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APME Update for Thursday, Oct. 17, 2011
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APME Update
APME Update for Thursday, Nov. 17, 2011
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Sept. 19-21, 2012 - APME Conference, John Seigenthaler Center, Nashville, Tenn.


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 and broadcast 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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DON’T BE LEFT OUT: APME’s Online Holiday Auction Is Under Way

Hot items: AP’s iconic images from 2011, Pro Hockey Package, Historic NBA Program and Ticket, Gameday Program Signed by Former Dallas All-Pro Linebacker, Seattle Gift Certificate, Great Books and Much More!


Here's how it works: Bid now and bid often. You will receive a reply to your email bid letting you know it was received. But, you need to check back often, since other bidders may try to claim your prize. At 5 p.m. EST, Thursday, Dec. 1, the top bid wins. If you are a winner, we'll notify you to make the payment and get it shipped anywhere you designate in the U.S. (or make arrangements for extra shipping).

Your donation or your winning bid goes directly to help this volunteer organization advance the cause of professional journalism for AP-member publications and broadcasters in practical, meaningful ways.

Check for bidding updates at


Looking for Your Ideas: 2012 APME Annual Conference

Let us know what you’d like to see on the program at next year's annual conference Sept. 19-21 at the John Seigenthaler Center on the campus of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn.

Among the highlights: a performance by Freedom Sings, the group that tells the story of the First Amendment through music that has been banned or censored or sounded a trumpet for social change.

Send us your ideas by Twitter @APMEsings2012 or through our comment form at


NEWSTRAIN: Interested In Hosting a 2012 Workshop?

Would you like to have a NewsTrain workshop in your area next year?

Check the APME web page on what it takes to have a NewsTrain in your area. Then contact NewsTrain project director Michael Roberts with your thoughts.

NewsTrain workshops are changing to better meet specific needs in each location.

Planning now includes a local needs assessment to identify where and how training can have a significant impact. Work with Michael Roberts on training for print, online, and broadcast journalists, from frontline staff to department heads and senior managers.

Locations for 2012 will be selected soon to begin the planning process. Please consider your needs and how a NewsTrain workshop might help.


APME50: Reaching Out to All 50 States

APME50 is our new initiative, reaching out to active editors and broadcast news directors on state boards across the country.

Our goal is to connect with more editors and let them know about APME training opportunities, the AP-APME national reporting initiatives, innovative work and more.

"We'll reach out in a personal way to the newspaper and broadcast editors' boards in each state and offer a helping hand,” said APME president Bob Heisse.

Nearly every state is covered in this effort that will start in November, but a few are missing in action. We're looking for lead editors in New York, Nevada, Minnesota, North Dakota, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, Massachusetts and Maine. If you can help please contact our co-chairs.

For more information or to get involved contact APME50 co-chairs Laura Kessel at or Jon Broadbooks at


Stay in touch with what other newsroom leaders are talking about and doing on the APME blog

Take a look at the new APME Update blog at

The blog offers regular updates on APME activities, industry news and more. It’s the latest way the Associated Press Media Editors are keeping in touch.

Enjoy this email update weekly, and then visit the blog for even more.


Watchdog Reporting

• AP Impact: Right-to-know laws often ignored
• AP: California law allows police to buy weapons unavailable to general public
• Newark Star Ledger: Audit links spending cuts to utility’s poor response to storm
• Commercial Appeal: Inaction on Memphis ordinances costly
• Burlington Free Press: Virtually no oversight of search warrants in Vermont
• St. Petersburg Times: Inside Scientology: The money machine
• Rochester Democrat and Chronicle: Over a third of Rochester students held back a year
• Houston Chronicle: Racial pattern in death penalty in Harris County, Texas
• Denver Post: Sales soar for elected Colorado official who owns electronics store

• Read all watchdog reports at:


AP Beat of the Week: Pennsylvania’s Genaro Armas

When at first he didn't succeed, Genaro Armas just kept trying. Ultimately, his tenacity paid off in one of the biggest scoops of the child sex abuse scandal that engulfed Penn State University and its revered football coach, Joe Paterno.

