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APME Update for Friday, Sept. 28, 2012
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APME Update
APME Update for Friday, Sept. 28, 2012
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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.

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APME Elects Brad Dennison as President; New Directors

Brad Dennison, vice president of publishing for GateHouse Media Inc., was elected president of the Associated Press Media Editors at the group's annual conference in Nashville, Tenn.

As vice president this year, Dennison oversaw APME’s committees, and led fundraising efforts for the 2012 conference and 2013 NewsTrain, the trade organization’s marquee program.

"In 2012, we have sold out every NewsTrain event to date and we sold out the conference,” Dennison said. "Clearly APME is filling a need at the most critical time in our industry’s history. I look forward to continuing our organization’s aggressive evolution and continuing to support newsrooms even as the media landscape changes faster than ever.”

Dennison also noted that APME will be celebrating two milestones in 2013. The year will mark the 80th anniversary of the annual convention, which will be held in Indianapolis next October. In addition, APME will celebrate the 10th anniversary of its national traveling workshop, NewsTrain.

APME – an association of editors at AP's member newspapers in the U.S. and newspapers served by The Canadian Press in Canada, and AP broadcast outlets in the U.S. – works closely with The Associated Press to strive for journalism excellence. APME also supports training and development of editors, as well as initiatives in diversity and online credibility.

Dennison began his career as a reporter for The (New Albany, Ind.) Tribune, near his native city of Louisville, Ky. He then served as city editor, managing editor and executive editor at various community newspapers in Indiana and Georgia, followed by editing position at the Daily Southtown on Chicago’s South Side and the Chicago Sun-Times.

From 2004 to 2006, Dennison served as vice president of news for Birmingham, Ala.-based Community Newspaper Holdings Inc., owner of more than 90 daily newspapers throughout the U.S. In October 2006, he was named vice president of news for then-newly formed GateHouse Media Inc., where he built and oversaw the News & Interactive Division for the company. In January 2012, Dennison was named vice president of publishing for GateHouse Media’s large daily newspaper division, and oversees all aspects of the business of the company’s largest properties.

Dennison will serve as APME president until the next APME conference in October 2013.

Other APME officers elected were Debra Adams-Simmons, editor of The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer, as vice president and Alan D. Miller, managing editor/news for The Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch, as secretary. Adams-Simmons will helm the association in 2014 and Miller will take over for 2015. Added to the APME ladder was Teri Hayt, managing editor of the (Tucson) Arizona Daily Star. She will serve as president in 2016.

Bob Heisse, executive editor of the (Springfield, Ill.) State Journal-Register, completed his term as association president and will become president of the APME Foundation. Hollis Towns, executive editor and vice president of news for the Asbury Park (N.J.) Press has completed his term as Foundation president, and will remain on the Foundation board.

Elected to at-large positions on the APME board were: Dennis Anderson, executive editor, Peoria (Ill.) Journal Star; Mark Baldwin, executive editor, Rockford (Ill.) Register Star and The Journal-Standard in Freeport, Ill.; Alan English, vice president of audience, The Augusta (Ga.) Chronicle; Gary Graham, editor, The Spokesman Review in Spokane, Wash.; Monica R. Richardson, managing editor, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution; Laura Sellers, digital development director, East Oregonian Publishing Co.; and Jim Simon, assistant managing editor, The Seattle Times.

Chris Cobler, editor of The Victoria (Texas) Advocate, was elected as the small newspaper representative and Angie Muhs, executive editor/interactive of the Portland (Maine) Press Herald as the online representative.

Broadcast positions on the board went to Eric Ludgood, news director at WGCL/CBS, Atlanta News, and Elbert Tucker, director of news at WBNS-10TV in Columbus, Ohio.


New AP Chief Stresses News, Business Cooperation

Gary Pruitt, the new president and CEO of The Associated Press, pledged to continue close cooperation with member news organizations on news collection, open government efforts and generating online advertising revenues.

In remarks in Nashville, Tenn., at the annual Associated Press Media Editors convention, Pruitt noted that the AP Mobile news app presents a key area where the cooperative and members can "be business partners today in a way we couldn't before."

