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APME Newsletter May 5, 2011
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APME Update

The electronic newsletter of the Associated Press Managing Editors for May 5, 2011

In this issue:

2011 APME Journalism Excellence Awards: Deadline May 16
2011 McGruder Diversity Leadership Awards: Deadline May 16
Save the Date: APME's Annual Conference Sept. 14-16 in Denver
APME-AP Broken Budgets: Winner of April Innovator of the Month
Join NewsTrain on Facebook and Twitter
Watchdog Reporting: Summary of Recent Impact Reporting
AP Beat of the Week: Alabama's David Martin
Editors in the News: Begos, Graves, Burbach
In Memoriam: Brown
Business of News

Catching up on Credibility Topics: Order the Full Set

APME Forums: Discuss Good Ideas With Colleagues



Save the Date

- 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 14-16 in 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:



The APME 2011 Conference - Reaching New Heights: Embracing Tomorrow Today! - will be held Sept. 14-16 in Denver at the new Embassy Suites Denver - Downtown Convention Center.

The conference's outstanding program will:

_ Help you provide outstanding multi-platform coverage of the BIG story.

_ Help you compete in the hyper-local marketplace.

_ Help you lead a digital newsroom.

_ Help you make the First Amendment deliver for your newsroom.

_ Help you navigate the increased limitations/restrictions professional and collegiate sports are placing on news organizations.

_ Help you rein in online comments.

_ Help you do a better job putting a local lens on national and international stories.

_ Help you cover the census, the tea party and the 2012 election.

Join us for the opening reception and auction on Wednesday night, Sept. 14, at The Denver Post and for a Colorado Rockies - San Francisco Giants baseball game at Coors Field on Thursday night, Sept. 15.

The Embassy Suites Denver - Downtown Convention Center is offering a special room rate of $159 a night for the conference. The special rate will be available until Aug. 15 or until the group block of 75 rooms is sold out, whichever comes first. For more information, go to


APRIL WINNER OF INNOVATOR OF THE MONTH: Pennsylvania Broken Budgets Project

A massive Pennsylvania project on staffing of the state General Assembly – produced as part of the AP-APME Broken Budgets initiative – is the April winner of APME's Innovator of the Month contest.

The project, which was published in papers across Pennsylvania on three Sundays in April, drew 33 member participants to detail the spending of the 253-member legislature, which employs 3,000 staffers who work in more than 400 district offices in addition to the state Capitol. In all, the legislature's operations cost $300 million annually.

Mark Scolforo, AP correspondent in Harrisburg, obtained workforce data for the House and Senate and shared it with participating reporters and editors, who localized the stories to fit their needs or wrote their own.

"Our Capitol Hill reporter, Kari Andren, put together a package evaluating the staff size and salaries of our midstate lawmakers to run with AP's Broken Budgets stories. The combined fire power resulted in a powerful – and very local – package three weeks in a row. I'm hoping for more of these collaborations in the future," said Cate Barron, executive editor of The Patriot-News in Harrisburg.

Pennsylvania papers had joined forces on other statewide projects over the years. But this one drew the most participation by far.

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. 14-16 at the Embassy Suites in Denver.

"The unprecedented collaboration among Pennsylvania's newspapers and the Associated Press is the kind of innovation we need to keep doing important watchdog journalism in an era of shrinking newsroom resources,” said Kathy Best, managing editor/digital news and innovation at Seattle Times, one of the APME judges.

"Broken Budgets: Collaborative, interactive and will likely result in meaningful change for the state. My top choice,” said another APME judge, Jon Broadrooks, executive editor of the Springfield (Ill.) Journal-Register.

AP Pennsylvania news editor Matt Moore and Scolforo regularly updated reporters and editors on the status of the statewide project. For more on the Broken Budgets initiative nationally visit If you have an idea for a statewide project, contact your AP bureau chief.

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.

Links to the three main Pennsylvania Broken Budgets stories:



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.





AP: Ties bind Japan nuke sector, regulators

Boston Sunday Globe: Millions in profits and no federal taxes for 30 public companies

Austin American-Statesman: Betting on death a risky investment

Rochester Democrat and Chronicle: Property tax total blurred by added charges

Los Angeles Times: Los Angeles county sheriff receives many gifts

The Arizona Star: Number of abused children soars as foster funding slashed

Akron Beacon Journal: Does Akron area need 111 fire chiefs?

