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APME Newsletter Feb.25, 2011
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APME Update

The electronic newsletter of the Associated Press Managing Editors for February 25, 2011, 2011

In this issue:

APME Membership Drive: $99 New Member Discount Until April 15
Scholarships Available for Community Journalists for Economic Forum
Innovator of the Year: Seeking Entries for February
Broken Budgets: AP-APME National Reporting Project
Register Now for NewsTrains in Washington, DC.; Madison, Wis.
APME-SNA Newsroom ‘Hot Topic' Webinar March 2
Dig into Your Treasure Chest for APME's New Online Auction

Join us on Facebook
Watchdog Reporting: Summary of Recent Impact Reporting
AP Beat of the Week: Dakar's Rukmini Callimachi
Industry News
Catching up on Credibility Topics: Order the Full Set
APME Forums: Discuss Good Ideas With Colleagues
And finally … Extreme Adventure: Around the world by truck



Save the Date

- Feb. 25 – Deadline to apply for scholarships to SNA-APME Symposium in Chicago

- March 2 – APME-SNA Hot Topic Webinar at 11 a.m. ET on Social Media: Control It Before It Controls You – LessonsLearned from the "Man with the Golden Voice"

- March 17-18 -- The Freedom Forum's Diversity Institute will host NewsTrain/Washington, D.C., at the Newseum

- 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.

- Sept. 14-16 – APME annual conference in Denver



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



Application Deadline: Friday, Feb. 25

The SNA Foundation and the Associated Press Managing Editors have been awarded a McCormick Foundation grant to conduct a two-day symposium April 5-6 in Chicago designed to teach community journalists how to uncover local stories on the impact of the economic crisis on the American family. The symposium will feature top speakers from the academic world, as well as journalists who cover highly specialized aspects of the topic. Scholarship winners will gain the tools and information needed to better cover the topic in their communities. Follow-up webinars will also be available.

Applications for the 20 scholarships are due by Feb. 25. Click here <>to access the application form and information. The scholarship will cover the costs of airfare, hotel and meals.

Editors and reporters are eligible to apply for the scholarships. Special consideration will be given to those in a position to drive the coverage of this topic at their newspaper. Depending on the size of the paper, this may be the editor, an assignment editor or a reporter.

The scholarships are available for community journalists who work at daily newspapers with a circulation of 100,000 or less or for a weekly group of newspapers. A number of slots have been reserved for weekly newspaper editors and for smaller dailies. The goal is to have a diverse audience.

The symposium is being implemented with a $35,000 grant from the McCormick Foundation.

Read more:



The Associated Press Managing Editors' Innovator of the Year contest, now in its fifth year, is seeking entries for February in its new monthly contest highlighting newspaper innovations all year long.

Associated Press-member newspapers are invited to enter their innovative work at any time. Judges will recognize one paper per month.

The Register Citizen, an 8,000 circulation daily in Torrington, Conn., was the first winner, in January, of the innovator of the month contest.

The Register Citizen, owned Journal Register Co., was recognized for its groundbreaking Newsroom Cafe, which began in December.

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 in Denver in September.

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

Monthly winners are recognized on and at the annual APME conference.

Applications for APME monthly innovation recognition are being accepted at:



The Associated Press and the Associated Press Managing Editors have launched a joint project to examine the fiscal crisis facing U.S. states and cities, how state and local governments will deal with this crisis and how Americans' lives will change because of it.

Plans are under way for several major stories for 2011. Newspapers will get 7 to 10 days notice from AP and APME to localize some of these stories. A logo is being planned to accompany any stories in the series, for any paper wanting to use it.

Stories in the project can be jointly produced by the AP, its members and other journalism organizations.If your organization has a story it wants to contribute to the project, or an idea that can be produced jointly, please contact your state's AP bureau chief.

Look to APME Update and for news and developments in the joint project.

Together, we will shine a spotlight on the fiscal challenges in the statehouses, and in many cases AP and its members willdevelop comparison data to show the situation in every state.

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



Today's journalists will learn relevant skills they can put to immediate use from two upcoming NewsTrain programs sponsored by the Associated Press Managing Editors.

APME's NewsTrain provides low-cost regional training to help frontline editors become more effective leaders in print and online news operations of all sizes. Nationally recognized trainers offer practical advice and proven management techniques that editors can use on the job right away. More than 5,000 journalists have attended NewsTrain since its inception seven years ago.