"You can be our local partner," said Pruitt, the 13th person to head the news cooperative since its founding in 1846. "AP can supply the national news, the international news — you can supply the local news. And we'll share ad revenues."

Pruitt also announced to the gathering of top editors and news executives that the AP will contribute $25,000 to the APME's touring journalism workshops called NewsTrain as the program enters its 10th year. As newsrooms face substantial budget cutbacks, he said, training "is a very tough issue these days."

"It's not an easy year for AP to make a $25,000 contribution, but it reflects our confidence and our judgment about what a valuable program NewsTrain training is," he said.

Pruitt, who took over the AP job in July, noted what he described as a changing business relationship between the AP and the newspapers that own it. U.S. newspapers currently account for just 22 percent of revenues, while broadcasters represent an even smaller portion, he said. Meanwhile, 35 percent of revenues are generated abroad.

"That doesn't mean you're less important to AP. That doesn't lessen our commitment to you," he said. "Rather, it allows us to serve you completely and affordably by having that diverse business space and growing platform of customers.

"It's only in that way that AP can provide you the most up-to-date, the most accurate, the most complete and the just-plain best news report in the world every day."

Pruitt was a First Amendment lawyer before joining The McClatchy Co. as general counsel in 1984 and rising to the position of chairman by 2001. He recalled "lots of fights" over access to public records and court hearings, defending libel lawsuits and quashing subpoenas.

"AP's great, because there are more places to fight in that way," he said. "And we can be brothers and sisters in arms in the battle to uphold the Constitution."

Pruitt said he looked forward to continuing a strong working relationship with member organizations.

"While the business may change — and it will change, and it's changing right now — our mission doesn't," he said. "Ours doesn't and yours doesn't. And that feels pretty good in these changing times."

Top AP editors also gave an overview of political coverage in a hard-fought election year, plans for upcoming state news coverage, the latest developments in the photo report and the growing role of social media.

Political Editor Liz Sidoti said the AP and other news organizations remain committed to fact-checking the candidates, even though candidates don't appear to modify their behavior when they're caught "spewing falsehoods on a host of matters."

"The candidates every day still are twisting the facts and are outright lying," she said. "Yet we all are providing accountability journalism that's so critical to campaign coverage."

Mike Oreskes, senior managing editor for U.S. news, said the challenge is to contrast the candidates' statements with the facts without becoming "combatants in the election."

"Part of what happens in a campaign is that the candidates know that repetition is their secret and they'll repeat the same thing over and over and over," he said. "And the journalistic tendency is not to repeat anything. You say something once, it's news and it goes away."

Oreskes said the AP is working to provide online features that fact-check material in a more continuous way.

Sidoti warned that a series of new voter ID laws could complicate declaring the outcome of races on Election Day, as the candidates "have huge numbers of lawyers on standby ready to challenge the count in courts."

Executive Editor Kathleen Carroll said the growing number of early and absentee ballots is changing the value of the "fiendishly expensive, very complicated process" of exit polling.

"We spend a lot of time on the forensics of where the votes are out, what our statistical patterns show and we do a lot of research before we make a call on a race," she said. "The complication of when people are voting — and more importantly when those votes are being counted, and having to try to statistically guess how many votes are still outstanding — that's going to be the real dynamic this year."

Kristin Gazlay, the AP's vice president and managing editor who oversees state news, announced that as a result of discussions with members, AP statehouse reporters will be ramping up their coverage of how President Barack Obama's health care law is being implemented.

The goal will be "cutting through the spin and homing in on the issues most pertinent to each individual state," she said.

Gazlay also addressed the growing role of social networks like Twitter and Facebook as reporting and promotional tools for AP journalists, and said those who refuse to use them as newsgathering tools are missing out on a valuable resource.

"It would be like a reporter saying, 'I don't really want to use email,'" she said. "You're choosing not to be competitive, is the message we give."

Carroll stressed, however, that the AP does not use social media as a platform to break news.

"You all pay us a chunk of change to break news to you, and so we do," she said. "And once it's broken to you, we promote it on the social networks."

