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APME Newsletter April 21, 2011
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APME Update

The electronic newsletter of the Associated Press Managing Editors for April 21, 2011

In this issue:

2011 APME Journalism Excellence Awards: Deadline May 16
2011 McGruder Diversity Leadership Awards: Deadline May 16
APME-AP Broken Budgets: Massive State Project Under Way
NewsTrain: Register for Madison, Wis., Workshop April 29-30

Join NewsTrain on Facebook and Twitter
Monthly Innovator Award: Applications Being Accepted for April
Watchdog Reporting: Summary of Recent Impact Reporting
AP Beat of the Week: David Rising, Randy Herschaft
Editors in the News: Baldwin, Flannery
In Memoriam: Hetherington, Hondros, Wynn, Fryer, Specht
Business of News
Catching up on Credibility Topics: Order the Full Set
APME Forums: Discuss Good Ideas With Colleagues



Save the Date

- 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 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:



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:



Pennsylvania newspapers have joined forces for the first statewide Broken Budgets project, as part of the Associated Press-APME yearlong reporting initiative.

The Pennsylvania project, prepared by the AP and 33 member newspapers, is detailing the $300 million annual cost to taxpayers to fund the General Assembly, which includes 253 full-time members and 3,000 legislative employees working in more than 400 offices around the state, in addition to the Capitol in Harrisburg.

It's one of the costliest legislatures in the country. Yet Pennsylvania's new Republican Gov. Tom Corbett has not called for significant funding cuts, while he wants to slash higher education funding by 50 percent and refuses to tax gas drillers working the lucrative Marcellus Shale.

The AP-APME Broken Budgets initiative has seen numerous national stories get front-page play around the country and 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.

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.

Please send links of stories to Bob Heisse at or Sally Jacobsen at for posting at

This story will move in advance for Tuesday, April 26:


OAKLAND, Calif. - The torrent of pink slips hitting the nation's public schools has reached every classroom on this small elementary campus in the hardscrabble flats of East Oakland. All 16 teachers at Futures Elementary have been warned they could lose their jobs this year because of California's budget crisis. They're among 540 teachers in Oakland and more than 20,000 statewide who received preliminary layoff notices last month. Schools districts around the country are preparing for large-scale layoffs of teachers and other school employees as states slash education spending to plug massive holes in their budgets. But as an era of austerity moves governors and lawmakers in many states, others wonder what effects such deep cuts will have on the next generation and on America's ability to compete pace with emerging competitors around the world. By Terence Chea.

Here are recent stories:


ALBANY, NY - A prosecutor in California collects $118,000 in unused sick days. A police officer in New York rings up $125,000 in overtime the year before retiring and "spikes" his pension payments. An Ohio school superintendent is hired for the same job from which he just retired and takes in more than $100,000 annually. The headlines feed a stereotype of fat-cat public workers with the kind of cushy benefits that most private-sector workers can only dream about. With the economy still wobbly, governors are looking hard at employee pay and benefits, and taxpayers are asking whether state and local governments can remain so generous to public workers. The issue has risen to national prominence as Republican governors in Wisconsin and Ohio have sought not only to make public employees pay more for their benefits but also prohibit many aspects of collective bargaining for the unions that represent them. Just how accurate is the portrayal of lavish compensation and benefits for public workers? Interviews with experts and reviews of numerous reports on the topic give a mixed answer, and one that can vary greatly from state to state. By Michael Hill.


TALLAHASSEE, Fla.- California's governor wants to maintain temporary tax increases to keep $9 billion a year flowing to the state treasury. Low-tax Texas is considering tapping its rainy day account to soften the effects of deep spending cuts. New York's governor pushed through budget cuts while keeping a campaign pledge to avoid tax increases. And residents of Illinois and Florida are getting a very different take on taxes: Illinois passed a massive increase, while Florida proposes giving its taxpayers a big break. The five states are the nation's most populous but are taking very different approaches to solving their respective budget deficits, illustrating that the priorities of the majority party play as much a role in budgeting decisions as a state's fiscal health. If those states are a guide, there is no single model for how to close a deficit. By Brendan Farrington.


As lawmakers around the country debate their states' budgets, they're staring over the edge of a massive fiscal cliff – the point where about $100 billion in federal stimulus money for education will run out. The end of that money will compound states' severe budget woes and likely lead to thousands of layoffs and the elimination of popular school programs around the country. By Sean Cavanagh and Heather Hollingsworth

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.

