Herald: Insurance execs raise rates, spend big on themselves
San Francisco Chronicle: Oil refineries are risky business
Cincinnati Enquirer: Aging voting machines concern Ohio officials
Columbus Dispatch: Ohio whittles thousands off welfare rolls
Portland Oregonian: Dark days for solar panel plant, local jobs and taxpayer investments
Post-Crescent: Virtual school students trail traditional students

Read about these and more by clicking here

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BEAT OF THE WEEK: Jim Vertuno

Austin, Texas, sports writer Jim Vertuno had just returned from a trip to Florida and was playing in the yard with his 2-year-old when he got a call from a key source in the Lance Armstrong case.

Armstrong's federal lawsuit against the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency had been dismissed the day before. The source strongly suggested that the cycling champion would drop his long fight, even while continuing to proclaim his innocence, and be stripped of his seven Tour de France victories. If so, Vertuno would get the story first.

Vertuno juggled his vacation plans and over the next 48 hours had more than a dozen telephone calls with the source about timing and delivery of Armstrong's statement.

Other media were after the same thing, and Vertuno knew the key to exclusivity was getting the statement even before USADA, which could leak it elsewhere or make its own announcement.

Finally, Vertuno was told he would get Armstrong's statement about three hours before its release. Still, that wasn't enough to guarantee exclusivity. There were embargoed statements from Armstrong's foundation and others, making the risk of leaks to other media very high.

A half-hour before the release time, Vertuno was back with his sources pushing to move the story earlier. Armstrong had made his decision, Vertuno argued, so there was no point in waiting any longer. They agreed, and Vertuno's APNewsAlert hit the wire seven minutes ahead of anyone else and 34 minutes ahead of Reuters.

It was a beat more than a decade in the making.

Vertuno began covering Armstrong in 1999 from Austin, his adopted home town, and had several scoops over the years. This, though, was the one he really wanted.

Five minutes after the story broke, an editor at a national media outlet sent a backhand compliment: "Hate you." Within an hour, USADA's chief executive told Vertuno the agency would strip Armstrong of his titles – 12 hours before the official announcement.

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BEST OF THE STATES: Tracie Cone

The animal welfare group contacted veteran agriculture writer Tracie Cone, it said, because of her reputation for fair reporting. And what the group offered to share was an

undercover video it had produced showing animals being subjected to inhumane treatment at a Central California slaughterhouse. Cows that appeared to be sick or lame were beaten, kicked, shot and shocked in an attempt to get them to walk to slaughter.

The Fresno-based Cone negotiated the first media access to the video and then plunged into her reporting, contacting the USDA and the company in question, the Central Valley Meat Co. in Hanford, Calif. Later that day, the company released a general statement to the news media saying the USDA had shut down the facility, which the Fresno Bee wrote up briefly and put on its website. But that story soon was knocked aside for the far fuller story put together by Cone, which included quotes from the USDA and the animal welfare group, along with a description of the video.

Cone’s reporting set off efforts by other publications to catch up, but they never did.

She didn’t stop there, though. Working with sources who guided her through the company’s website, Cone scored an APNewsBreak the next day that revealed this one slaughterhouse provided millions of pounds of beef to federal government nutrition programs, including the national school lunch program. It also counted among its clients the In-N-Out Burger chain and McDonald’s. She revealed that $50 million of the $135 million the federal government spent on beef went to the Central Valley Meat Co.

Cone’s coverage resonated particularly strongly with members in California, where agriculture is the biggest industry.

A video package with footage by Gosia Wozniacka and the material Cone obtained from the animal welfare group was one of the most downloaded by TV customers, and still photos were pulled from the footage.

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EDITORS IN THE NEWS

Steve Lovejoy, the editor of The Journal Times in Racine, Wis., plans to retire in September. Lovejoy, 64, has been with the newspaper for 26 years. He was the news editor and Opinion page editor before being named editor five years ago. Prior to The Journal Times (http://tinyurl.com/czava7h ), Lovejoy worked for the Wisconsin State Journal. Journal Times Publisher Mark Lewis said Lovejoy's strength as the editor comes from his commitment to the Racine County community and his strong leadership in directing newsroom operations. Aside from the newspaper's numerous awards, Lovejoy was honored as the first recipient of the Anthony Shadid Award for Journalism Ethics by the University of Wisconsin's Center for Journalism Ethics.

