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APME Newsletter April 1, 2011
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APME Update
The electronic newsletter of the Associated Press Managing Editors for April 1, 2011

In this issue:

March Innovator Winner: The News & Observer with `Frontiers of Fat'
APME Membership Drive: $99 New Member Discount Until April 15
NewsTrain: Register for Madison Workshop

Join NewsTrain on Facebook and Twitter
APME and SNA seek your ideas for webinar series
Broken Budgets: AP-APME National Reporting Project
2011 APME Journalism Excellence Awards: Deadline May 16
Call for Nominations for McGruder Diversity Leadership Awards
Watchdog Reporting: Summary of Recent Impact Reporting
AP Beat of the Week: Hawley, Curran
Editors in the News: Clausing, Van Anglen, Beaumont, Clinton
Industry News and Business ofNews
Catching up on Credibility Topics: Order the Full Set
APME Forums: Discuss Good Ideas With Colleagues



Save the Date

- April 5-6 – SNA-APME Symposium: Impact of Economic Crisis on American Families

- April 15 – Last day to sign up for $99 membership discount for new members

- April 29-30 – NewsTrain Workshop in Madison, Wis.

- May 16 – Deadline for 2011 APME Journalism Excellence Awards

- May 16 – Deadline for 2011 McGruder Diversity Leadership Awards

- Sept. 14-16 – APME annual conference at the Embassy Suites in Denver



The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C. is the March winner of APME's Innovator of the Month contest. The paper is honored for Frontiers of Fat, a series on the science of obesity and an initiative that involves staffers and readers in losing weight.

APME's Innovator of the Year, now in its fifth year, is expanding in 2011 by naming an innovation of the month. Each monthly winner will be invited to enter the annual contest, which is open to all newspapers in the U.S. and Canada and is awarded at the APME conference Sept. 14-26 at the Embassy Suites in Denver.

"Raleigh's project will give ideas to many newsrooms," said Bob Heisse, APME vice president and Innovations Committee chairman. "We're pleased at APME to put a spotlight on innovations at newspapers."

Here's how the entry submitted by Carole Tanzer Miller, features editor, described the Raleigh innovation:

"On Jan. 1, Raleigh started a five-part, front-page series on the science of obesity, ‘Frontiers of Fat.' Scientists at UNC, Duke and East Carolina University are doing some of the deepest research in the world into the causes of obesity.

"Each day, in addition to the front-page science stories, Raleigh's features sections included practical information, including tips from its restaurant critic on how to eat out often and maintain a healthy weight; how to look stylish as you lose the pounds; and how to find a workout routine that works for you.

"Staffers are blogging about their efforts to lose weight,” wrote Miller, who lost 65 pounds while working on the project. "They've been joined by several readers, who are also blogging about their battle of the bulge. Another online component featured readers' success stories.”

You can read the innovative work at Miller can be reached at

Applications for APME monthly innovation recognition are being accepted at

Applications for APME's Innovator of the Year are accepted until May 16 at The annual award winner, as determined by editors attending the APME conference in Denver, will receive $2,000 courtesy of sponsors GateHouse Media Inc. and the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute.


DON'T WAIT: APME MEMBERSHIP DRIVE: $99 New Member Discount Until April 15

APME President Hollis Towns is offering a special one-time membership deal for first-time members. Become a new member by April 15 and pay just $99. That's a savings from the regular annual rate of $150. Editors who have already joined for the first time at the higher rate will receive a discount on their conference registration. Members also receive discounts on contest entry fees and conference registrations.

Take a minute and go to, and join APME's ranks. New members must use the promo code Newdiscount to sign up. Editors who sign up as a new member by April 15 will receive a free 2010 Great Ideas thumb drive and an AP "I am not a paper cup" mug.

To read Town's membership letter, please go to


NEWSTRAIN: Midwestern reporters and editors: Register for Madison, Wis., workshop

MADISON: By the end of April, won't you be ready to visit Madison for something other than the political dispute about collective bargaining? Come to NewsTrain's workshop on Friday-Saturday, April 29-30.

This workshop has one track designed specifically for reporters and one track for editors -- something NewsTrain is offering for the first time. Participants may attend the full workshop or any portion of it for $50 registration fee, which includes lunches and coffee breaks.

NOTE: The deadline for making reservations at the conference hotel is April 18. See information page for details.



Have you attended one of the many NewsTrain events Associated Press Managing Editors have hosted over the years? Just generally interested in good training material? Then become a fan of NewsTrain's new Facebook page and Twitter feed. You'll find relevant news about upcoming training events, best practice training tips and be able to connect with NewsTrain alumni through this social media outreach.