More than half the world's population sees news reported by the AP on any given day. The not-for-profit cooperative, based in New York and owned by its member newspapers, has journalists in more than 300 locations worldwide, including all 50 U.S. states.

Other announcements made Thursday about awards and fellowships included:

— A new one-year fellowship to foster reporting on the economics of aging and work was announced by Oreskes. Journalists working in text, radio, television or online formats for the AP or APME news organizations will be eligible to compete for the program and work with The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research to cover the economics of working longer. Funding comes from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

— APME said it will rename its First Amendment sweepstakes award for former AP President and CEO Tom Curley, who retired in July. A $1,500 prize is being added.

— The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel won the top Innovator of the Year award and $1,000 from sponsor Gatehouse Media for "Empty Cradles," a series about the death of children before their first birthday. The effort involved partnerships with minority media, community organizations and readers to explore the problem and solutions. Greg Borowski, senior editor for projects and investigations, said the $1,000 award from GateHouse Media Inc. will be donated to the United Way.

— Outgoing APME President Bob Heisse, executive editor of The State Journal-Register in Springfield, Ill., presented President Awards to J. Lowe Davis, executive editor of The Virgin Islands Daily News, a frequent winner of APME awards, to honor her longstanding commitment to public service journalism; and to Sara Ganim, the reporter for The Patriot News in Harrisburg, Pa., who won the Pulitzer Prize and APME honors for her coverage of the Penn State sex abuse scandal.


Three Win APME President's Award

John Seigenthaler, Sara Ganim and J. Lowe Davis received President’s Awards at the annual Associated Press Media Editors conference in Nashville, Tenn.

The awards were presented by outgoing APME President Bob Heisse.

Seigenthaler, a journalist and political figure, is known as a prominent defender of the First Amendment and founder of the First Amendment Center in 1961. This year’s APME conference is being held at the center. Seigenthaler was recognized for career achievement.

Ganim, a crime reporter for The Patriot-News in Harrisburg, Pa., led the newspaper’s Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage of the Jerry Sandusky scandal. She was honored for reaching out to young journalists and for what her work has done to elevate child abuse awareness.

Davis, executive editor of the Virgin Islands Daily News, was recognized for outstanding career achievement. The Daily News is a frequent winner of the APME Public Service award for small newspapers and other awards for its aggressive reporting.

"We don’t usually give three President’s Awards, but all three recipients are outstanding and deserve special recognition,” Heisse said.


APME to Celebrate NewsTrain's 10th Anniversary

The Associated Press Media Editors announced that it is launching a special fund-raising campaign in support of NewsTrain’s 10th anniversary year in 2013, news that was greeted with a significant donation from its partner organization, The Associated Press.

Addressing the conference attendees this morning, new Associated Press CEO Gary Pruitt announced that the AP would be donating $25,000 to NewsTrain for 2013, and called the program "the best journalistic training in the country.”

"APME and NewsTrain are so fortunate to have the Associated Press as a partner,” said incoming APME President Brad Dennison, who announced the "NewsTrain10” program during his opening remarks on Tuesday. "This was an incredibly generous gesture by Mr. Pruitt and I sincerely thank him and the AP for this donation.”

The "NewsTrain10” personal giving campaign is actually aimed at garnering smaller donations of $10 or $100 from those who have attended or been involved in the program over the years, while attaching donors’ names to the program. "Friends of NewsTrain” will be listed in APME Magazine and on the website through the 2014 conference. In addition, $10 donors will receive a special NewsTrain10 lapel pin, while $100 donors will receive the pin and a golf shirt with the NewsTrain10 logo.

NewsTrain is considered APME’s marquee program and is a national touring workshop that has reached more than 5,000 journalists since its inception. Sessions are designed to provide training in the skills, knowledge and information that newsroom leaders need in a rapidly changing media environment. NewsTrain programs can include an array of sessions, including editing a variety of content types, management and organizational development, and innovations in digital media, among others.

