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Feb. 12, 2010 APME Newsletter
APME Update
The electronic newsletter of the Associated Press Managing Editors for Feb. 12, 2010 | Become an APME Member

In this issue:

Online Advertising and News Site Credibility: Feb. 24 Webinar
Newstrain: March 26-27, Chicagoland
Stimulus: Tracking the Spending
Watchdog Reporting: Summary of Recent Impact Reporting
AP's Beat of the Week: Julie Watson, Mexico City
Editors in the News: Anthony, Tatro, Berry
Industry News: What's Going on in our Industry
And finally... "Pulitzer: A Life in Politics, Print and Power"

Dates to Note:



APME and Poynter's NewsU present:
Online Advertising and News Site Credibility
Webinar: Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2010, at 2:00 pm Eastern Time

Make smarter decisions in the delicate balance between ads and news on your Web site. Learn the importance of coordinating ads ? banners, hyperlinked words and displays ? with relevant online news content and how it affects readers. This one-hour Webinar will help you build effective online advertising that doesn't harm the credibility of your news organization or your advertisers.

The managing editor of, Kathy Best, will discuss the results of the APME Online Credibility Project and The Seattle Times Co. study: Impact of Contextual Advertising. She'll point out the highlights of the study and how these ideas have worked at

For more information and to register:

APME members, watch for an e-mail offering a code to allow you to register for $9.95.

NEWSTRAIN: March 26-27, Chicagoland

Editors: Sign up today for our next NewsTrain workshop.

Chicagoland, Friday-Saturday, March 26-27:
Workshop information:
Workshop registration:

To apply for a college journalism educator award:


The Cincinnati Enquirer reports on how last July, Vice President Joe Biden, announced some good news: The federal government had approved $1.6 million in stimulus money to help transform the American Can Building in Northside into new stores and apartments. The project would create 100 construction jobs - proof, Biden said, that the stimulus was putting people to work. Seven months later, the project has yet to make good on that promise. The problem: While $1.6 million in federal money will help the developer clean up the site, the project still needs more than $4 million in private capital to get going, and so far, banks have been unwilling to lend it. Economists say a single project - especially one that represents a minuscule fraction of the $787 billion spending plan - doesn't define the success or failure of the entire stimulus. But the Inquirer says the American Can building is a case study in how the financial system is still broken and slowing the economy's ability to create jobs.


An AP Impact investigation found that among the first cases in a massive battle over illnesses linked to 9/11 nearing trial, several of the initial 30 suits contain inconsistent or exaggerated claims about how the workers got sick or how much time they spent at ground zero. One demolition worker who said he developed health problems after toiling for six months in the toxic ruins of the World Trade Center has actually been severely ill since the 1990s. Lawyers for a police officer from northern New Jersey who died in 2006 claimed in a court filing that he spent nearly 300 days handling debris at ground zero, but his work records indicate that his actual time and duties related to 9/11 were far more limited. During the months the lawyers said the man worked at ground zero, he was recording full-time shifts in Cresskill, N.J.

The Providence (R.I.) Journal reported Rhode Island careened into uncharted territory last week when it deliberately missed one of its own statutory deadlines. In withholding $33.3 million in local aid payments, Rhode Island unceremoniously joined a growing list of fiscally strapped states that have not only cut programs and jobs to stay solvent but in some cases have stopped paying bills and making good on longstanding commitments. The move puts Rhode Island cities and towns at ground zero in a Great Recession battle over budget shortfalls and falling tax revenues and how the state should close its budget gap - projected at $219 million this year and $427 million in 2011.

The Palm Beach (Fla.) News reports D'Andre Bannister, 27, has sat in jail awaiting trial for more than seven years, charged with killing his stepson, 4-year-old Tarquez Woodson, whom police say Bannister beat to death in August 2002 at their Riviera Beach home. Bannister was arrested just one day after his stepson died, but his case has not been heard - an extraordinary delay that legal experts say is nearly unheard-of, even in complicated death penalty cases. Prosecutors and defense attorneys admit the case has been slowed by a series of procedural delays, distractions and momentous personal events in the attorneys' own lives. But they struggled to explain how the confluence of events could cause the disposition of justice to be postponed so long.

