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|May 27, 2010 APME Newsletter|
In this issue:
Save the Date: APME Conference at Poynter Oct. 20-22
Dates to Note:
June 2, APME/NewsU Webinar on Social Media
The APME 2010 Conference – Building Momentum – will be held Oct. 20-22 at the Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Fla.
More information on the program will be posted soon on the APME website at apme.com.
For hotels, the downtown Hampton Inn & Suites and the Marriott Courtyard both have set aside a block of rooms for $94 a night for the conference. The special Poynter room rate will be available until Sept. 26 or until the group block is sold out, whichever comes first. For more information, go to apme.com
The 2010 APME Journalism Excellence Awards honor superior journalism and innovation among newspapers and online news sites across the United States and Canada. The awards seek to promote excellence by recognizing work that is well-written and incisively reported and that effectively challenges the status quo.
All Awards are presented for journalism published or launched between July 1, 2009,
and June 30, 2010.
The deadline for entry is Monday, July 12, 2010.
The Awards will be presented at the APME annual conference at the Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Fla., Oct. 20-22 and linked on the APME website.
The Awards include the Annual Innovator of the Year Award, which for the first time carries a $2,000 prize provided by sponsors GateHouse Media Inc. and the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute.
Public Service Awards, First Amendment Award and Citations, Online Convergence Awards and International Perspective Awards.
The Gannett Foundation Award for Innovation in Watchdog Journalism will be offered for the first time this year, with a $2,500 prize in each of two circulation categories.
Nominations are received online only. For more details, go to:
APME and NewsU will team up for two more webinars on journalism credibility topics. A code, sent separately, will allow APME members to sign up for $9.95.
June 2, 2 p.m., Credibility and Social Media in Your News Organization / Dave Olson, editor, The Salem News in Massachusetts
Many news organizations dived into social media first and figured out the credibility issues second. The Salem News, led by Editor Dave Olson, developed its credible presence on Facebook and Twitter from the ground up, with the help and advice of the user communities and the newsroom. He'll explain how the The Salem News learned how users counted on journalists to provide credible content and help you answer questions for your news organization.
Also, SAVE THE DATE FOR THE FINAL APME / NewsU CREDIBILITY WEBINAR:
July 21, 2 p.m., Archived Content and "Unpublishing" Requests / Kathy English, public editor, Toronto Star
>Journalism educators and college media advisers may apply for a McCormick Award to attend the Nashville NewsTrain.
>The Scripps Howard Foundation is funding scholarships valued at up to $300 to help journalists from diverse backgrounds attend. Alumni of the Freedom Forum Diversity Institute's programs and journalists from the organizations that planned this NewsTrain workshop are encouraged to apply.
The National Endowment for the Arts and the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University in New York have announced the seventh NEA Arts Journalism Institute in Classical Music and Opera.
The institute takes place October 9 -19 at Columbia University, and is part of a series of NEA-funded programs across the country that focus on improving arts criticism in classical music, opera, theater and dance.
The application deadline for this October's institute is July 20, 2010.
The NEA Arts Journalism Institutes are helping to establish the importance of professional training in the coverage of the arts through lectures and seminars with leaders in higher education, the arts and journalism. The programs are designed for journalists located primarily outside the largest media markets, where professional development opportunities are limited, but a limited number of positions will be considered for applicants from major media markets as well. Institutes for dance critics are also being hosted by the American Dance Festival at Duke University, for theater critics at the University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communication, and for visual arts critics at American University. The programs cover most of the participants' expenses.
Andras Szanto, former head of the National Arts Journalism Program, will direct the institute at Columbia with co-director Anya Grundmann, executive producer for NPR Music, and artistic director Joseph Horowitz, the nationally recognized classical music historian and critic.
The attendees – who include critics, reporters and editors in traditional, broadcast and digital journalism media – will work with senior journalists and faculty members to improve their viewing, analytical and writing skills. Participants will have the unique opportunity to take advantage of the rich cultural offerings in New York City and attend performances that cover a wide variety of genres, as well as rehearsals and behind-the-scenes meetings with artists and administrators of several leading classical music presenting organizations.