In 2012, under the leadership of director Michael Roberts, NewsTrain has sold out each of its three stops to date, including Phoenix, Miami and Toronto. The average number of attendees has been more than 100. In partnership with the Southern Newspaper Publishers Associations, a Fourth NewsTrain is planned for Chapel Hill, N.C., Oct. 19.

NewsTrain donations will be accepted through


APME's First Amendment Sweepstakes Named for Curley

One of the top awards presented annually to newspapers by the Associated Press Media Editors is the First Amendment Award. Each year three newspapers win it, and one is named the sweepstakes winner at the APME conference.

Starting in 2013, the sweepstakes award will be named for Tom Curley, retired CEO of The Associated Press, and the winner will receive $1,500 from the APME Foundation, APME President Bob Heisse announced last week at the group's annual conference in Nashville, Tenn.

Curley led the AP for nine years and was known for leading a corporate push for openness in government.

"The powerful have to be watched, and we are the watchers," he said in a 2004 speech in Riverside, Calif. That speech is credited with helping bring media organizations together to form the Sunshine in Government Initiative, which works to make government more accessible and accountable.

Curley was 12th person to lead the cooperative since its founding in 1846.


NewsTrian: Workshop in Chapel Hill, N.C., Oct. 19

NewsTrain will be in Chapel Hill, N.C., on Oct. 19 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. 19, 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. 12.

Questions? Contact: Michael Roberts, NewsTrain Project Director, Beth Grace, North Carolina Press Association,


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.


Chad Graham leads the mobile, social media and search engine optimization strategy in the Republic Media newsroom. Republic Media, which includes, 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.



• AP IMPACT: Tragedy meant big money for New York minister
AP: Decades of government dollars helped fuel gas boom
Charlotte Observer and News and Observer: Hospitals inflating chemo drug prices
Bergen (NJ) Record: Critics question need for mostly empty police post
Detroit Free Press: Cleanup is coming, but years of dumping poisons a town

Read about these and more by clicking here


BEAT OF THE WEEK: David Caruso, Brett Blackledge

As part of coverage of the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, investigative reporters David B. Caruso of New York City and Brett J. Blackledge of Washington reviewed the operations of hundreds of 9/11 charities and documented instances where groups raising money had failed to live up to their missions. Within days of that story running, a tipster suggested they take a closer look at the Rev. Carl Keyes, the minister running one of the nonprofit organizations.

Blackledge and Caruso ended up looking deeply into Keyes; his church, Glad Tidings Tabernacle; two of his charities, Urban Life Ministries and Aid for the World; and the millions of dollars he raised in the name of tragedy, including the 2001 terrorist attacks, Hurricane Katrina and starving children in Africa.

While working on other investigative projects as well as many spot news assignments, Caruso and Blackledge found themselves faced with an exceedingly difficult task – determining the amount of money Keyes had raised and tracking how those millions had been spent. The problem: Keyes had not been filing any of the required financial disclosure forms for his nonprofit groups. There was a second challenge common in many such investigative reporting projects – part of the Keyes empire operated as a church, which made details about those funds exempt from public disclosure.

Still, the reporters set out to address those challenges. They found a name here, a name there. Then they convinced one source to give them the names of others. The reporters talked to everyone they could find who had worked with, or for, Keyes over the past several decades. In the end, they interviewed dozens of people. Some were willing to share detailed financial records, internal emails, even a formal complaint that had been filed with regulators years ago, but hadn’t led to any action.

Together, the documents illustrated how Keyes had been benefiting personally from his charitable operation, despite repeated warnings from his own accountants, including one who wrote in an email the AP team obtained that "if the New York attorney general were to ever find out, then goodness knows the kind of trouble you and the church could be in, never mind the IRS or the feds.”

Caruso and Blackledge also gleaned important details about Keyes’ personal finances through court and real estate records, which were available publicly. At one point, Keyes’ lawyer threatened to sue if AP reporters didn’t stop contacting people involved in the minister’s organization.

In addition to exploring Keyes’ finances, Caruso and Blackledge also fact-checked stories he had been telling for years about his supposed exploits as a ground zero chaplain after the 9/11 attacks. That reporting led to many people who said some of his tales were fabricated, or based on work actually performed by others.