NewsTrain @ the Newseum will be held March 17-18 in Washington, D.C.
( <> )

Sessions on watchdog reporting in the digital age and creating content across platforms will highlight two training tracks running over two days at the Newseum in downtown Washington.
NewsTrain @ the Newseum is coordinated by APME and the Freedom Forum Diversity Institute.

NewsTrain in the Midwest will be held April 29-30 in Madison, Wis.
( <> )

Sessions on growing mobile content, ethics and values, and making content SEO friendly highlight this two-track training program.
NewsTrain in the Midwest is being coordinated by a host of state newspapers and organizations.

A low $50 registration fee covers attendance for either or both days at a NewsTrain. For more information go to: <>

NewsTrains are also scheduled this fall for New Jersey and California. Details will be announced soon.

"We have a great group of host sites lined up for 2011, and we are thrilled to be kicking off the year at the Newseum in March,” said APME President Hollis R. Towns. "The opportunity to take in a NewsTrain at such a unique location will be a real pleasure.”

For 2011, NewsTrain's funding was provided by The Associated Press, Ethics & Excellence Journalism Foundation, the Gannett Foundation, GateHouse Media Inc., Athlon Sports Media, the Scripps Howard Foundation, Verve Wireless, Zope Corp. and the APME Foundation.



APME & SNA are proud to partner on a webinar series that explores recent news events and how social media played a part in the reporting and news dissemination process.

APME & SNA Members: Only $29 per webinar. Non-members: $49 per webinar.

Social Media: Control It Before It Controls You – Lessons Learned from the "Man with the Golden Voice"
Wednesday, March 2, at 11 a.m. ET (10 a.m. CT / 9 a.m. MT / 8 a.m. PT)

When a photographer at The Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch used his Flip video camera to record the amazing voice of a homeless man, no one was ready for what came next: pirating of the video, a viral explosion of interest in the video, and the homeless man and the photographer who made him famous. Speakers: Benjamin Marrison, editor, and Alan Miller, managing editor/news, The Dispatch. The staff learned how (and how not) to handle video on the Web. Members of its staff will share insights and tips from that experience.

Click to download registration form:

Fax the form to SNA at 231-932-2985. You may also register by calling 888-486-2466. Your webinar confirmation will be sent by e-mail.

Note: To guarantee your webinar seat, registration is required no later than one hour prior to the start of the webinar.


Dig into your treasure chest! This is your chance to help the APME Foundation throughout the year by donating auction items for our new online auction.

We'd love almost anything – sporting tickets, newspaper photos, vacation homes or rentals, books or newspaper memorabilia. Some items that have done well in our annual live auction include Harley jackets, sporting wear, jewelry, wine tours and regional beverages – the sky's the limit.

The new online auction will kick off in March (watch for details at or and we're hoping for a bit of madness. Send the description of your item and a photo (if possible) and its value to or Give us your contact info, so we can confirm the details with you. And then give yourself a pat on the back for helping the APME Foundation continue its great training and scholarship programs, such as NewsTrain.




Please help us build our Facebook following by joining and telling your friends in journalism about us. Click on the icon above to see.



AP: Few states follow mental health gun law

AP: Looking for a credit card? It pays to be rich

Orange County Register: For hospitals, malnutrition among elderly pays

Palm Beach Post: Lobbyists, not Florida, fund most legal challenges to health law

LA Times: Report finds fatal blunders but no plot to kill journalist in 1970

Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Insurance commissioner grants himself licenses

Read all 17 watchdog reports at:



Rukmini Callimachi was looking for proof of mass killings in Ivory Coast. The defeated president had been refusing to give way for almost three months and bodies of voters who supported his opponent kept showing up on the sides of highways.

She found the evidence practically in plain sight, in the public morgues of the palm-lined capital of Abidjan.

Callimachi, the AP's West Africa correspondent, based in Dakar, documented at least 113 bodies held in four morgues, and there were likely many more in five other morgues that Callimachi was refused access to.

A list of the dead that the AP was allowed to see on the laptop of a company that manages three downtown morgues showed the bodies began arriving Dec. 1, the night the country's electoral commission was due to announce that opposition leader Alassane Ouattara had defeated incumbent Laurent Gbagbo.

Callimachi also saw legal documents instructing funeral homes to pick up bodies found on public roads, and the paperwork for families who were allowed only to identify the victims but not to take them for burial.

Getting that documentation took courage and tenacity.

Then Callimachi got a break. She learned that the owner of one of the largest morgues was a supporter of Ouattara, the internationally recognized winner of the Nov. 28 election. But he was holed up in the same hotel where Ouattara had taken refuge, and he agreed to talk only if Callimachi met him in person.