The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that more than 60 years after the development of the atomic bomb, officials at the Los Alamos National Laboratory are using $212 million in federal stimulus funding for environmental cleanup that will provide hundreds of jobs for demolition and excavation workers. The lab is also receiving $65.7 million in stimulus money for renewable energy research as well as studies of tree mortality, transuranic waste and superconducting radio frequency cavities. Metal partitions are going up around an old landfill that's about to be excavated to protect nearby businesses from dust that will be kicked up as workers remove junk from the lab's first hazardous waste dump, a 6-acre site used from 1944 to 1948. In Technical Area 21, where scientists developed the plutonium heat source used on the Cassini and Galileo space probes, 21 buildings will be leveled and hazardous material will be excavated.
The Associated Press reports that the gooey oil washing into the maze of marshes along the Gulf Coast could prove impossible to remove, leaving a toxic stew lethal to fish and wildlife, government officials and independent scientists said. Officials are considering some drastic and risky solutions: They could set the wetlands on fire or flood areas in hopes of floating out the oil. But they warn an aggressive cleanup could ruin the marshes and do more harm than good. The only viable option for many impacted areas is to do nothing and let nature break down the spill.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports local governments across the region have been forced to cut services and slash spending as the sagging economy has put a dent in their bottom lines, but their parking lots tell a different story. Despite lean budgets, many public officials in the St. Louis area continue to enjoy a perk rooted in more flush times: a taxpayer-funded automobile. So-called "take-home cars" have long been a staple in law enforcement and public safety, allowing officers to respond to an emergency at a moment's notice. But scores of officials whose need to respond quickly is less apparent — county commissioners, airport chiefs, economic development aides — enjoy a set of wheels paid for by the public.
The Oregonian analyzed state records to find that the state of Oregon, facing a $2.5 billion shortfall, has missed opportunities to go after unpaid bills and left millions of dollars on the table.
The Oregonian reporter Jeff Manning has written 35 stories about Oregon-based Sunwest Management over the past two years, following the nation's fourth-largest chain of assisted-living centers as it wound its way through bankruptcy, was seemingly dead and buried and, finally, resurrected. His latest story, "How Sunwest returned from the ashes," was full of corporate intrigue and intricate detail from the public record. Manning's coverage showed how the company, solidly on the road to insolvency and infamy, instead pulled off a stunning turnaround.
The Wichita Eagle reports on the most dangerous job in Kansas. Over the past three decades, more than 680 Kansans have been killed on the job. Nearly one in 10 died while working at a grain elevator. The 60 grain elevator deaths include three painters who fell 125 feet from the top of an elevator in Jetmore in 1982. They include four members of a cleaning crew that was in the DeBruce Grain elevator south of Wichita when it exploded in 1998. Forty-eight of the workers who died in elevators were doing jobs classified by OSHA as "grain and field bean" work. According to OSHA, it's the most dangerous job you can have if you work in Kansas. The DeBruce explosion, which killed seven and injured 10, made national headlines and resulted in a substantial OSHA fine. But all of the other grain and field bean workers who have died since 1980 were killed in single-fatality accidents. Nearly half died when they were engulfed by grain.
The Orlando Sentinel reports the oil company BP used a cheaper, quicker but potentially less dependable method to complete the drilling of the Deepwater Horizon well, according to several experts and documents obtained by newspaper. "There are clear alternatives to the methods BP used that most engineers in the drilling business would consider much more reliable and safer," said F.E. Beck, a petroleum-engineering professor at Texas A&M University who testified recently before a U.S. Senate committee investigating BP's blown-out well in the Gulf of Mexico. He and other petroleum and drilling engineers who reviewed a log of the Deepwater Horizon's activities obtained by the Sentinel described BP's choice of well design as one in which the final phase called for a 13,293-foot-long length of permanent pipe, called "casing," to be locked in place with a single injection of cement that can often turn out to be problematic.