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




NEWSTRAIN: Last days to register for the Madison, Wis., NewsTrain


The last spring NewsTrain will be held in Madison, Wis., on Friday-Saturday, April 29-30. Registration deadline is Monday, April 25, at noon Central time. The deadline for making reservations at the conference hotel has passed, but you can always ask. (hotel info at ).

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 the $50 registration fee, which includes lunches and coffee breaks.



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.





Innovator of the Month

The Associated Press Managing Editors' Innovator of the Year contest has expanded to highlight newspaper innovations all year long.

Associated Press-member newspapers are now invited to enter their innovative work at any time. Judges will recognize one paper per month. Entries now are being accepted for April.

Find details and the entry platform at Every entry will also be considered for APME's annual Great Ideas book.

Monthly winners will be recognized on Each monthly winner will be invited to enter the annual Innovator of the Year contest, which is open to all newspapers in the U.S. and Canada and is awarded at the APME conference Sept. 14-16 at the Embassy Suites in Denver.

"We're pleased to take another big step in recognizing innovative work in our newsrooms,” said Bob Heisse, executive editor of the Centre Daily Times in State College, Pa., and APME vice president. "By putting a spotlight on journalism innovations monthly, we'll acknowledge top work more often and it might spark ideas at other papers.”

The Seattle Times was named APME Innovator of the Year in 2010. Previous winners are the Fort Myers (Fla.) News-Press, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and the Oklahoman of Oklahoma City

The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C. was the March winner. It was honored for Frontiers of Fat, a series on the science of obesity and an initiative that involves staffers and readers in losing weight.

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.



AP: Records show 3,200 wells abandoned, unplugged, unprotected in Gulf

AP: Company seeks early access to development rights as part of LA stadium deal

Cleveland Plain Dealer: Molestation accuser now wonders if it really happened

Arizona Daily Star: Why don't we treat people with mental illness?

San Diego Union-Tribune: City paying millions for pensions that exceed IRS limits.

Tampa Tribune: Phone industry wants deregulation; rates for 160,000 elderly affected

Read all watchdog reports at:


AP'S BEAT OF THE WEEK: David Rising and Randy Herschaft

For a quarter of a century, through three decades of U.S. hearings, an extradition, a death sentence followed by acquittal in Israel, a deportation and now a trial in Munich, the FBI had a secret. It had deemed a key piece of evidence against John Demjanjuk – a photo ID card naming him as a guard at the Sobibor Nazi death camp in occupied Poland – to be a Soviet forgery.

None of the people defending the Ukrainian-born Demjanjuk in his various trials knew this. Neither did his prosecutors. But when a trove of Demjanjuk-related files was quietly declassified after he was deported in May 2009 to face trial in Germany, acting Berlin bureau chief David Rising and investigative researcher Randy Herschaft suspected something might be there.

They were right, in a big way. The files contained a long-hidden report by the FBI's Cleveland field office detailing the agency's suspicion that the KGB "quite likely fabricated" the ID card.

Read more:



Mark Baldwin, a veteran manager of newsrooms in Wisconsin, New York and Kansas, has been named editor of The Republic newspaper in Columbus, Ind. Publisher Chuck Wells of The Republic says Baldwin will succeed Bob Gustin when he retires as editor May 5. Baldwin has been an executive with Gannett Co. newspapers in Wisconsin for the last 12 years and most recently served as executive editor of newspapers in Stevens Point and Wausau, Wis. He previously worked as managing editor at the Star Gazette in Elmira, N.Y., and as an editor at the Chicago Sun-Times, the Wichita Eagle in Kansas, the Milwaukee Sentinel and the Clearwater Sun in Florida. He holds bachelor's and master's degrees in journalism from Northwestern University.

The Center for Journalism Ethics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison awarded newsman Dan Flannery, executive editor of the Post Crescent in Appleton, Wis., the Wisconsin Commitment to Journalism Ethics Award. Flannery, a veteran of the newspaper industry, was recognized for his lifelong practice of applying the highest ethical standards to his work. A committee of working and retired journalists considered Flannery's long tenure at Gannett, his leadership at the helm of the Post Crescent and his work in the field of civic journalism. "Dan exemplifies what's best about journalism and the good work that can be done. He understands the impact it can have but also understands that its integrity is essential,” says Tom Bier, vice president and station manager of WISC-TV Madison, Wis. Flannery started at the Post Crescent as a sports editor in 1985. He was named executive editor of newspaper in June 2007.