A Wisconsin state lawmaker exaggerated when he claimed he received hundreds of letters from innocent people who said their lives had been hurt by an online court database. Rep. Marlin Schneider, D-Wisconsin Rapids, admitted to The Associated Press on Feb. 5 that he overstated his case when he said in a public hearing and a memo to lawmakers that he's received hundreds of letters of complaint about an online court database. The site provides information free to the public about civil and criminal cases filed in Wisconsin circuit courts. The AP filed a request under the state open records law for copies of all the contacts Schneider had received. His office turned over e-mails and letters from just 59 people dating back to 2006. "Maybe it was hyperbolic," Schneider said. "I know that we had lots and lots of complaints. And I think it's the tip of the iceberg." Schneider is sponsoring a bill that passed out of committee last week that would only allow the public to see records of cases where there has been a conviction. He's tried for years to restrict access to the database, created in 1999 and popularly known as CCAP, but this is the first time one of his bills has advanced out of committee, putting it in the running for debate before the full Assembly.

The Merced (Calif.) Sun-Star published "House of Blues," the results of a month long study of the psychological trauma spawned by home foreclosures in Merced County. The impact on victims poses a serious challenge, but recent cuts to state mental health funding make treatment hard to get. About 50,000 Northern San Joaquin Valley homes have been lost to foreclosure since the housing crisis began 3½ years ago, according to ForeclosureRadar. That means about one in eight homeowners has been displaced, which makes the valley the nation's foreclosure epicenter. The project comes out of a partnership between the Merced Sun-Star and the California HealthCare Foundation Center for Health Reporting. The center is an independent organization devoted to reporting about health care issues that concern Californians. It is headquartered at the University of Southern California's Anneberg School for Communication & Journalism and funded by the nonprofit, nonpartisan California HealthCare Foundation.

The Colorado Springs Gazette analyzed more than 5,000 foreclosed properties during a 28-month period from 2007 to 2009. It found record numbers of foreclosure filings in each of the past three years in El Paso County have led to thousands of homes coming back onto the market for sale after they've gone through the foreclosure process - undercutting prices of nondistressed properties, leaving homes vacant for months and creating foreclosure fatigue in several neighborhoods. When those distressed properties come back on the market, they're typically discounted to the tune of about $26,000 below market value, according to The Gazette's analysis. That creates fierce competition; sellers of nondistressed properties often feel compelled to lower prices to match homes across the street, down the block or in the neighborhood, although other factors such as the condition of homes will have an effect, too.

A Tennessean investigation found suspicious indications of female staff abuse of male students at the Woodland Hills Youth Development Center, including a female kitchen employee who transmitted chlamydia to a 17-year-old youth through a sexual encounter, and later lived with another male she had a relationship with at the facility. The employee was cleared in four separate state sexual abuse investigations even after she failed a lie detector test and was convicted of the abuse only after she turned herself in to police. The Tennessean also uncovered a letter to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission from a veteran supervisor at Woodland Hills alleging several incidents of sexual abuse by female staffers. One case, verified in separate documents, involved a guard who continued to work at the facility after she married a youth she had met at Woodland Hills.

The St. Louis (Mo.) Post Dispatch reports how Mothers Against Drunk Driving, one of the best known nonprofit advocacy groups in the nation's history, serves as a model for those wanting to take cell phones out of the hands of drivers. Opponents of distracted driving are facing obstacles similar to those encountered by drunk-driving opponents back in the 1980s. Chief among them is that many people don't see a problem with using a cell phone, or even texting, while driving. This, despite numerous studies, including one in 2005 by researchers at the University of Utah, showing cell phone users' reaction times are on par with those of drunk drivers. For many, it comes down to the simple issue of personal freedom and not wanting to be told what to do. MADD provides both inspiration and a road map for how to use the power of public opinion, political pressure and heart-wrenching stories of lost mothers, sons and daughters to force change.