Tom Jekel, a veteran newspaper editor has been named to the top newsroom position at The Republic in Columbus, Ind., and another editor has become a regional manager for it and other newspapers. The Republic reports (http://bit.ly/O4a4U3 ) that Jekel took over as its editor last week. Jekel most recently was publisher and editor of The Times-Reporter in New Philadelphia, Ohio. Jekel was editor or general manager of the Noblesville Ledger and Topics Newspapers from 1993 to 2006, when he became general manager/community newspapers for Indianapolis Star Media, the parent company those newspapers. Scarlett Syse is now the group editor for The Republic, the Daily Journal of Franklin, The Tribune in Seymour and the Brown County Democrat. All are owned by Columbus-based Home News Enterprises. Syse became the Daily Journal's editor in 2000.

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INDUSTRY NEWS

Right-to-know group backs newspaper fighting poll-access

• Postal commission OKs 'junk mail' discount plan

• In royal photo scandal, some see Murdoch message

• Judge to consider Enid newspaper's request

• NY politician's email pushes letters to editors

• Advance papers in Pa., NY to publish 3 days a week

Read about these items and more by clicking here

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IN MEMORIAM

Legendary Vietnam Correspondent Malcolm Browne dead at 81

By Ula Ilnytzky
Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — The phone calls went out from Saigon's Xa-Loi Buddhist pagoda to chosen members of the foreign news corps. The message: Be at a certain location tomorrow for a "very important" happening.

The next morning, June 11, 1963, an elderly monk named Thich Quang Duc, clad in a brown robe and sandals, assumed the lotus position on a cushion in a blocked-off street intersection. Aides drenched him with aviation fuel, and the monk calmly lit a match and set himself ablaze.

Of the foreign journalists who had been alerted to the shocking political protest against South Vietnam's U.S.-supported government, only one, Malcolm Browne of The Associated Press, showed up.

The photos he took appeared on front pages around the globe and sent shudders all the way to the White House, prompting President John F. Kennedy to order a re-evaluation of his administration's Vietnam policy.

"We have to do something about that regime," Kennedy told Henry Cabot Lodge, who was about to become U.S. ambassador to Saigon.

Browne, who died Monday (Aug. 28) at a New Hampshire hospital at age 81, recalled in a 1998 interview that that was the beginning of the rebellion, which led to U.S.-backed South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem being overthrown and murdered, along with his brother, Ngo Dinh Nhu, the national security chief.

"Almost immediately, huge demonstrations began to develop that were no longer limited to just the Buddhist clergy, but began to attract huge numbers of ordinary Saigon residents," Browne said in the interview.

Browne was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 2000 and spent his last years using a wheelchair to get around. He was rushed to the hospital Monday night after experiencing difficulty breathing, said his wife, Le Lieu Browne, who lives in Thetford, Vt.

Browne spent most of his journalism career at The New York Times, where he put in 30 years of his four decades as a journalist, much of it in war zones.

By his own account, Browne survived being shot down three times in combat aircraft, was expelled from half a dozen countries and was put on a "death list" in Saigon.

In 1964, Browne, then an AP correspondent, and rival Times journalist David Halberstam both won Pulitzer Prizes for their reporting on the conflict in Vietnam. The war had escalated because of the Nov. 1, 1963, coup d'etat in which Diem was killed.

The plot — by a cabal of generals acting with tacit U.S. approval — was triggered in part by earlier Buddhist protests against the pro-Catholic Diem regime. These drew worldwide attention when the monk set himself afire in protest as about 500 people watched.

The burning monk photo became one of the first iconic news photos of the Vietnam War.

"Malcome Browne was a precise and determined journalist who helped set the standard for rigorous reporting in the early days of the Vietnam War," said Kathleen Carroll, AP executive editor and senior vice president. "He was also a genuinely decent and classy man."