That was close to impossible. The hotel was blockaded by soldiers loyal to Gbagbo, the defeated president. The only way in was by U.N. helicopter – and there were no seats available. Reporters who had tried to go in by car or foot had been arrested.

Finally, Callimachi found a car with diplomatic plates and an Ivorian willing to drive her in. The soldiers at the hotel assumed the car had been sent by Gbagbo. The ruse worked and Callimachi was waved through.

Her reward was new evidence of dozens of killings, based on ethnicity and political leanings. She made a spreadsheet of the bodies, listing next to each one whether she had seen photos, entry documents or letters to the families. That confirmed the tally.




George Polk awards: AP, Rolling Stone, NY Times, Washington Post, LA Times, Newark Star-Ledger, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, NY Daily News

Ethics panel exonerates Maine newspaper

Pennsylvania newspapers want courts to unseal abortion case

Copyright lawsuits filed over pat-down photo

Tennessee bill would take legal notices from newspaper

Southern Indiana newspapers to merge by March 1

Washington bill to move legal notices online appears dead

Rex Maynor named publisher of Stillwater NewsPress

Find these reports at:


Hundreds of APME members attended Online Journalism Credibility webinars presented in the past nine months by NewsU and APME.

Though the six-part series is now over, the webinars live on in recorded form, allowing learning to continue. If you missed a webinar or want to watch them again because you have new situations to consider, now is a great time to 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.

And if you have ideas for additional forums, please let us know.

You can find the forum area at:

AND FINALLY... Extreme Adventure: Around the World by Truck.


For The Associated Press

Editors Note: Nicolas Rapp, former AP art director, is back home in New York City after a 37,000-mile trip around the world, most of it overland in a 1996 Toyota Land Cruiser. The trip lasted 15 months and took him to 33 countries on four continents. He left in November 2009, drove from New York to Buenos Aires, then from South Africa to Iran and around Asia before flying to Los Angeles and driving back to New York.

NEW YORK (AP) – Arriving back in the United States after a 37,000-mile trip around the world, most of it overland in a 1996 Toyota Land Cruiser, I made a funny mistake. I had survived landslides, jungles, breakdowns and accidents; monkeys stealing my breakfast; cops shaking me down; border guards turning me back; and desert thugs looking to take my precious water. Finally I got through customs in Los Angeles, flashed my colorful passport to the officers and expected to see friends who had promised to meet me.

No one was there.

After asking someone what day it was, I realized my mistake. It was Saturday. I had told them I was arriving Sunday. I had forgotten I would cross the international date line somewhere in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and go back one day in time.

I thought of Phileas Fogg in Jules Verne's "Around the World in 80 Days." He won a challenge to get around the world in 80 days only because he got an extra 24 hours by traveling eastward. I got the same bonus, gaining one more day on this planet as I circumnavigated the globe toward the rising sun. I was on the road 456 days, but according to the calendar, it was only 455 days.

I had set out in November of 2009, driving from New York to Buenos Aires, Argentina, then South Africa to Iran, through India and Bangladesh and around southeast Asia before flying to the West Coast and driving home to New York. Before I left, I worried about health and safety, got vaccinations and outfitted my truck with a pop-up tent and other equipment. But aside from a few encounters with extreme weather, corrupt officials, and individuals in various places a little too interested in my possessions, I got home fine.

I even stayed within my $50,000 budget, including the $14,000 I spent to buy and equip the truck before I left. Most other expenditures were also vehicle-related: truck repairs, $7,000; shipping the vehicle across oceans, $12,000; and gas to propel myself around the world, $7,600.

There were some disappointments and changes of plans along the way, mainly due to political instabilities and difficulties getting visas and crossing borders. Pakistan would not issue a visa due to flooding and other issues, and I did not have time for the necessary paperwork to go through Russia or China.

Nevertheless, I had plenty of adventures in the places I did reach. My truck got stuck in the mud overnight on top of a 13,000-foot high mountain in Peru; I got a military escort from Yemen to Oman with machine gun-toting soldiers, and I made a mad dash to escape scam artists in Delhi who took me to a fake tourism office. I was their perfect victim, desperate for a place to crash after an exhausting night traveling from Iran. They tried to book me in a $150-a-night hotel, insisting that the cheap places I had picked had closed or burned down. I finally agreed, then asked to check my e-mail on their computer. I quickly booked a hotel for $22 and fled out the door to the relative freedom of the street.

Read more at:


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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