The Buffalo (N.Y.) News reports the Niagara Falls school maintenance worker who was allowed to resign after he was found doing private contracting work at the homes of district officials while on school time was given added benefits in the years before he left, as well as when he quit. Jeffrey B. Pasquantino received more than a month's worth of extra sick days during the last few years he was on the job. He also got more than $12,000 in stipends during those years. Those payments were given without authorization or explanation, a spokeswoman for State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli told The Buffalo News, and auditors flagged them when they released a 2008 audit that harshly criticized the district for misspending and weaknesses in its financial controls. "These weaknesses could have allowed illegal acts to occur," comptroller spokeswoman Nicole Hanks wrote in an e-mail, "and our auditors discussed this with federal law enforcement officials."
When renovation of the historic Texas Governor's Mansion began 2 1/2 years ago, Gov. Rick Perry was pleased to find some pretty fancy temporary digs: a five-bedroom, seven-bath house in a gated community on Lake Travis, with pecan-wood floors, a gourmet kitchen and three dining rooms.
It fell to Austin newsman Jay Root to find out much that was costing taxpayers.
Using the Texas Public Information Act, Root spent weeks pulling together invoices, ledgers and other expense records from three different state agencies. He found that the rent, utilities and upkeep alone are costing the state $10,000 a month, twice as much as a downtown penthouse within walking distance of the Capitol.
Root also revealed that state-paid expenses at the 6,386-square-foot rental house included $18,000 for "consumables" such as household supplies and cleaning products, $1,001.46 in window coverings from upscale retailer Neiman Marcus, a $1,000 "emergency repair" of the governor's filtered ice machine, a $700 clothes rack and a little more than $70 for a two-year subscription to Food & Wine Magazine.
He also discovered that Perry had used $130,000 in campaign funds to throw parties, buy food and drink and pay for cable TV and a host of other services since moving in. Campaign records listed that spending only as "mansion expenditures."
The governor's office has refused to release other information, arguing that it could compromise "a person's privacy or property interests."
The reaction was swift. Food & Wine Magazine tweeted: "Love that TX Gov Rick Perry is a fan, but wish he hadn't spent public $ on subs." The state AFL-CIO bought a double-wide mobile home and put it on a lot next to the Capitol, offering it to Perry for $1 a year if he would give up the rental mansion. Perry's Democratic opponent, Bill White, a multimillionaire, said he would live in a trailer until the renovations to the Governor's Mansion were complete.
One Perry staffer told Root that to save money one of the governor's two chefs is now working part-time.
The story quickly became one of Yahoo's most e-mailed, viewed and recommended, with 4,000 comments at last count.
The AP has restored country names to these international datelines: Bogota, Copenhagen, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Kabul and Oslo. The province name was restored to Ottawa.
These 49 international capitals and cities continue to stand alone in datelines:
Amsterdam, Baghdad, Bangkok, Beijing, Beirut, Berlin, Brussels, Cairo, Djibouti, Dublin, Geneva, Gibraltar, Guatemala City, Havana, Helsinki, Hong Kong, Islamabad, Istanbul, Jerusalem, Johannesburg, Kuwait City, London, Luxembourg, Macau, Madrid, Mexico City, Milan, Monaco, Montreal, Moscow, Munich, New Delhi, Panama City, Paris, Prague, Quebec City, Rio de Janeiro, Rome, San Marino, Sao Paulo, Shanghai,
Singapore, Stockholm, Sydney, Tokyo, Toronto, Vatican City, Vienna and Zurich.
The Baltimore Sun says Mary J. Corey has been named senior vice president and director of content, becoming the first woman to hold the newspaper's top editorial post in its 173-year history. Corey, 46, will oversee all print and digital news operations, a role once known as editor when news was delivered only through the newspaper. A former features editor and national correspondent, Corey joined The Sun in 1987 and was named head of print operations a year ago. She has led The Sun's newsroom since the departure in March of her predecessor, J. Montgomery Cook. The Cockeysville, Md., native led the launch in February of three new print sections: Health & Style on Thursdays; a revamped Live! section on Fridays; and Business & Jobs on Sundays.
Kelly Brown, managing editor of The Eagle of Bryan-College Station, Texas, since 2001, has been named editor of the paper. Publisher Jim Wilson announced Brown's promotion.Brown will replace Donnis Baggett, who will become publisher of the Waco Tribune-Herald on June 1. Brown, 43, is a 1989 Texas A&M graduate. She has served as a journalist-in-residence at the school for five years and would be the paper's first female editor. Brown is the outgoing president of the Texas Associated Press Managing Editors.