The Rochester (N.Y.) Democrat and Chronicle is following the debate over mayoral control of schools in Rochester and takes a look at how Washington's mayor and chancellor are working to bring radical change to a 45,000-student school system that has been among the worse performing in the country. Washington, D.C., people on both sides agree, is at the center of the national debate about how to fix struggling urban school systems. As Rochester Mayor Robert Duffy seeks control of the City School District, Washington, steeped in politics and submerged in poverty, provides countless lessons, comparisons and cautionary tales, the Democrat and Chronicle reports.

The Orlando (Fla.) Sentinel reports that its analysis of fourth-quarter distress home sales throughout Orange County found that about 80 percent of them were foreclosures in ZIP codes with disproportionately high numbers of renters and large numbers of families living below the poverty level - mostly black or Hispanic neighborhoods. Distress sales, in which a homeowner is forced to sell a home, are common throughout Central Florida. But affluent homeowners are better able to save their credit by getting the banks' approval to do a short sale, selling the property for less than the amount owed on the mortgage. Meanwhile, low-income areas with high amounts of rentals attract only investor buyers. Properties in those areas are more likely to foreclose, damaging the former homeowners' credit and making it difficult to rent or otherwise recover for years and years. A snapshot by ZIP code is available at

The Orange County (Calif.) Register, for the second straight year, reviewed public elementary school test scores, federal ratings, student data, misconduct figures and other measures to rank the county's 388 elementary schools. In the first of three installments in the Register's 2010 Best Public Schools report, it found the best elementary schools include campuses receiving federal subsidies for high student poverty levels and campuses with parent-run foundations that raise hundreds of thousands of dollars annually. They include sprawling, rural schools where cows can be seen grazing in the hillsides and sparkling, state-of-the-art campuses squeezed on all sides by million-dollar homes and parks and libraries. Issues at the struggling schools are equally clear - overwhelming poverty and huge ranks of English learners, among other factors. But even some of these outrank their peers across the state when demographics are taken into consideration.

The Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk, Va., took a local look at a national scourge: The more than 9 million Americans currently abusing prescription drugs. An undercover Norfolk drug cop says more and more she finds herself busting business executives, lawyers, teachers, gray-haired grandmothers, teenage girls - all caught in the grip of a blossoming addiction to opiates like OxyContin, Vicodin and Percocet. She also has noticed another common thread: "They didn't meet opiates at a party. They didn't start taking them for fun. There's usually a car accident or a surgery somewhere in their background, and they became addicted to their pain meds." In Hampton Roads, drug-seekers plague emergency rooms, organized rings scam pharmacies, and grandchildren steal meds from elderly patients. Clients distract real estate agents in order to scour medicine chests at open houses. Robbers hold up drug stores and completely ignore the cash registers.

The Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch also looked at the illegal sales of drugs, reporting Ohio pharmacists filled 2.7 million prescriptions in 2008 for high-powered painkillers such as OxyContin and Percocet, narcotics that contain oxycodone; that's nearly one for every four people in the state. They also filled 4.8 million prescriptions for hydrocodone medications such as Vicodin, one for every 2 1/2 people in the state. And county sheriffs say their jails are full of people who illegally sold or abused those drugs, underscoring what's quickly regaining attention as a national epidemic. The problem is statewide, but southern Ohio is particularly ravaged. It has landed Scioto County on a federal Drug Enforcement Administration watch list of the 10 most-significant places in the country for trafficking in the medications.

The Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader reports on the acute shortage of doctors in Kentucky and the brewing battle over how to give Kentuckians more medical attention as the state's residents, already beset by a host of health maladies, grow older and sicker, and more people seek care. In one corner: medical schools, which are both adding new slots for more students and stepping up their efforts to train physicians to work in traditionally underserved rural areas. In the other: nurse practitioners, who are pushing for an increased role in serving patients. Increasing the number of physicians is a slow route, entailing getting students through four years of medical school and three or more years of residency. The nurse practitioner way can be controversial. The Kentucky Medical Association opposes giving nurses more authority to do things such as prescribe medication without the supervision of doctors. And the fate of a bill in the General Assembly that would allow them to do so is uncertain.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer, using new data from the U.S. Department of Transportation, reviewed historical airfares from Cleveland and concluded the cost of a plane ticket has dropped in recent years, but passengers probably pay more to get where they're going. Average air fares out of Cleveland Hopkins International Airport last fall were 14 percent lower than a year earlier, according to the new data, and fares at Akron-Canton Airport were down 16 percent. But these days there are additional fees for everything from baggage to blankets to telephone booking, from exit row seats to Wi-Fi access to blueberry muffins. The newspaper's study found that a family of four heading to Disneyland in fall 2009 would have paid combined fares of $1,968 for the round trip to Los Angeles - about 3 percent more than fall 2006. Inflation rose 6 percent during that time. But factor in baggage and other modest add-ons that the mythical family might reasonably choose and costs jump by $496, or 26 percent.

