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Get to know the APME: Dennis Anderson

Monday, August 22, 2016   (0 Comments)
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Dennis Anderson

Where you work

Journal Star in Peoria, Illinois

Job title

Executive Editor

Brief career history

I've had editing positions at the Daily Herald in Arlington Heights, Illinois.; the Binghamton (New York) Press & Sun-Bulletin; Norwich (Connecticut) Bulletin; Lawrence (Kansas) Journal-World; and the Journal Star in Peoria, Illinois. I'm a Chicago native.

How long have you been a member of the APME Board?

I've been on the APME board for seven years and served as treasurer for the past three years.

How has being a member of APME helped you as a journalist?

I've enjoyed many benefits from APME, including growing my professional network, working closely with top editors across the country and having connections and influence with the Associated Press. This has helped my career and newsrooms in countless ways.

What projects have you worked on as an APME Board member?

I have served as APME treasurer for the past several years and before that I did a lot of work on the promotions side of the organization. As treasurer, I've made it my mission to keep the leadership informed about the need to grow and maintain the APME Foundation and Association accounts.

What is a recent challenge you faced in your newsroom and how did you overcome it?

On a Sunday morning in November 2013, the community of Washington, Illinois, just across the Illinois River from Peoria, was hit by an F-5 tornado, wiping out 1,200 homes, including those of some people who worked in our newsroom. Our staff took action immediately to cover the events and provide answers to victims. The coverage over the next year was among some of the best work I've been involved with in my career. When something like that happens, the work we do as journalists truly matters to a community.

What is your most rewarding career accomplishment?

It's happening right now, and it's the work the Journal Star is doing in Peoria's South Side. The neighborhood of 16,000 had not received much attention from the Journal Star, besides coverage of crime and other troubles. We have made it our mission to be involved in the community, be a partner in its successes and to shed light on its problems so they can be addressed and, we hope, solved. A newspaper must cover its entire community, and that's what we strive to do.

What’s your favorite quote or motto?

"If you have an itch, scratch it," meaning if something doesn't feel right or you have a concern, don't wait, address it now.

If you had an extra hour during a day what would you do with it?

I'd spend the time with my wife, talking, reading, cooking, watching a movie or scrolling on Facebook.

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