Dominican-American novelist Junot Diaz has been elected to serve on the Pulitzer Prize Board. Columbia University, which administers the journalism prizes, made the announcement. Diaz won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for "The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao." He teaches creative writing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Diaz was born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, and immigrated to New Jersey as a child. He graduated with a degree in English from Rutgers University. Pulitzer board members serve three-year terms. The board has 20 members — 18 voting and two nonvoting members. Diaz is expected to judge in all Pulitzer categories, which include journalism, poetry, nonfiction and music.
Want journalism with depth? The Philadelphia Inquirer is going 3-D. The paper plans to publish a special section next month featuring full-page 3-D pictures and advertisements, and will provide clear-lens 3-D glasses for viewing them. The special edition is scheduled to appear on newsstands on Sunday, June 13, and be available on the philly.com the following day. The goal is to push the experience readers can get from newspapers, outgoing Publisher Brian Tierney said in a statement. Three-dimensional effects have been growing in popularity recently, including the successful 3-D release of Avatar and Playboy's decision to publish a 3-D centerfold in its June issue. Newspapers in China, London and Belgium have likewise rolled out 3-D editions this spring. Tierney recently lost a hard-fought battle for control of the company during a bankruptcy fight with creditors, who last month won an auction of the company's assets with a $139 million bid.
A Wyoming judge who blocked newspapers from publishing articles on a report about a Cheyenne college president must decide whether to maintain the rare restraining order. District Judge Peter Arnold ordered the Wyoming Tribune Eagle newspaper and a local biweekly paper, The Cheyenne Herald, not to disseminate the report. Tribune Eagle Executive Editor D. Reed Eckhardt says he expects a decision soon on the paper's motion to dissolve the restraining order. He says the report concerns Laramie County Community College President Darrel Hammon's performance on a school-sponsored trip to Costa Rica in 2008. Eckhardt says federal courts have rejected such "prior restraint" of the press in all but the most extraordinary cases.
Maine's largest newspaper has moved out of the building in downtown Portland it has called home for 87 years and into a nearby modern office building. The move marks the end of an era for the familiar yellow-brick Portland Press Herald building at 390 Congress St., which the paper has occupied since 1923 across from Portland City Hall. The newspaper's circulation department moved last winter to the paper's printing and distribution center in South Portland. Editorial, advertising, human resources and other departments made the final move to the 13-story One City Center office building, said Richard Connor, president and chief executive officer of MaineToday Media Inc., which last year bought the Press Herald and its sister papers in Augusta and Waterville from The Seattle Times Co.
Jasmine McNealy, an assistant professor of mass communication at Louisiana State University, is conducting a survey to determine the incidence of subpoenas and court orders compelling media organizations to reveal information, sources and documents. The study is especially interested in subpoenas related to comments made by anonymous or pseudonymous posters on the Web sites of media organizations and is part of a grant from the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. Questions regarding the study should be sent to McNealy at http://firstname.lastname@example.org/.
The AP Corporate Archives is offering a 70-page booklet on "The Costs of War: AP Journalists in Beirut, Kabul, and Baghdad, 1975-2010.” The booklet highlights the complex risks taken by AP journalists and local staffers in covering the Lebanon civil war and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. It features photographs and documents drawn from the Beirut and Cairo bureau records, the text archive, and the photo library, with commentary by Corporate Archives Director Valerie Komor.
The booklet is accompanied by a DVD featuring a selection of oral history interviews conducted last year with AP reporters and photographers in the Middle East.
The Archives is making the booklets available for state AP meetings. For more information, contact Valerie Komor at email@example.com or at 212-621-1731.
The Texas APME used APME's Great Ideas CD as a giveaway at the conference. The CD has terrific ideas that editors can use throughout the year. It might work for your conference too.