No schools could belong to Wisconsin's school sports association unless the group abides by open government laws under a bill moving through the state Assembly. If the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association doesn't agree, the legislation could jeopardize the organization's popular state championship tournaments in everything from football to swimming. Supporters insist it won't come to that, but they say the WIAA must open up because the organization runs its tournaments at public schools built with tax dollars. Opponents counter the 114-year-old association is private and shouldn't be forced to release sensitive information about student athletes and referees. Under the bill, no school districts could belong to an interscholastic athletic association unless the association abides by Wisconsin's open records and meetings laws. The measure would force the WIAA to either grant the public broad access or lose members. The only group registered in support of the bill is the Wisconsin Newspaper Association. The WIAA is suing that group along with newspaper giant Gannett Co. after a Gannett-owned paper streamed several postseason games. The WIAA contends it has exclusive coverage rights to its tournaments. Open records attorney Bob Dreps represents the newspapers. He argued in a letter to the education committee the WIAA is a quasi-governmental corporation and must abide by open government laws.

The Bergen Record of New Jersey, after analyzing home sales data, reported that families already reeling from news that their health might be imperiled by dangerous chemicals seeping from a defunct DuPont munitions factory may now have something else to worry about: declining property values in their Passaic County neighborhood. House prices are dropping more in the neighborhood bordering the plant site in Pompton Lakes than in the rest of that borough and across the county, the data showed. Moreover, the number of home sales near the site has dropped significantly relative to other parts of town. It's a scenario with echoes elsewhere in New Jersey, a state with a long and troubled industrial past.

A Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel investigation finds that thousands of children from low-income families in Wisconsin are being kept out of kindergarten every year, and the state's subsidized child-care program is a driving factor, turning kids into valuable commodities. The $350 million Wisconsin Shares program lets parents keep their 4-, 5- and even some 6-year-olds in day care centers all day - at taxpayer expense - rather than enroll them in accredited kindergarten programs. In some cases, unscrupulous parents sign up their children with friends or relatives who provide child care. The state then pays the providers roughly $200 a week, and providers give parents a kickback. In other cases, child-care providers offer free gas, free rent, vacation getaways, $1,000 rebates and other incentives to encourage parents to enroll their children in day care rather than school. The lax rules are not only a blow to taxpayers, but to the state's neediest children who often wind up in loosely regulated environments where little learning takes place. Day care providers aren't required to meet the standards of teachers, nor are they accountable for what children learn.

The Stuttgart Daily Leader, a 2,500-circulation, Monday-Friday publication in Stuttgart, Ark. has created two feature pages aimed at public service journalism. The first page is a weekly-run public safety page, on which active warrants for both the city and county are listed. Included in these lists are bond amounts, dates of arrest and charges pending along with information on how to contact law enforcement with tips on these individuals. The page also lists municipal court judgments. These features have proven successful in print and online as a few individuals have turned themselves in after seeing their name and these features have increased online traffic since their inception. The second feature is a re-focused Opinion page that includes a weekly editorial on city matters as well as a "Spotlight on Stuttgart" feature that allows residents to ask the newspaper questions about anything that goes on within the city and provides answers in print. An online arm of this project includes posting specific documents relating to questions, such as the relevant ordinances.


The Beat of the Week awards the individual or team responsible for the scoop or exclusive that does the most to enhance AP's competitive position.

This week's winner: Julie Watson of Mexico City.

When gunmen lined up 18 drug addicts against the wall of a Juarez rehabilitation clinic and killed them, Mexico City's Julie Watson went there looking to answer the basic question, why?