Armas, the AP correspondent in State College, Pa., had worked hard to build sources within the university and its athletic department.

As speculation swirled that Paterno would be forced out amid the growing furor over how he and the school handled sex abuse allegations against former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky, Armas made dozens of phone calls, sent text messages and emails and knocked on doors of university trustees and key figures in the story. At one point, neighbors mistook him for one of Sandusky's sons and, once he identified himself as a reporter, asked him to go away.

No one would say what effect the scandal would have on Paterno, major college football's winningest coach, who prided himself as much on integrity as success.

The break came as Armas was buying bottled water at a convenience store. He got a frantic call from a source he had texted and emailed earlier in the morning, just checking in. Paterno, the source said, was about to announce his retirement, effective at the end of the season, after 46 years.

The source – a person familiar with the decision – was unimpeachable, so Armas went with it immediately.

It was a clean beat, not matched until the family released a statement on PR Newswire 37 minutes later. The first APNewsNow caused an explosion on Twitter – nearly 280 retweets in 20 minutes, including one by Reuters. Not even the players knew. The team wasn't told for almost an hour.


AP Best of the States: Montana’s Matt Brown

Matt Brown and his competitors knew days in advance that state officials planned to burn an oil-contaminated logjam as the year’s last major cleanup event from the Yellowstone River pipeline break. The burn was the finishing visual touch to a story that has dominated Montana headlines.

The site of the burn was an island in the Yellowstone River, where Exxon Mobil had dumped 42,000 gallons of oil. Brown not only had to observe the burn for his text story, he had to shoot photos as well. Montana has no staff photographer, but Supervisory Correspondent Matt Volz was so confident of Brown’s shooting skills that he knew he didn’t need to hire a stringer.

But how to get to the island?

A quarter-mile away at the river’s edge, there was a boat launch that workers used to get to the site, but they weren’t taking reporters on board. Brown refused to resign himself to shooting and observing from across the river, which other journalists did. Instead, he put on bib waders and hiked the quarter-mile upstream in near-freezing water, at times navigating slippery rocks on the river’s bottom. Carrying his camera and notebook, he waded in water that sometimes reached above his waist.

Matt Wolcott, the official with the Department of Natural Resource and Conservation leading the burn, was impressed by Brown’s determination. Over the course of the day, he took several calls from news organizations asking for a ride to the island. His response: "If Matt Brown made it out here, you can make it out here.”

No other news organization could match Brown’s exclusive photos and the color in his text story.


In Memoriam

Bobby Wilson, a longtime reporter, editor and columnist at The Hawk Eye in Burlington, Iowa, has died at age 78. Wilson had a 52-year association with The Hawk Eye, beginning in 1959 when he began as an assistant sports editor. He still was writing a twice-weekly column about people and events in the arts community. He held many positions at the newspaper and in a column from last year estimated he had "produced thousands of news stories, hundreds of editorials and more than 5,000 columns."

He spent the day before his death at his desk, writing a column. Editor and Publisher Steve Delaney called it "a somber day for The Hawk Eye family."


Industry News

• Utah mayor used alias to write upbeat news stories
• Judge sues Erie, Pa., paper over debt-collection stories
• Iowa trooper fights cameras in court for his case
• Black Press Group to buy San Francisco Examiner
• Johnson City (Tenn.) Press publisher retiring in January
• E.W. Scripps posts 3Q loss as political ads slump

Read more at:


And Finally … UK media inquiry begins. Who guards the guardians?

Associated Press

The press likes to cast itself as society's guardian. This week, the judge leading the investigation into Britain's deepening phone hacking scandal vowed to find an answer to the question: Who guards the guardians?

For years, the British media's answer has been that it mainly looks after itself. But following explosive allegations of pervasive criminality at Rupert Murdoch's News of the World tabloid, Lord Justice Brian Leveson suggested it was time for a change.

"Guarding the guardians is not an optional add-on," he said.

