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APME Update for Thursday, Feb. 9, 2012
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APME Update
APME Update for Thursday, Feb. 9, 2012
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• March 22-23, NewsTrain, Phoenix
• May 1,
Deadline for APME Journalism Excellence Awards
• May 18-19,
NewsTrain, Miami
• Sept. 13-14,
NewsTrain, Toronto
Sept. 19-21, 2012 - APME Conference, John Seigenthaler Center, Nashville, Tenn.


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ABOUT US: APME Update is published regularly by the Associated Press Media Editors Association. APME Update is edited by Sally Jacobsen. Send submissions by e-mail or call Sally at (212) 621-7007.

To receive APME Update by e-mail notify APME is an AP-member group of newspaper, broadcast and college education leaders 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 Media 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 and news directors, news managers or other senior positions at AP broadcast outlets in the United States and Canadian Press publications in Canada. It is also open to administrators, professors, instructors, leaders or advisers of journalism studies programs at recognized colleges and universities and to editors or leaders at newspapers, radio stations, websites or other news outlets at recognized universities and colleges.

Mailing address: Associated Press Media Editors Association, c/o Sally Jacobsen, The Associated Press, 450 West 33rd Street, New York, NY 10001. Phone: (212) 621-7007.



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Join APME now at our $150 rate and bring on another editor, educator or broadcast news leader free. Our 2-for-1 offer will last until May 1.

This is a great time to join, for reasons outlined below. But membership has more value than ever after the APME board reduced the price of entering our prestigious Journalism Excellence Awards from $75 to $50 per entry for members. Non-members will still pay $100 per entry.

Contest details will come out soon, but consider the savings you and the person you bring along will have. Reach out to a broadcast leader or journalism educator in your market, perhaps, or bring in another newsroom editor.

We'll also soon roll out three social media credibility webinars that will be offered to APME members at a reduced rate.

With more than 1,600 participants and 200 supporting members, the Associated Press Media Editors remains the practical voice for news leaders.

For the $150 cost of membership, you'll receive substantial discounts for the annual conference, APME journalism contests and APME webinars.

But there’s more:

• APME brings together news leaders from all sizes of publications and broadcast stations.

• The APME board of directors has dedicated seats for small newspapers, online and broadcast.

• Myriad programs, such as Sounding Board, help keep the lines of communication open with AP.

• News leaders can tap into AP resources on national projects, such as Broken Budgets and Aging America.

• Your newsroom can benefit from training that comes to you through NewsTrain and state APME organizations.

• APME is leading the First Amendment charge through its active committee work and with the help and resources of the AP.

• APME and APPM are at the forefront of the sports credentialing questions.

• Your organization can gain from Credibility Roundtables that offer research and insight into online issues nationwide.

• You can get great advice from the trenches.

• Great Ideas program and the Innovator of the Month contest help to keep the ideas rolling all year long.

• For educators: Access to the newsroom and broadcast leaders who do the hiring.

• Weekly APME Update with news from around the industry and the AP.

• APME News, the magazine that offers industry insight and guidance.

• The annual conference is held with Associated Press Photo Editors.

• Trade ideas and ask for advice from your peers at

Join today!



The annual APME Journalism Excellence Awards are expanding to focus even more on innovative work taking place across the U.S. and Canada.

We already offer the Innovator of the Year, now in its sixth year, for newspapers. We'll now offer Innovator of the Year for college journalism programs, radio and television stations.

Details and the entry platform will come in February on these three new awards. The deadline for entering is Tuesday, May 1.



If you're with a small-media company, then you should apply for the Community Journalism Public Service Initiative from the Associated Press Media Editors.

Media companies in metropolitan areas (MSA) of 100,000 or fewer people are encouraged to apply for the first-ever grant. The recipient will receive $1,000 to jump-start the initiative and a trip to the annual APME conference to present the project.

"APME is proud to roll out this new opportunity for smaller media outlets," said Bob Heisse, APME president and executive editor of the Centre Daily Times in State College, PA. "We look forward to hearing about and sharing what the winner accomplishes."

It's easy to enter: Just draft a proposal of 500 words or less and include examples of how you would approach the project. It should be multiplatform, include social media and address a long-standing community issue.

To apply, go to and fill out the online form. The deadline for applications is Feb. 26. The grant will be awarded in March.

Here are more details:

The Grant: A $1,000 grant will be given to a small-media company for a public service project that addresses a long-standing community issue. If results are shown, a representative also would receive an expenses-paid trip (up to $1,000) to the APME conference in September in Nashville,Tenn.

Eligibility: The media company must have a website and serve a metropolitan area (MSA) of 100,000 or fewer people. Preference will be given to Associated Press members.

Expectations: The project should use print and digital platforms and include social media and/or a mobile strategy. It should be considered entrepreneurial and should have the potential to be used elsewhere, including by a larger media company. Even though the project can be an ongoing series and continue after the APME conference, there will an expectation that a part of the project will be published before Aug. 1. The Innovator/Great Ideas Committee will contact the grant recipient in early August to determine progress on the initiative.