She found a scoop that was chilling even to those accustomed to the routine brutality of the Drug Wars. The drug cartels were taking over - and in some cases establishing - their own rehab clinics as a means of recruiting new workers, taking them at their most vulnerable as they come off drug addiction and brainwashing them into killers. The story exposed yet another horror in the operations of the Mexican drug cartels, and was an exclusive for the AP.

Watson knows Ciudad Juarez. She spent hours roaming around drug rehabilitation clinics in the city, asking why anyone would massacre a houseful of drug addicts. There was talk among authorities and clinic workers that the drug gangs were using the clinics as hideouts and that the spate of attacks had been instigated by one gang hunting for members of a rival gang. To nail it down, she asked Mexico City reporter E. Eduardo Castillo to question Genaro Garcia Luna, the country's public safety chief, in a scheduled interview. He confirmed it: Cartels were running drug rehab clinics in Michoacan and Chihuahua states. At La Familia's "Gratitude Associations" in Michoacan, addicts are brainwashed into becoming hit men and traffickers through religious training. In the dank cinderblock hovels in Ciudad Juarez a recovering addict has a choice: work for us or be killed. Watson then persuaded officials at legitimate clinics to allow her to talk to enough patients until she found a man who had narrowly escaped an attack at a clinic run by drug gangs.

The story included video and photographs, as well as an interactive that explained the competition between the Sinaloa cartels, which take over clinics and kill potential workers for the rival Juarez cartel.


Ted Anthony, a veteran editor and correspondent for The Associated Press who has helped develop social media strategies and new storytelling techniques in AP newsrooms, has been named an assistant managing editor for the news cooperative.

Anthony will help oversee the new AP News Center. He will work with regional editors on the global enterprise report and focus on sharpening AP's worldwide coverage of breaking news during the weekends.

"Ted is a gifted storyteller and leader who will help deepen our engagement with news consumers around the globe," Executive Editor Kathleen Carroll said.

Anthony will report to Deputy Managing Editor Sally Buzbee, who oversees the News Center, a new global headquarters operation in New York that will work closely with AP's regional and department leaders to deliver the most comprehensive, competitive coverage of the day's top stories in all formats.

During his 18-year AP career, Anthony has reported from more than 20 countries, including three years in China, where he was news editor and supervised coverage of China's economic growth and generational leadership change.

After the Sept. 11 terror attacks, Anthony spent extended periods reporting in Pakistan and Afghanistan. In 2003, he reopened AP's Iraq bureau immediately after the U.S. invasion and supervised wartime coverage there for two months.

From 2004 to 2007, Anthony was the founding editor of asap, an AP department formed to produce multimedia storytelling across formats and push the skills out to AP journalists around the world.

Most recently, Anthony has overseen AP social media experiments aimed at engaging readers with the news on online platforms.

Nicolas B. Tatro, the deputy international editor of The Associated Press and a veteran news leader who has directed newsgathering operations in AP bureaus across the Middle East, has been named New York City news editor.

Tatro, who has had a 39-year career with the AP, coordinated news coverage among regional desks overseas.

"New York, one of the world's great cities, needed one of the world's great news editors to lead our coverage," said Senior Managing Editor Mike Oreskes. "In Nick Tatro, veteran of wars, coups and moon missions, we found that editor."

Tatro, who started out in the Miami bureau before transferring to New York, began his international career in Cairo. He was named chief of bureau in Iran in 1979 but was expelled by the new Islamic revolutionary government. In 1980, he became chief Mideast correspondent in Beirut and covered the 1982 Israel invasion and war in Lebanon. In 1983, he was named chief of bureau in Israel and later covered the outbreak of the Palestinian uprising, or intefadeh.

He was named a journalism fellow at the University of Michigan in 1990 and then worked on the international desk in New York, a position that included a stint in Somalia covering the landing of U.S. troops. He returned to Israel in 1993 as chief of bureau in Jerusalem and covered the Oslo peace process, a wave of bombings and attacks and the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. He became deputy international editor in 1999.