Read all watchdog reports at:


AP'S BEAT OF THE WEEK: Alabama's David Martin

When the killer tornadoes roared across Alabama, Dave Martin was the only AP staff photographer in the state. But he was not alone. He had a team of photographers at his disposal. Not AP photographers, but AP member photographers.

Martin was on the phone immediately with newspapers across the state, asking about their coverage plans and reminding them to share their images with the AP.

He didn't have to ask twice.

Martin has been cultivating relationships with Alabama members since joining the AP 28 years ago. More than just the AP guy, he is practically one of them.

"Dave Martin gives me back more than I give him," said Walt Stricklin, director of photography for The Birmingham News. "We give Dave whatever he asks."

In the case of the tornadoes, more than he asked.

Casting aside any competitive concerns, Alabama members contributed 309 photos between Wednesday afternoon and Monday morning as the state began digging out from the second-deadliest tornado outbreak in U.S. history. All of the state's newspapers also lifted online usage restrictions, making their photos available to the big Internet portals.

The Decatur Daily, The Huntsville Times, the TimesDaily in Florence, The Birmingham News and The Tuscaloosa News all contributed daily. If a picture is worth a thousand words, their collective efforts could have filled an encyclopedia.

The images were dramatic, showing the ferocity of the storm and the human toll of the devastation.

Dusty Compton of The Tuscaloosa News had the signature photo of a huge funnel cloud moving through the city. Gary Cosby Jr. of The Decatur Daily showed a woman standing amidst the splintered remains of her neighborhood near Athens, Ala. Jeff Roberts of The Birmingham News captured a man holding his granddaughter near where their house had stood in Concord, Ala.

AP member photos populated many online galleries:

The Atlantic Monthly:

National Geographic:

The New York Times:



The Associated Press has named Kevin Begos and Will Graves as reporter and sports writer in its Pittsburgh bureau, part of the cooperative's efforts in providing robust breaking news and enterprise-oriented reporting in Pennsylvania. Begos will start in the bureau June 1. He has worked as the statehouse reporter in Florida for the Tampa Tribune; as a correspondent covering Washington and doing investigative reporting for the Winston-Salem Journal; and stints reporting in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sudan, Uganda and Mexico. Begos was a Knight Science Journalism Fellow at MIT, a Biomedical Science Journalism Fellow at the Marine Biological Laboratory and is a member of the National Association of Science Writers and Investigative Reporters and Editors. He is a graduate of Bard College. Graves is transferring from the cooperative's Louisville, Ky., bureau to be the new sports writer. Graves joined the AP in Louisville in November 2005 and has covered everything from the Final Four to the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, the Indy 500 and the Daytona 500. He starts in the bureau May 9. Before joining the AP, Graves worked at the Naples Daily News in Florida where he covered Florida, Miami and Florida State football. Graves is a graduate of West Virginia University.

The Pioneer Press of St. Paul, Minn., announced that Mike Burbach, its opinion page editor, will become the newspaper's editor and vice president. Burbach, 52, succeeds Thom Fladung, who left in February to become managing editor of The Plain Dealer in Cleveland after leading the Pioneer Press newsroom since 2005. Burbach steps into his new role by taking the reins from interim editor Sue Campbell, who is senior editor for local news. Burbach told the newsroom staff that his top priority is breaking news. After graduating from the University of North Dakota in 1982, he began work at the Grand Forks Herald, where he was a reporter and editor for eight years, including a stint as news editor of Agweek, the Herald's magazine devoted to farming. He moved on to become editor at newspapers in Minot, N.D., and Columbus, Ga., and managing editor of newspapers in Aberdeen, S.D., and Akron, Ohio.



Howard Brown, the longtime publisher of the Kenosha (Wis.) News, has died at age 87. Brown purchased the newspaper in December 1961, serving 40 years as its publisher before passing the job to Ken Dowdell. Brown remained active in the operation and was president of the newspaper's parent company, United Communications Corp., until his death. Brown built UCC to include three daily newspapers, several weekly newspapers and three television stations in five states.



Newspapers, websites lacking diversity in sports, study says

White House, newspaper clash over protest video

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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