Malcolm Wilde Browne was born in New York on April 17, 1931. He graduated from Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania with a degree in chemistry. Working in a lab when drafted in 1956, he was sent to Korea as a tank driver, but by chance got a job writing for a military newspaper, and from that came a decision to trade science for a career in journalism.

He worked first for the Middletown Daily Record in New York, where he worked alongside Hunter S. Thompson, author of "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas." Browne then worked briefly for International News Service and United Press, the forerunner of United Press International, before joining the AP in 1960. A year later, the AP sent him from Baltimore to Saigon to head its expanding bureau.

There, he became a charter member of a small group of reporters covering South Vietnam's U.S.-backed military struggle against the Viet Cong, a home-grown communist insurgency.

Within the year he was joined in Saigon by photographer Horst Faas and reporter Peter Arnett. By 1966, all three members of what a competitor called the AP's "human wave" had earned Pulitzer Prizes — one of journalism's highest honors — for Vietnam coverage.

Writing about official corruption and military incompetence, the group — which also included the Times' Halberstam, Neil Sheehan of UPI, Charles Mohr of Time magazine, Nick Turner of Reuters and others — were accused by critics in Vietnam and Washington of aiding the communist cause.

At one news briefing, Browne's persistent questions prompted an exasperated U.S. officer to ask, "Browne, why don't you get on the team?"

Browne, like some of his peers, initially saw the U.S. commitment to helping the beleaguered Saigon government as a reasonable idea.

In his 1993 memoir, "Muddy Boots and Red Socks," Browne said he "did not go to Vietnam harboring any opposition to America's role in the Vietnamese civil war" but became disillusioned by the Kennedy administration's secretive "shadow war" concealing the extent of U.S. involvement.

Amid the furor over tendentious coverage, some reporters claimed to have received death threats, and Browne said his name was among those on a list of "supposed enemies of (South Vietnam) who had to be eliminated."

In the 1998 interview, he said that he "never took that seriously" but that when South Vietnam government agents tried to arrest his wife, who had angered officials by quitting her information ministry job, Browne stared them down by standing in his doorway brandishing a souvenir submachine gun.

Tall, lanky and blond, Browne was a cerebral and eccentric character with a penchant for red socks — they were easy to match, he explained — and an acerbic wit befitting his grandfather's cousin, Oscar Wilde.

He ridiculed the word "media," for example, as "that dreadful Latin plural our detractors use when they really mean "scum."

Overall, associates saw him as complex, rather mysterious, and above all, independent.

"Mal Browne was a loner; he worked alone, did not share his sources and didn't often mix socially with the press group," recalled Faas, who died in 2012. "And stubborn — he wouldn't compromise on a story just to please his editors or anyone else."

Browne wrote a 1965 book, "The New Face of War," and a manual for new reporters in Vietnam. Among its kernels of advice: Have a sturdy pair of boots, watch out for police spies who eavesdrop on reporters' bar conversations, and "if you're crawling through grass with the troops and you hear gunfire, don't stick your head up to see where it's coming from, as you will be the next target."

South Vietnamese officials censored early news reports but to mixed effects. At least once, Browne sent a story to the AP by surreptitiously taping a handwritten note over an innocuous photo being transmitted to Tokyo.

By 1965, impressed by how television appeared to be dominating the public discourse, the reporter who had never owned a TV set left the AP to join ABC News in Vietnam.

Browne quit ABC after a year over management questions.

After a venture into magazine writing, Browne joined The New York Times in 1968. He worked in Latin America, Eastern Europe and Asia, left again to edit a science magazine, and returned to the Times in 1985, mainly as a science writer. He also covered the 1991 Gulf War, again clashing with U.S. officials over censorship issues.

In addition to his wife, survivors include a son, Timothy; a daughter, Wendy, from a previous marriage; a brother, Timothy; and a sister, Miriam.

Browne will be buried on the family's property in Vermont, his widow said.

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AND FINALLY … Conventions a parody playground for 'Daily Show'

JAKE COYLE
AP Entertainment Writer

For "The Daily Show" correspondents, the national conventions are a veritable playground, teeming as much with targets for satire as they are with banner-waving delegates.