In "Restrepo," his searing, Oscar-nominated documentary about a U.S. platoon in Afghanistan, Tim Hetherington achieved what every war filmmaker aspires to: bringing the viewer painfully close to the raw and terrible truths of battle. On Wednesday, the director and veteran photojournalist came too close himself to a different war – the chaotic, unpredictable conflict in Libya. Hetherington was killed while covering fighting between rebels and government forces in the western city of Misrata. The British-born Hetherington, 40, was remembered by colleagues and friends not only as a brave, dashing figure but also as a singular talent who constantly sought to expand the boundaries of his craft as he traveled the globe chronicling conflict. "He was an artist," said Susan White, photography director of Vanity Fair magazine, where Hetherington had been a contributor since 2007. "He was a package deal. He had it all." In his multifaceted career, Hetherington also used his photography for human rights work in places like Darfur. But he was best known for "Restrepo." He and Sebastian Junger, author of "The Perfect Storm," were co-directors of the 2010 documentary, which was nominated for an Oscar and won the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival.

Chris Hondros, a New York-based photographer for Getty Images, was also killed Wednesday in the conflict in Libya. His work appeared in major magazines and newspapers around the world, and his awards include the Robert Capa Gold Medal, one of the highest prizes in war photography. Hondros, 41, had covered conflict zones since the late 1990s, capturing clutching, jeering and fearful moments from wars including Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan. One front-page New York Times photo from 2007 showed a Humvee patrol in Iraq from a different angle: The ruddy hands of an Iraqi interpreter and a pair of muddied boots belonging to a gunner. "He has an intimacy in his work," said Swayne Hall, a longtime friend who works as a photo editor with The Associated Press. "Some people will use a long lens so they don't have to get up close. But Chris will get up close, he's just not afraid to be with whatever he's photographing." Hondros was born in New York City and moved to Fayetteville, N.C., as a child. He studied English literature at North Carolina State and got a master's degree at Ohio's School of Visual Communications. After working for the Observer and the AP, he freelanced and eventually became senior staff photographer at Getty.

Wilton Wynn covered Mideast wars and peacemaking for years before he moved to Rome and covered the early days of John Paul II's history-changing papacy. As Rome bureau chief for Time magazine, he frequently accompanied the well-traveled pope abroad. The pope took notice of Wynn's coverage, and when the journalist retired in 1985 for health reasons, he offered a papal blessing. Wynn died in Rome after a long illness. He was 90, and his widow, Leila, said his personal memories of covering the pope were the highlights of his long and distinguished career. Born in Prescott, Arkansas, Wynn graduated from Louisiana State University and went to work on a number of southern newspapers, including The Baton Rouge Morning Advocate. He served as head of the department of journalism at the American University in Cairo from 1945-47. He was director of journalism at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa., from 1947-50. He spent more than 25 years in Cairo and Beirut, Lebanon, including working as The Associated Press bureau chief in Cairo from 1955-61 before joining Time. While the AP's Cairo correspondent, he wrote a book about Egypt's Gamal Abdel Nasser and his rise to power, "Nasser of Egypt: The Search for Dignity," and in 1988 he published a book about three popes, "The Keepers of the Keys."

Robert R. "Bob" Fryer, the managing editor of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and other papers in the Trib Total Media chain owned by Richard Mellon Scaife, has died of complications of lung cancer. He was 64. Fryer, of Allegheny Township, graduated from what was then Point Park College in 1969 and went to work for the Valley News Dispatch in Tarentum. He became city editor of the Tarentum paper and later managing editor of a sister publication, the North Hills News Record, before Scaife bought both and named Fryer managing editor of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review in 1999. Fryer was honored last year with the President's Award for his contributions to journalism by the Press Club of Western Pennsylvania. He was perhaps best known for coaxing solid investigative work from his reporters and often found ways to contribute to such reporting, even after becoming an editor. He directed the Tribune-Review's investigative team.

David A. Specht Sr., owner of Specht Newspapers Inc. in Louisiana, died after a long illness. He was at 65. The Minden Press-Herald, one of his company's newspapers, reported his death. In addition to owning the Minden Press-Herald, Specht owned the Bossier Press-Tribune and Minden's local print shop, Webster Printing. In 1966, Specht turned the Minden Press-Herald into a daily newspaper. After several years publishing newspapers in states such as Florida and Kentucky, he formed Specht Newspapers in 1983.



AP board meets; names ex-ABC exec Westin CEO of licensing group; adjusts rates

Dow Jones CEO, Oklahoman publisher join AP board

Gannett posts lower 1Q earnings, ad revenue down

Publisher Lee Enterprises to refinance $1B in debt

Newseum acquires handwritten newspapers from Japan

Calif. newspaper group names executive director

Erie newspaper sued for publishing wrong mug shot

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. 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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