APME News: Reflecting on APME’s mission
Sunday, January 1, 2017
Posted by: Laura Sellers-Earl
The President’s Corner: Bill Church
Few editors understand the challenges of getting to know the staff, figuring out best places for a quick lunch, and finding a home in a pleasant neighborhood.
The staff in my new newsroom is friendly.
Chuy’s is my favorite lunch place.
We also found a cozy place across from a park with walking trails and a small lake. Bonus find: The neighborhood has a farmers’ market on Sundays.
Our recent move to Austin hasn’t been a typical relocation.
This is the first time that I’m not working for the local newspaper.
GateHouse Media Center for News and Design works with more than 500 publications while also serving as the hub for our corporate news team.
We don’t have a sports department.
There isn’t a metro desk.
I don’t get calls from readers wanting to discuss the editorial pages or why their Sunday newspaper was delivered in the hedges.
Who knew that I’d miss grumpy voicemails from readers.
Our Austin experience reinforces two issues facing members of the Associated Press Media Editors:
1. Readers don’t need us. Our first month was spent in constant Google mode. We searched for restaurants, things to do and latest local news. Blogs and niche sites popped up often in our mobile searches.
2. Readers need us. The Texas Book Festival is a big deal in Austin. So is politics. Searches gave us slices of information but incomplete answers.
The best context – from author profiles to voter demographics – came from the Austin American-Statesman.
Many of us worry that APME preaches to its choir. How do we remain responsible journalists in an era where false news goes viral and the public’s right to know gets ignored?
It is worth reflecting on the APME mission. (Learn all about our organization at APME.com or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.)
We support our diverse network of current and emerging newsroom leaders.
We champion the First Amendment and the freedom of information.
We train journalists to succeed in a rapidly changing environment.
We innovate through forward-looking ideas that benefit news organizations and the communities they serve.
Our close ties to the Associated Press affirm our commitment to making a difference in this changing world.
Our 2016-17 initiatives will be built on our mission to lead, nurture and innovate.
My hope for APME is to explore new opportunities but also remember what we do best.
We’re journalists. We’re also neighbors. We understand change.
Bill Church is APME president for 2016-17. He was executive editor of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune before becoming GateHouse Media’s senior vice president of news.