Michael Kuchwara, The Associated Press' longtime drama critic whose thoughtful, fair-minded reviews made him beloved and respected in the theater world and influential beyond, died Saturday night. He was 63. Kuchwara, who had held his position since 1984 and recently celebrated his 40th anniversary with the AP, died at Beth Israel Hospital in Manhattan of complications from idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a lung disease that causes scarring. He entered the hospital May 10. Ponder Henley, his brother-in-law, said Kuchwara was surrounded by family and was listening to music from his favorite show "Gypsy" on his iPod when he died. Broadway theater marquees were dimmed for one minute Tuesday night in his memory.
See the full obituary in AND FINALLY, below.
Jack K. Overmyer, the owner and president of The Rochester Sentinel who was known as a successful journalist, historian, author and businessman, has died. He was 85. Born in Rochester in 1924, he lived in the city for most of his life. He joined the newspaper while in high school, when it was known as The Rochester News-Sentinel, and later served as editor and publisher. He assumed full ownership of the newspaper in 1976. His final Sentinel column ran last week. Overmyer was inducted into the Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame in 1999.
Former Deseret News publisher William James Mortimer has died. He was 77. He was the newspaper's publisher for 15 years before retiring in 2000. He was also general manager of both Deseret Press and Deseret Book and sometimes referred to himself as "Deseret Jim." Mortimer did double duty as the newspaper's publisher and editor for 11 years before stepping away from his role as editor.
Evelyn King would arrive every Wednesday in the Missoulian newsroom to alternately write on and wrestle with a computer, a device she seemed to consider a mortal enemy invented to eat her weekly columns. But if computers dragged her kicking and screaming into journalism's 20th century, it was King and women like her who dragged newspapers there in the first place. King — whose final and long-running weekly column was published earlier this month — died last week at an age she considered no one's business but her own. "Less than 90 but more than 80" was as close as one of her children, Sally King, could pin it down. But long before the column she wrote almost to the end, back in the 1940s, King blazed a trail into the men's-only club that was largely American journalism at the time. Once there, she kept fighting — for the right to cover beats that had been the exclusive territory of males, and for pay equal to what the guys got for doing the same job. "She was a pioneer in the truest sense," says former Missoulian editorial page editor Steve Woodruff. "It may be hard for people to comprehend now, at a paper where you have a female publisher, a female editor, a female city editor and a female editorial page editor — women have obviously shattered the glass ceiling — but Evelyn was the woman who gave them a leg up."
AP's Michael Kuchwara: Beloved and Respected in Theater World
By HILLEL ITALIE
AP National Writer
NEW YORK (AP) _ Michael Kuchwara, The Associated Press' longtime drama critic whose thoughtful, fair-minded reviews made him beloved and respected in the theater world and influential beyond, died Saturday night. He was 63.
Kuchwara, who had held his position since 1984 and recently celebrated his 40th anniversary with the AP, died at Beth Israel Hospital in Manhattan of complications from idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a lung disease that causes scarring. He entered the hospital May 10.
Ponder Henley, his brother-in-law, said Kuchwara was surrounded by family and was listening to music from his favorite show "Gypsy" on his iPod when he died.
"Michael touched so many of you, his friends, family and business associates. Your outpouring of love and support these last days and weeks were a great comfort to Michael and to his family. We will miss him dearly and these next few days will be challenging, but we know that Michael is without pain and at rest," Kuchwara's family said in a written statement.
Kuchwara reviewed plays by Edward Albee and August Wilson, Stephen Sondheim and Arthur Miller, his work appearing in thousands of papers and on websites around the world.
"As theater reviewers have been dropped, newspapers increasingly pick up the Associated Press reviews, making Michael Kuchwara arguably the most influential legit critic in America," proclaimed Variety writer Robert Hofler in July 2009.
Said Kathleen Carroll, the AP's executive editor: "For millions of readers, a Mike Kuchwara review was like a chat with a pal just back from a show. He was candid about stunners and stinkers he saw, but never gushy or mean. And his affection for the theater and for audiences infused every review."
Kuchwara, commenting in a 2006 video that appeared on the American Theatre Wing's website, had a plainer take on his role as someone whose reviews often appeared hundreds or thousands of miles from Broadway: "I'm writing for an audience that may never see the shows that I'm writing about."
His favorite musical was "Gypsy," which he felt was one of the best musicals ever written because the entire story could be heard in the first four notes of the overture which begins the song "I Had A Dream."