Even before the exhaustively researched AP IMPACT story was published, , the New York attorney general, alerted by the questions Caruso and Blackledge were asking, opened its own investigation into the minister’s church.


BEST OF THE STATES: Joe Mandak, Michael Rubinkam, Kevin Begos, Randy Pennell, Barbara Ortutay, David Crary

An Army veteran holds a businessman hostage in a downtown office building in Pittsburgh for more than five hours before surrendering. The high-rise is evacuated, but no one is hurt. That's a story, to be sure – but is it best story we could tell? Instead of just covering what had the hallmarks of a routine hostage-taking, discussions among state, regional and Nerve Center players identified a not-so-obvious angle beyond the spot event.

The suspect was posting to his Facebook page during the hostage situation, telling the world in a very public way that he was tired of his life and at the end of his rope. AP's reporting blended the spot news of the hostage-taking with an examination of how the rise of social media offers public platforms that can both help and hinder law enforcement in life and death situations. With social media in the equation, one expert noted, countless people could communicate with the suspect, potentially provoking him "for better or for worse.”

The combined efforts of journalists in Pennsylvania (Joe Mandak, Michael Rubinkam, Kevin Begos and Randy Pennell) and New York (Barbara Ortutay and David Crary) enabled AP to develop a multi-layered story in real time – not a cycle or two later. The reporters worked in concert to pull together the breaking elements, along with the context and clarity that helped the story achieve a deft blend of spot news, analysis and critical look at the new challenges facing law enforcement.

Pittsburgh's Mandak reported from the scene, talking to police and calling in details, including providing material for radio. Rubinkam, in northeast Pennsylvania, monitored the suspect’s Facebook page, summing up his desperate posts. Business News’ Ortutay, who contributed technology expertise and experts, and Pittsburgh correspondent Begos, who talked to law enforcement negotiation experts, also fed context and details to National Writer David Crary, who crafted the story. And Pennell, the breaking news staffer in Philadelphia, desked the story, ensuring it was up to date with the latest information.



Houston Chronicle Editor Jeff Cohen is moving to a new position running the newspaper's editorial and op-ed pages. The Chronicle ( reports that, as executive editor and executive vice president, Cohen will continue reporting directly to Publisher Tom Stephenson. Stephenson says Managing Editor Steve Proctor will run the newsroom while a national search begins for Cohen's successor. The 57-year-old Cohen has been with the Hearst Corp. for 36 years. As the Chronicle's editor since 2002, he directed the coverage of such major news stories as hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Ike and the explosion of the space shuttle Columbia over East Texas.

Tom Gorman has been named executive editor of the Las Vegas Sun. Publisher Brian Greenspun announced the promotion and named Ric Anderson to succeed Gorman as managing editor. Gorman joined the Sun in 2005 as a columnist after a 32-year career at the Los Angeles Times. At the Sun, Gorman also served as assistant managing editor and senior editor/print before being named managing editor earlier this year. Anderson joined the Sun in 2011 as assistant managing editor/business. He left this year to become vice president of audience at AGN Media in Amarillo, Texas, before returning to assume the managing editor post. He previously worked at the Lawrence (Kan.) Journal-World and the Topeka (Kan.) Capital-Journal. The Sun is delivered with the Las Vegas Review-Journal as part of a joint operating agreement.

Lancaster Newspapers in Pennsylvania has announced that Ernest Schreiber is the new executive editor overseeing the daily Intelligencer Journal/Lancaster New Era and the Sunday News. Schreiber, the longtime editor of the former Lancaster New Era, came out of retirement to accept the new position. The company says it has combined its 75 reporters, editors and photographers into a single newsroom, ending what had been separate staffs for the daily and Sunday papers. The papers will have separate editorial page editors. Schreiber says the new organization will focus on stories about Lancaster County and its communities. Robert Krasne, the company's interim chief executive officer, says the newsroom changes are part of a larger effort to improve the company's products and services.