The SNA Foundation has teamed up with APME on a number of projects including a series of webinars. We would like your input on future topics for upcoming webinars.

Please complete this very short survey (should take three minutes to complete) so that we can be sure to meet your most pressing needs.

The SNA Foundation and APME have been working on other projects as well, and were recently awarded a grant by The McCormick Foundation to conduct a specialized two-day reporting workshop. The symposium, part of McCormick's Specialized Reporting Institutes program, will educate community journalists on how to uncover local stories on the impacts of the current economic crisis on the American family. Twenty journalists have been selected to attend this unique training experience in Chicago next month.

We will announce our next webinar series soon after we evaluate these survey results.

SNA/APME Future Webinars Survey:


Broken Budgets, the yearlong reporting initiative of The Associated Press and APME, has seen numerous national stories get front page play around the country and with localized reports that are enriching papers. A 50-state interactive should be available to members soon.

Broken Budgets is examining the fiscal crisis facing U.S. states and cities, how state and local governments are dealing with this crisis, and how Americans' lives will change because of it.

A statewide Broken Budgets project in Pennsylvania has attracted great member participation. That project will begin Sunday, April 10, and run on the following two Sundays.

But to join in on the Broken Budgets initiative, members don't have to engage in a full-blown collaboration. When your staff does a particularly compelling story on the state's fiscal problems, point it out to your AP bureau chief for use as a member exchange; localize one of the upcoming stories listed below (and that localized version can be used on state lines as a member exchange as well). And of course, we welcome ideas for full collaborations.

Here are some upcoming and recent stories:


DES MOINES, Iowa _ Superintendents at some of Iowa's largest school districts predict Gov. Terry Branstad's plan to replace the state's current preschool system with a scholarship program based on financial need would cause fewer children to enroll, forcing districts to lay off teachers and other staff. By Andrew Duffelmeyer.

Member sidebars:




SPRINGFIELD, Ill. _ Eager to cut costs in their prison systems, many states are slashing programs that are intended keep inmates from returning to crime after they are released. States that cut addiction counseling, mental health treatment and other services will end up with more people committing crimes, say corrections directors, parole experts and prison reformers. That could mean more people in prison, higher costs and yet more service cuts. By Chris Wills.


ATLANTA _ As the costs to house state prisoners have soared in recent years, many conservatives are re-examining a tough-on-crime era that has led to stiffer sentences, overstuffed prisons and bloated corrections budgets. Ongoing deficits and steep drops in tax revenue in most states are forcing the issue, with law-and-order Republican governors and state legislators beginning to amend years of policies that were designed to lock up more criminals and put them away for longer periods of time. Most of the proposals circulating in at least 22 state Capitols would not affect current state inmates, but only those who have yet to be charged. By Greg Bluestein.

AP Photos.


ALBANY, N.Y. _ Headlines feed a stereotype of teachers, police officers and other public workers being pampered with cushy benefits that private-sector workers can only dream of. Governors around the nation trying to slice into budget deficits have highlighted the benefit gap as they target state and local worker benefits. But how accurate is the image of lavishly compensated public workers accurate? The question is important to a growing national debate about the role of unions in the public sector in an era of diminished tax revenue and taxpayer anger fueled by perceptions of fat-cat compensation and enviable perks. By Mike Hill.


SAN FRANCISCO _ Schools districts around the country are preparing to lay off what could be record numbers of teachers as state legislatures slash spending on education to close massive holes in their budgets. The shrunken teaching force will lead to larger class sizes, fewer electives and extracurricular activities, and more obstacles to turning around low-performing schools. In many districts, the least experienced teachers will lose their jobs because of union rules that call for layoffs by seniority. In California, education officials expect to districts to issue 30,000 or more pink as administrators prepare for worst-case budget scenarios amid uncertainty over how the governor and Legislature will close a $26 billion budget deficit. Yet the prospect of deep cuts to local school programs may have even Republican lawmakers looking for alternatives and ways to compromise with Democrats. By Terence Chea.


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. _ The five largest states are facing budget shortfalls and all are taking different approaches on how to address the problem. California is trying to extend temporary taxes and borrow money to go along with budget cuts. Texas is looking into tapping a rainy day fund to ease the pain of cuts. Illinois is raising income taxes and borrowing money while looking to increase spending. New York is wrangling between simply making the necessary cuts and extending a temporary tax on residents making more than $200,000. But only Florida is talking about cutting to meet the shortfall and then cutting even more to make room for tax cuts. Florida Gov. Rick Scott believes that while it may hurt more in the short run, eliminating the corporate income tax will bring more businesses to the state that relies primarily on sales tax for its revenue. It's an experiment that will be closely watched. By Brendan Farrington.


