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Dennison reflects on year as APME president

Friday, November 8, 2013   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Laura Sellers-Earl
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By Hannah Ash
IU Southeast

Outgoing APME President Brad Dennison has had a sharp focus on journalism since his freshman year at college, said Jim St. Clair, retired IU Southeast journalism professor.

St. Clair said he remembers the first conversation he ever had with Dennison. Dennison was a freshman at the time, and St. Clair was the professor of his journalism class.

"It was obvious he had a focus on what he wanted to do,” St. Clair explained.

Dennison has maintained that focus throughout his career and in his position as APME president. As outgoing president, Dennison said he is proud of the organizations accomplishments in the past year. He emphasized the accomplishments of the group as a whole instead of focusing solely on his own contributions.

"AMPE is a big group of volunteers,” he said. "It takes a full, active board.”

Dennison said NewsTrain, a touring workshop that trains journalists in their own cities, is a point of pride for the APME and for him. This year marks the program’s 10th anniversary.

"It’s so rare for a program to work that long,” Dennison said. He said programs like APME’s NewsTrain are a vital part of keeping up with advances in the industry. Training journalists is an important function of the APME, Dennison said.

St. Clair explained that training in the industry is more important than ever because of the changing nature of development.

"It is important to share ideas and learn from others,” St. Clair said.

Dennison also said that staying up-to-date with technological advances is one of the greatest challenges the journalism industry faces. However, he said the APME continues to offer cutting-edge training.

"We’ve been able to stay relevant when being relevant is hard to do,” Dennison explained.

When tablets first became popular, professionals in the industry were unsure how to handle them, Dennison said. Now, journalists have embraced the use of tablets as a media platform.

"We are now much more coordinated as an industry,” Dennison explained. He said remaining fluid in a time of great technological advancement is important.

"You don’t know what’s next,” he said. "As long as it’s an available platform, it’s something we need to focus on.”

Dennison said another recent APME accomplishment is the planning of a joint 2014 APME/ASNE conference in Chicago. The conference will mark the first time the two organizations will combine conventions. The Associated Press Photo Managers also will be involved in the conference.

The APME is on solid ground for the future, Dennison said. With plans for continued training and education programs and the joint conference in the works, the APME will continue to foster the exchange of ideas and promote the goals of the industry.

Dennison said he has seen many changes during his involvement in the industry, but the basic functions of the APME have remained the same. For instance, Dennison said the organization still handles a variety of First Amendment issues.

"We are as relentless as ever,” he explained. He said journalists will always face First Amendment and access issues, and the APME will continue to serve as a watchdog.

Dennison has spent his entire career in the journalism industry.

"I’ve done just about everything you can do in news,” he explained. "I even spent some time in sales.”

Dennison is currently the vice president of publishing for Gatehouse, Inc. After graduating from IU Southeast, he began his career at the News and Tribune in New Albany, Ind. where he worked as a general assignment reporter. After that, he advanced to an editor position for a newspaper in Jeffersonville, Ind.

Then, Dennison moved to Augusta, Ga, where he was a city editor. He also later worked for newspapers on the south side of Chicago. Dennison also did consulting work. Later, Dennison got a position as vice president of news for Community News Holdings, Inc.

He later took a vice president of news position at Gatehouse.

St. Clair said he has followed Dennison’s career advancement over the years and is proud of his progression in the industry. A student’s success is the best way to pay tribute to a teacher, St. Clair said.

He said he is proud of Dennison’s success and advancement.

Dennison said he enjoyed every position he has held in the industry.

"It all naturally led to where I am now,” he explained. Dennison said the process of his advancement has helped him understand how everything works together. He said although he is currently on the corporate side, understanding the news side of situations is beneficial.

"Where I am today is my favorite place to be,” Dennison said.

Associated Press Media Editors

APME is a professional network, a resource for helping editors and broadcasters improve their news coverage and newsroom operations.

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