• launches 1st online radio with DJs
• Students to cover Tenn. federal justice system
• News Corp. seeks dismissal of lawsuit over hacking
• Gannett up as analyst says pay walls working

Read about these items and more by clicking here



AP veteran reporter Don Rothberg dies at 79

Donald M. Rothberg, a versatile and respected reporter who covered politics, the Watergate scandal and foreign affairs during a 40-year career with The Associated Press, died after a brief illness.

Rothberg, 79, cut an impressive swath through the capital landscape, blending a reporter's need-to-know instincts with an easy-to-follow writing style that minced few words, laying bare his deep understanding of the corridors of power and the people who wielded it.

Born in Dorchester, Mass., and a graduate of Boston University, Rothberg was a journalistic frequent-flyer, whose writing and reporting pursuits took him across the United States with presidents and presidential candidates and to the four corners of the world with secretaries of state James A. Baker III and Warren Christopher.

He donned many hats in the Washington newsroom — chief political reporter, special investigative team member, diplomatic correspondent, enterprise writer, columnist, news editor. His reputation often made him the go-to man on breaking stories.

"Don loved covering smoke-filled-backroom politics and wanted his stories to give readers a chair in that room," said Kathleen Carroll, AP's executive editor. "No backslapper, he sometimes presented a crusty exterior, the tough news guy, but the barking burst of his laugh was always one of the best sounds in the newsroom."

Rothberg had a smooth but unrelenting journalistic style, and he wrapped his talent around some of the most eye-catching and history-making stories of the 20th century, including the Watergate scandal that toppled Richard M. Nixon's presidency. He was among a handful of seasoned newsroom veterans who could rightfully claim the aura of mentor without ever having to say it.

"Don was an unerring witness to the machinery of Congress in an era when great lawmakers knew when and how to cut a deal," said Jonathan P. Wolman, editor of The Detroit News and a former Washington AP chief of bureau. "He had an instinctive feel for politics — not just inside the Beltway but across the 50 states. He had an unabashed affection for the characters of public life and shared their stories generously with readers."

Rothberg's mastery of the special brand of journalism that is indispensable to covering Washington was obvious in his writing.

"Americans returned to their bullet-scarred Capitol less than 24 hours after a gunman fatally shot two policemen and sent a wave of fear through the national monument to freedom and democracy," he wrote in his account of a shooting rampage at Congress in July 1998.

After college and a tour of duty in the Army, he went to work in 1959 at The Daily Astorian in Astoria, Ore. Rothberg joined AP in Boston in 1961, covering politics and state government. He transferred to Washington in 1966 and was a member of the special assignment team when it won the Worth Bingham award for a series of investigative reports.

He covered Watergate from its early stages through Nixon's resignation in August 1974 and the cover-up trial. Rothberg also covered four presidential campaigns.

Rothberg demonstrated his versatility when he pitched in on AP's coverage of the stock market crash of Oct. 19, 1987 — Black Monday as it became known. And for his efforts, he shared in John Hancock Award for Excellence in Business and Financial Journalism and the Top Performance Award of the Associated Press Managing Editors association.

Although he officially retired from AP at the end of 1999, he wasn't through with news.

"Several years after his retirement, terrorists attacked Washington and New York on 9/11. Unbidden, Don showed up in the bureau and asked me simply, 'What can I do to help?'" said Sandy Johnson, AP's former Washington bureau chief.

Rothberg subsequently returned a second time to serve as news editor for national security coverage during the Iraq war, mentoring younger journalists and lending his wealth of experience to the news report.

Dick Tarpley, ex-Abilene editor, dead at 92

Former Abilene (Texas) Reporter-News Editor Dick Tarpley has died at the age of 92.

Abilene lawyer Beverly Tarpley says her husband died at their home after a lengthy illness.

After graduating from the University of Texas in 1941, he worked at what is now the Wichita Falls Times Record News until he entered the Army Signal Corps in 1942.

He returned to that newspaper after his 1946 discharge, then moved to the Abilene Reporter-News five months later. Beginning as a courthouse reporter, he rose through the ranks before serving as editor in 1979-86. He continued to write a column in the Reporter-News until 1997.


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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