Managing editor Dave Berry, with four decades of journalism experience, has been named editor of the Tyler newspapers in Texas. Publisher Nelson Clyde says the 61-year-old Berry will assume the top newsroom position following last week's retirement of A.J. "Jim" Giametta as executive editor.

Berry has served as managing editor of the Tyler Morning Telegraph and The Sunday Tyler Courier-Times-Telegraph for 15 years.

Berry is immediate past president of the Texas Associated Press Managing Editors and is a member of the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas and the national APME.


The Associated Press has unveiled a dynamic online multimedia platform for its coverage of the 2010 Winter Games that will showcase AP's up-to-the-minute results, video reports, rich photos, athlete profiles, authoritative stats and a daily Webcast from Vancouver called "Beyond the Medal," featuring snowboarder and reality TV personality Jesse Csincsak.

The AP-hosted and ad-supported platform, found at and on the Web sites of more than 900 AP member news organizations and broadcasters, will feature the journalistic efforts of the largest staff in Vancouver after the TV rights holder.

Users can sign up for e-mail alerts. The "all media module" at the top of the site, which includes AP news, photos and videos, can be embedded by members or readers in their blogs, Facebook pages or Web sites. Users can also enjoy the 16-by-9-inch format, a first for AP.

"This platform makes it incredibly easy for readers to find and enjoy coverage of their favorite sports, their favorite athletes, and to linger over incredible photographs from today's competitions and Games in the past," said AP Executive Editor Kathleen Carroll.

The Web show "Beyond the Medal" will be updated throughout each day of competition to include the latest Olympics results, athlete interviews and segments about the social scene in Vancouver and Whistler, the ski resort hosting cross-country, downhill and luge competition. Debuting on Feb. 8, "Beyond the Medal" is cohosted by Csincsak and AP journalist Lila Ibrahim, who together will report and sample the action at and away from the Olympic venues.

In yet another display of AP's expanding engagement with news audiences through social media, its sports writers are maintaining a special Winter Games Twitter feed, and a Facebook page.

An arbitrator rejected the Santa Barbara (Calif.) News-Press' $25 million claim against its former editor and ordered the newspaper's owner to pay more than $900,000 in fees stemming from the dispute. Arbitrator Deborah Rothman said Ampersand Publishing, parent company of the News-Press, believed it "lost prestige and credibility in the Santa Barbara community" from comments former editor Jerry Roberts made, and it went after the journalist in a "scorched-earth, take-no-prisoners, go-for-broke fashion." She said the company spent about $2.4 million litigating the claim against Roberts. Rothman rejected Ampersand's allegations that Roberts' statements violated a confidentiality agreement he had with the newspaper and found the company went after its former editor in "retaliation for speaking out about ethics at the paper."

A District Court judge in Billings, Mont. has ordered Yellowstone County to release information about a grievance filed against an elected county official by Feb. 17, or explain to her why it shouldn't. District Judge Susan Watters gave the county the deadline last week in The Billings Gazette's effort to learn who the grievance was filed against, the nature of the grievance and the results of a third-party investigation into the matter. The Gazette filed a public information request on Jan. 22, a day after county commissioners confirmed that they had hired an outside investigator to look into a grievance. The Gazette's request allows the county to redact documents to protect the privacy of the person who filed the grievance. When the county refused the request, the Gazette filed a petition in court.

Ron Peterson, publisher of the Journal of Sioux City, Iowa, was recognized last week with a Master Editor-Publisher Award during the Iowa Newspaper Association's annual conference. The annual award goes to three people, chosen by past recipients, who represent the highest ideals of journalism, the association said in a release. In presenting the award, the INA called Peterson a standard bearer of journalism's professional code of ethics. During his tenure as publisher, Peterson has guided the Journal through the most significant period of change since the conversion to offset printing. The print publication has moved to being fully computerized and the online product has grown to be named the best in Iowa, as reflected by its first-place win at last year's INA contest and two national awards.