"Mike's likable and intelligent presence was a comforting constant in the theatre community. He has always been one of the extra special people in our world, and will be deeply missed by everyone who knew him," said Charlotte St. Martin, executive director of The Broadway League.
A past president of the New York Drama Critics' Circle, his hundreds upon hundreds of reviews covered a quarter-century of blockbusters and failures in the theater world.
"He never seemed remotely jaded or sour, he always seemed happy to be at the theater and brought incredible good will to it, which is rare in any profession," said Ben Brantley, chief theater critic of The New York Times.
Broadway star Kristin Chenoweth wrote on Twitter after hearing of Kuchwara's death: "Sweetheart he was... Xxoo"
He raved about "The Producers" in 2001, calling it a "demented, deliriously funny stage version" of the Mel Brooks film. "Merriment has been a rare commodity on Broadway in recent years. What with Sondheim-serious musicals and bloated Brit spectacles, genuine funny business has been in short supply. Brooks and (director-choreographer Susan) Stroman have been fortunate, too, in finding a cast that can do `funny.'"
He was lukewarm about Tony Kushner's 1993 AIDS drama "Angels in America: Millennium Approaches," saying it was "an extravagant political epic, overstuffed and sometimes pretentious, but also containing some wonderful writing that's tough and, weirdly enough, highly poetic." He said it fell "short of being a completely satisfying theater event."
"'The Lion King' is a rare theater experience," he wrote in 1998. He called it an "intelligent spectacle, extravagance with a purpose _ and a heart."
He wanted every play to succeed, but didn't pretend all would. "You may need a drink _ and not necessarily water _ after viewing `A Cool Dip in the Barren Saharan Crick,'" he wrote in March, looking sadly upon "Kia Corthron's messy message play that places water right at the center of its convoluted story."
Born in Scranton, Pa., Kuchwara was a graduate of Syracuse University, and had a master's degree in journalism from the University of Missouri. Before being named drama critic, he worked for the AP in Chicago as a general assignment editor and reporter and in New York on its main editing desk for national news.
According to his sister, Pat Henley, he loved theater so much as a child that the local newsstand would make sure to save him a copy of Variety. While his peers read comic books, Kuchwara kept up with the celebrities in Life magazine.
"My first really memorable theater experience was at the Pocono Playhouse, a long, long forgotten comedy called "The Third Best Sport," which I think came to Broadway and died in about two weeks," Kuchwara said in 2006, referring to a bawdy comedy starring Celeste Holm as an 8-year-old girl.
When he watched Holm in the second act, he was "totally exhilarated." He thought, "My gosh. She's getting a reaction from this audience."
"From then on," he said, "I was hooked."
In a highly competitive profession, few were as generous and self-effacing as the man known to his colleagues, with affection, as "Kuch" (Kootch). He would shy from credit for stories he had helped write (and break) and present framed copies of posters from shows that younger staffers had reviewed. Rarely did he have an unkind word for anyone; even rarer was an unkind word heard about him.
More than a critic, he was a hardworking reporter, and his connections in the theater led to scoops _ just this month he broke the news of actress Lynn Redgrave's death. And when others asserted that the attempted car bombing in Times Square had forced "The Lion King" to go dark, Kuchwara reported correctly that it wasn't so _ two other shows delayed their curtains by a half hour.
"To the world, Mike was one of the best theater critics in the business, but to us, his colleagues, friends and family, he was also a phenomenal person who will be truly missed," said Alicia Quarles, AP Global Entertainment Editor.
Kuchwara's last review, which ran May 10, was of the off-Broadway musical "The Kid" _ an "appealing story" based on Dan Savage's autobiography.
"It says something about `The Kid,' the new musical celebrating a journey to gay parenting, that the show's most powerful moments occur when the characters don't sing," Kuchwara began.
His last sentence: "Even with its undernourished score, `The Kid' and its intriguing characters may still draw you in. Now if it only sang."
Kuchwara is survived by his sister and by his wife, Jonnie Kay Kuchwara, whom he married in 1975 and remembered him as having a "Broadway melody in his heart."