As it has in recent election years, the Comedy Central show is decamping for both the Republican and Democratic national conventions to broadcast a week of shows at each that will — in as close to real-time as "The Daily Show" gets — parody the nation's most extravagant political pageants.

"I cannot overstate just how many balloons are at these things," says a wide-eyed John Oliver, the British comedian who's been a "Daily Show" correspondent since 2006 and "covered" the 2008 conventions.

Whereas "The Daily Show" typically operates from its New York studio, sifting through TV footage for the gaffs, contradictions and inaccuracies of politicians and the media, the show is in the eye of the storm at the conventions.

"It's not easy when you're in the middle of it and there's nothing but goodwill swarming all around you and there's a moving sensation in the air, when you have to be the person going, 'This is slightly ridiculous,'" says Oliver. "People do tend to look at you and go, 'Really? You have to ruin this?' Not ruin it, provide another perspective on it."

"The Daily Show," which will shift its regular schedule a day to broadcast four shows from Tampa, Fla., on Tuesday through Friday, has been covering conventions on-site since 2000. The coverage is usually remarkable for the sense of correspondents running amok, like Stephen Colbert dancing and lip-syncing through the throngs on the floor of the 2004 DNC.

Oliver was so moved by Barack Obama's acceptance speech in 2008 that he crawled on his knees to drink in "the most delicious hope I've ever tasted." In a moment of exuberance, he attempted to kiss a woman. (She demurred.)

At the 2008 RNC, Samantha Bee filed a memorable report where she desperately tried to get attendees to use the word "choice," which many went to verbal acrobatics to avoid, lest Bristol Palin's pregnancy be linked to pro-abortion rights.

"It's always really interesting to me to make note of the things that people will and won't say at the convention," says Bee. "Everyone's receiving the same sort of messaging from day one. When a message reverberates through a whole stadium filled with people, it's amazing to witness."

Though the conventions represent the essential step of a party officially nominating a candidate for the presidency, they function mainly as carefully orchestrated frenzies to inspire voters. Political discourse can be in short supply.

"It's amazing how for campaigns that have so little substance, just how spectacularly they are able to present that nothing," says Oliver. "I think they're ludicrous but I think that's probably objectively true. I think if any American splashed water on their face or was unconscious for 40 years and came back, they'd go: 'What are we doing? And how much does this cost? How many balloons are up there?'"

"The Daily Show" has dubbed its coverage "RNC 2012: The Road to Jeb Bush 2016." Executive producer Rory Albanese says the name isn't meant to suggest Mitt Romney will lose in November but that the Republican Party appears more excited about the possible future candidates that it will feature in Tampa, like Bush and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

"The joke of our convention coverage is the feeling the Republicans have: 'We're not really exciting about this guy, but you know who we are excited about? This other guy, who you'll see in four years,'" says Albanese. "As far as who is going to win the election, you'd have to be CNN to call it this early."

The difficulty of the task, Albanese says, isn't being funny. After all, the show has a stable of funny people including host Jon Stewart and the other correspondents: Aasif Mandvi, Jason Jones, Al Madrigal and Jessica Williams. The hard part is processing the information rapidly, so that the comedy is predicated on actual themes and currents.

For the DNC, which will take place Sept. 4-6 in Charlotte, N.C., Albanese believes a topic will be the lack of message, summing up the campaign as "Hey, those guys are crazier, right?"

Bee describes the improvising nature of the work as "fishing all day," while keeping broad themes in mind. Though one might suspect the correspondents have a harder time interviewing people at the RNC than the DNC, she says the opposite is true. They're more recognizable to liberals.

"It's a little like a 'Star Trek' convention for us," says Bee of the DNC. "It's actually easier to talk to people at the RNC even if they know us because they actually don't care about us. They have a little bit more swagger to be perfectly honest."

Oliver has one reason to prefer the RNC: It's where he met his wife. Four years ago, he, along with a cameraman and producer, were fleeing security when a group of army veterans helped them hide. Last year, Oliver married one of those veterans, Kate Norley.

"I did not go into these conventions thinking I was going to meet my wife," says Oliver. "I didn't even go in thinking I was going to have a pleasant time, and I got a wife out of it."

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