Britain's phone hacking inquiry was set up by Prime Minister David Cameron shortly after the scandal boiled over in July, pulling the lid off illegal spying at the nation's best-selling Sunday newspaper and exposing police corruption.

It's one of several investigations spurred by public anger over unethical practices at the now defunct paper. The long-running scandal has threatened Murdoch's global media empire, which includes the Wall Street Journal and dozens of other properties.

Parallel inquiries launched by police, prosecutors and parliamentarians have called Murdoch to Britain for dramatic testimony before lawmakers, led to more than a dozen arrests and the resignation of several top-ranking Murdoch executives. The resignations included The Wall Street Journal publisher Les Hinton, and Rebekah Brooks, who was at the helm of News of the World's publisher, News International.

The first part of Leveson's inquiry seeks to go beyond assigning blame to individual journalists or newspapers to evaluate the media's wider role. Among the questions on his agenda: Is the press above the law? Is it too close to police and politicians?

Although the News of the World has few defenders, editors and broadcast bosses have publicly voiced concern that recommendations from any inquiry could make Britain's press less aggressive — and less free. Few if any want more government regulation — especially since Britain's press already labors under strict libel laws and contentious new privacy rules.

While inquiry counsel Robert Jay said that the importance of a free press was "almost self-evident," he warned that the media may not necessarily like the solutions the inquiry finds for tricky ethical issues.
"These solutions will not necessarily have been the solutions which the press themselves would have devised," he said.

Leveson said he hoped to have the first part of his inquiry wrapped up by the end of 2012.

He's expected to recommend either scrapping or radically reforming the Press Complaints Commission, the self-regulatory body whose failure to get to grips with the hacking scandal has been roundly criticized. The scope of his inquiry's recommendations will hinge in part on whether illegal behavior is found to have been limited largely to the News of the World or whether it was practiced more widely.

There seemed to be plenty of evidence at Monday's hearing that shady practices were widespread.

Jay told the inquiry — whose proceedings were broadcast live over the Internet — that it appeared that illegal interception of voicemails went beyond the News of the World. He said that the inquiry had seen the names of no fewer than 28 News International employees in the notes kept by Glenn Mulcaire, the private investigator which the News of the World paid to illegally eavesdrop on its victims.

The words "The Sun" — a possible reference to the News of the World's sister-title — also cropped up in Mulcaire's notes, Jay said. So, too, did a name linked to the Daily Mirror, the Sun's left-wing rival, which is published by Trinity Mirror PLC.

Jay said that the evidence on phone hacking pointed to what he described as "at the very least, a thriving cottage industry."

The inquiry was briefly disrupted when David Sherborne, a lawyer for phone hacking victims, said that a Trojan, or data-stealing virus, had been found on his computer — raising the possibly that he was being hacked.

The otherwise cool and clinical Leveson briefly seemed speechless.

"I'm not often thrown, but Mr. Sherborne has managed to do that," he said. Sherborne later said the problem was being dealt with.

Sherborne was one of several dozen lawyers and journalists packed into a room at London's neo-gothic Royal Courts of Justice, with more in a spillover tent pitched into a nearby courtyard.

A handful of members of the public came to watch the proceedings as well — among them Bob Dowler, whose daughter Milly had her phone hacked by the News of the World at the height of the media frenzy over her disappearance in 2002. Although other victims of phone hacking were better known, the notion that the paper had violated the privacy of a missing child in the search for scoops sent a wave of outrage across the country.

Also at the hearing was Katriona Ormiston, a 21-year-old journalism student, who said she was there to see media history being made.
"Obviously it's got quite a big impact on the future," she said.

Meanwhile, allegations of shady dealings at News International continued to rumble on Monday. Roy Greenslade, a professor of journalism who blogs for the Guardian newspaper, said News International had ordered surveillance of a dozen different lawmakers investigating the company's illegal behavior.

News International didn't immediately return an email seeking comment, but the company has acknowledged previously spying on its critics in what one lawyer described as a "mafia-like" intimidation campaign.


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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