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. _ How early is too early to retire? Many public-sector jobs allow workers to retire at 55 _ and sometimes 50 _ with pensions that are almost equal to their final pay. That contrasts with the private-sector, where most workers do not have defined pensions and will have to work until 65 or 67 to get Social Security. In part, it's an issue of fairness: Should retirement ages rise for public-sector employees to be more like those for the taxpayers who fund their salaries and pensions? But it also is a serious financial issue affecting state budgets across the country. In some cases, government workers will receive a pension check longer than they received a paycheck. By Chris Wills and Don Thompson.

And some links to Broken Budgets stories:

There's room for more – much more – member involvement in this reporting initiative that is taking place in all 50 AP statehouse bureaus and sports its own logo.

Broken Budgets works like this: Advisories of major stories produced by AP staffers are sent to member papers 7 to 10 days in advance, giving time for localizing. Stories in the initiative can be jointly produced by AP, member papers and journalism organizations. If your organization has an idea for this series,a story you'd like to produce jointly, or even a statewide project you'd want to participate in, please contact your state's AP bureau chief.

A few ideas for localizing stories from Gatehouse News Service:

Look to APME Updates and for updates in this initiative.

To find Broken Budgets in AP Exchange, click on Politics and then Broken Budgets.

For further information, please contact Bob Heisse at or Sally Jacobsen at


2011 APME Journalism Excellence Awards: Deadline Monday, May 16

The 2011 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.

Categories include:

  • Fifth Annual Innovator of the Year Award. The winner will be awarded $2,000.
  • Second Annual Gannett Foundation Award for Innovation in Watchdog Journalism. The winner in each of two circulation categories will be awarded $2,500.
  • 41st Annual Public Service Awards
  • 41st Annual First Amendment Award and Citations
  • 10th Annual Online Convergence Awards
  • 10th Annual International Perspective Awards

All awards are presented for journalism published or launched between July 1, 2010, and May 16, 2011.

The deadline for entry is Monday, May 16.

The awards will be presented at the APME annual conference Sept 14-16in Denver and linked on the APME website.

Entry fees are $75 for APME members and $100 for non-members.

For more information: Please go to:



The Associated Press Managing Editors, in partnership with the American Society of News Editors, is accepting nominations for the 10th annual Robert G. McGruder Awards for Diversity Leadership.

Two awards are given annually: one for newspapers with a circulation up to 75,000; one for newspapers with more than 75,000 circulation.

The awards go to individuals, newsrooms or teams of journalists who embody the spirit of McGruder, a former executive editor of the Detroit Free Press, former managing editor of The Cleveland Plain Dealer, graduate of Kent State University and relentless diversity champion. McGruder died of cancer in April 2002.

This year, the awards are being sponsored by the Free Press, The Plain Dealer, Kent State University and the Freedom Forum Diversity Institute.

Jurors will be looking for nominees who have made a significant contribution during a given year or over a number of years toward furthering diversity in newspaper content and in recruiting, developing and retaining journalists of color. The deadline to make a nomination is Monday, May 16.

Announcement of the winners will be made at the annual APME conference, Sept. 14-16 in Denver. The recognized honorees each receive $2,500 and a leadership trophy.

For more information:



AP: Prison officials go to extra lengths to get lethal-injection drug

AP: US nuclear spent-fuel storage sites are packed

The News Tribune: Lawmakers eye cost of pension cost-of-living increases

Columbus Dispatch: Governor seeks 51 percent budget cut for consumer watchdog

McClatchy & Center for Public Integrity: Billions later, roadside bombs still worst killers

Read all watchdog reports at:


AP'S BEAT OF THE WEEK: Chris Hawley, John Curran

It was a simple but evocative opening to an APNewsNow picked up from Boston last fall: ``A Boston-area Pakistani immigrant swept up in the investigation into the failed plot to set off a bomb in Times Square says he just wants his life to return to normal.''

The brief was about Pir Khan, one of three New England men who was detained but never faced serious criminal charges in the Times Square case. Yet he said the stigma of being branded a terrorist, though never charged as one, had made his life hell.

Newsperson Chris Hawley of New York City and Montpelier, Vt., Correspondent John Curran spent more than three months tracking down suspects from Santa Monica, Calif., to Lahore, Pakistan. They crunched data on more than 10,000 terrorism cases, and used FOIA requests and commercial databases to track millions of dollars the government has paid in out-of-court settlements to former suspects.