The Seattle Times says it's solved a major financial issue and won't be going out of business any time soon. Publisher Frank Blethen and three other Blethen family members announced last week on the paper's Web site that The Times has renegotiated its debt. They say The Times is "here to stay." The news came roughly a year after rumors circulated that the paper was on the verge of filing for bankruptcy. Seattle lost its other daily newspaper, the Post-Intelligencer, last year, though remains in operation. The Blethens cautioned that The Times is still navigating a slow recovery and that collapsing advertising revenue hit the industry hard. But The Times' paid daily circulation is the highest it's ever been, since it began delivering to former P-I subscribers.

The Quad-City Times of Davenport, Iowa, was honored among all Iowa newspapers last week with the first-ever Bill Monroe Innovation Award for its work in the development of a new content management system for newspaper Web sites. Times Publisher Julie Bechtel accepted the award during the Iowa Newspaper Association's annual awards presentation in Des Moines. Online director Tim D'Avis said the software was developed by Town News, which is owned by Times' parent Lee Enterprises. The Times was the first major implementation site. D'Avis said Times online staffers developed a standard set of templates and worked to make it easier for the newsroom to manage the Web site at For example, the newsroom now can quickly change page layouts to respond to the demands of the 24-hour news cycle.

Landmark Community Newspapers, Inc., has named Keven Todd publisher of the Los Alamos (NM) Monitor. Todd has served as the Monitor's interim publisher since August, when former publisher Ralph Damiani left the newspaper. Todd says he sees a tremendous opportunity to enhance the newspaper and its Web site as a strong community voice.


AP's Jerry Harkavy offers this review of "Pulitzer: A Life in Politics, Print, and Power" (Harper, 576 pages, $29.99), by James McGrath Morris.

Web-based technology may leave readers fretful about the future of newspapers, but it's not the first time the industry has undergone revolutionary change.

Joseph Pulitzer, a Hungarian immigrant who was virtually penniless and spoke no English when he arrived in America in 1864, created the template for the modern newspaper with his purchase and makeover of the New York World two decades later.

As Morris recounts in his sweeping biography, Pulitzer swiftly changed the publication's look and content, ordering up dramatic headlines, bold illustrations and colorful stories that were written in short, punchy sentences that readers - many of them newly arrived immigrants - could easily understand.

"If there was a 'Pulitzer formula,' it was a story written so simply that anyone could read it and so colorfully that no one would forget it," Morris writes. At the same time, he was a stickler for accuracy - at least until he became locked in the shrill competition with rival publisher William Randolph Hearst and the New York Journal that marked the heyday of "yellow journalism" at the onset of the Spanish-American War.

The drama of Pulitzer's own life story rivals any that might appear in his news pages. Arriving in America without family or friends at 17, he signed on (for $200) to replace a Civil War draftee and serve in the Union Army with a German-speaking cavalry unit.

He headed west after the war, settling in St. Louis and taking jobs such as stevedore, waiter and mule tender before landing work as a reporter on a German-language newspaper. At that time, journalists had no compunction against getting involved in politics, and Pulitzer became an active player.

Even as he first bought the German-language newspaper and then purchased what he turned into the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Republican-turned-Democrat sought to make an impact on politics and even served in Congress.

Morris' narrative drags a bit during the St. Louis years, but gains steam after Pulitzer pulls up stakes for the larger stage in New York, buys the lackluster World from financier Jay Gould and transforms it into the most widely read newspaper in U.S. history.

Despite his professional success that by one measure made him the 24th wealthiest American during the Gilded Age, Pulitzer's personal life was marked by unhappy family relationships and chronic health problems, most notably blindness that made it impossible for him to read the newspapers that captivated a nation. In his later years, he spent much of the time in Europe, at his vacation homes in Maine and Georgia, or on his luxury yacht.

Morris' research sheds new light on Pulitzer's epic legal battle with his political archenemy Theodore Roosevelt, who sought unsuccessfully to use the power of the presidency to take down the publisher by an ill-conceived prosecution for criminal libel.

The author hails that episode as a key victory for the free press, one that remains as much a part of Pulitzer's legacy as his bequests that created the Columbia University School of Journalism and the prizes that bear his name and are universally regarded as the premier form of recognition in his profession.

ABOUT US: APME Update is published regularly by the Associated Press Managing Editors Association. APME Update is edited by Sally Jacobsen. Send submissions by e-mail to or call Sally at (212) 621-7007.
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