Read more:



Jeri Clausing, a former Associated Press news editor, has been named AP supervisory correspondent in Albuquerque, N.M. Clausing will oversee state news operations and work with the AP correspondent in Santa Fe. The appointment was announced by West Regional Editor Traci Carl and Michael Giarrusso, chief of bureau for Arizona and New Mexico. "Jeri is an outstanding journalist and leader for AP's news operations in New Mexico," said Giarrusso. Clausing has more than 20 years of experience managing, reporting and editing for major news outlets. She worked for the AP in Dallas and as an AP news editor in Wisconsin from 1993-1996. She was the capitol bureau chief for The Denver Post from 2005-2007, and The New York Times' technology correspondent from 1997-2000. Clausing also worked for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the Dallas Times Herald and for United Press International in New Mexico, Texas, and Louisiana. Most recently, she has been based in Denver and traveling the world as Travel Weekly's senior editor for coverage of the hotel and hospitality industry. She is a graduate of Southern Methodist University with a degree in journalism.

Jim Van Anglen, a metro desk editor at the Press-Register in Mobile, has been named administrative correspondent for The Associated Press in Montgomery, overseeing newsgathering in Alabama. The announcement was made by South Regional Editor Lisa Marie Pane and South Atlantic Bureau Chief Michelle Williams. "Jim is a top-notch journalist with a wealth of experience and a depth of knowledge about Alabama," Pane said. Van Anglen, 47, has held a variety of editing positions at the Press-Register since 1998. As political editor, he oversaw the Montgomery and Washington, D.C., bureaus, as well as election coverage, including the 2002 contested gubernatorial race. Most recently, he oversaw metro and political reporters and helped with the newspaper's coverage of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Van Anglen replaces Kendal Weaver, who retired earlier this year after about 40 years with the news cooperative in Alabama. A graduate of Boston College and a native of Bedford, N.H., Van Anglen also has worked for the New Hampshire Union Leader and New Hampshire Sunday News; Eagle-Tribune in North Andover, Mass.; Athens (Ga.) Banner-Herald; and Neighborhood Publications of Bedford.

Thomas Beaumont, a veteran chronicler of presidential politics and the Iowa Caucuses, has been named Des Moines Correspondent for The Associated Press. The appointment was announced by David Scott, the cooperative's regional editor for the Central U.S., and Scott McFetridge, the AP's news editor for Iowa and Nebraska. Beaumont joins the AP from The Des Moines Register, where he had served as the newspaper's chief political reporter since 2002. He led the paper's coverage of the White House aspirants who every four years spend months courting Iowa voters ahead of the state's first-in-the-nation caucus vote. "Tom breaks the news that matters most in presidential politics in Iowa," Scott said. As Des Moines Correspondent, Beaumont will join a political coverage team that includes state government reporter Mike Glover and Iowa City Correspondent Ryan J. Foley. Beaumont, 42, joined the Register in 1999 as a general assignment and investigative reporter. He took over as the paper's chief political reporter three years later, and has served as the lead writer for the newspaper's Iowa Poll since 2008. Beaumont graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1989 and earned a master's degree in journalism from the school in 1993.

After 32 years of leading news coverage at The Messenger in Madisonville, Ky., executive editor Tom Clinton is stepping down. Clinton says that at age 66 he is ready to enjoy what retirement has to offer. Clinton has received several awards from the Kentucky Press Association in addition to the Western Kentucky University Journalism Practitioner of the Year award and the New York Times Company President's Award.



USA Today rewrites strategy to cope with Internet

Alliance formed between 2 Idaho newspaper groups

Fallon newspaper names new general manager

Gannett's revenue still dropping, but management expects to hit 1Q earnings target

Washington Post Co. CEO gets same pay in 2010

Montrose Daily Press of Colorado names new publisher

Lincoln (Neb.) Journal Star publisher leaving for new job

Find these reports at:



Online Journalism Credibility webinars presented by NewsU and APME are available online. If you missed a webinar or want to watch them again, register for the Training Package, which enables you to view (and re-view) all six seminars.

Here is the link to the Training Package: APME Online Credibility Series



A great place to talk about what's working in your newsroom is our forums on Check out the forum and "good ideas" and help start a conversation on a topic.



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 call Sally at (212) 621-7007.

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To receive APME Update by e-mail notify APME is a newspaper editors association 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 Managing 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 in the United States and Canadian Press publications in Canada. APME Supporting Memberships are $100 a year. Mailing address: Associated Press Managing Editors Association, c/o Sally Jacobsen, The Associated Press, 450 West 33rd Street, New York, NY 10001. Phone: (212) 621-7007. Fax: (212) 506-6102. E-mail: Web:

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