To apply: Go to to submit your proposal of 500 words or less, including examples of how you would tackle the project. The form will also prompt you to give your company’s newsroom staffing, website page views per month and your newspaper’s circulation or audience size.

Deadline: Feb. 26. The winner will be notified in March.

For more information, contact Joe Hight at



NewsTrain will be in Phoenix on March 22-23 for a two-day workshop on watchdog journalism, developing enterprise off a beat, multimedia storytelling, how to cultivate community content, mobile tools and tactics, managing change, and more. NewsTrain is sponsored by APME and this workshop is hosted by The Arizona Republic, Arizona Newspaper Association, the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Arizona State University, Arizona Daily Star, Arizona Daily Sun, Colorado Press Association, Nevada Press Association, Utah Press Association, and the Associated Press.

Cost: $50.

Location: ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism.

Registration: Deadline is March 16, at

Workshop sessions

Unleash Your Watchdog – This is a program for reporters and editors on how to identify and pursue powerful watchdog stories from everyday records. Includes investigative techniques and strategies that lift high-impact enterprise from daily beats, and enable reporters and editors to create authoritative work on multiple platforms. The goal is not to wait for news, but to make it happen, whether you’re a reporter in the trenches or editor at the helm.

Digging for Data – Once a potential watchdog story is identified, how to use timesaving techniques to drill through mountains of information – from paper files to computer databases – and extract critical information that turns routine stories into must-read enterprise. Includes simple methods and innovative reporting tools to systematically mold raw data into hard-hitting leads and nut graphs.

Multimedia Storytelling: The latest in tools, formats, techniques and strategies for telling stories in multimedia. These techniques may be used for daily news coverage, short-term enterprise, and larger packages.

Community Content: News organizations are searching for ways to include more local content on their web sites. This session explores what kind of content is out there, how to reach out and develop relationships with those who are or can produce content, and the many ways that content can be brought into your web site. Includes examples, tools, and copyright or contractual issues that may occur.

Accountability Coverage: How to generate a consistent flow of watchdog coverage off a beat. Between the news scoop and a major project there are a variety of ways to build short and mid-range watchdog stories. This session offers seven different measures of accountability reporters and editors can use on a beat to produce a strong body of watchdog work around a public agency or issue.

Tools for Mobile Journalists: A program on many basic (and free) tools reporters and other mobile journalists can use to capture and post news and images from the field. Includes smart phones, simple cameras, apps, free software, reference materials, and easy-to-use web platforms. Bring your smart phones for demos and practice.

How to Shoot Great Short Video: Demand for short, timely video is high on all news web sites. This program covers how to shoot three of the most common types of short video with a smart phone or simple point-and-shoot camera. The focus here is on 30-60 second video that requires no or very minimal editing and can be posted quickly. Skills include framing, light conditions, sequences of shots, and more.

Impact Stories: In the constant stream of instant news, readers still want stories that explain the impact of the news on them. Increasingly, impact stories are the primary role of the daily newspaper. This program for reporters and editors examines the difference between a breaking news story and an impact story, how to frame an impact story, then report, write, and edit so "impact” is the primary focus, even across different types of stories.

Managing & Surviving Change: The news business and daily life in any newsroom is engulfed in constant change. This program offers a simple eight-step approach to managing change, for supervisors and staff, a model that can be used by small groups or entire newsrooms to navigate change effectively and keep the focus on strong results.

NewsTrain Idea Swap: The workshop will conclude with a lively session in which everyone is invited to share one good idea, best practice, tip, time-saving trick, or other nugget that can help others do a better job. In this session, people will have two minutes to quickly share their idea. Ideas will be collected in advance to produce a full collection that will be posted online.


Michael J. Berens is a reporter on the investigative team at The Seattle Times. He previously worked on the investigative team at the Chicago Tribune and began his career at the Columbus Dispatch (Ohio). Previous projects include the unchecked sexual misconduct among hundreds of health-care practitioners; a comprehensive analysis of hospital infections and the MRSA epidemic; FDA failures to thwart fraudulent medical devices; a military blunder with a vaccine that led to unnecessary deaths. Berens’ work has been recognized through many dozens of national and regional awards. He has twice been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize (beat and investigative reporting categories). First place honors in 2011, for his "Seniors for Sale" project on abuses in adult family homes, include Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE); the White House Correspondents Association; the National Press Club; Gerald Loeb Award; Association of Health Care Journalists; Society of American Business Editors and Writers; and Worth Bingham Prize for Investigative Reporting at Harvard University. His latest project in December revealed how the state of Washington promotes the use of methadone as a low-cost pain killer through state-subsidized health care among the poor, a group with higher than average death rates from methadone use.

Mandy Jenkins has just accepted a new position with Digital First Media. She was most recently the Washington D.C. Social News Editor for the Huffington Post. Prior to that, Mandy was Social Media Editor for the startup; Digital Content Editor / Social Media & Projects at the Cincinnati Enquirer; Social Media Editor and Online Special Projects Editor, Cincinnati Enquirer; and an online news producer, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. She also writes the Zombie Journalism blog on digital media.

Jane Stevens is the editor of ACES Too High, where she is working to develop a national network of local health sites. She also writes the blog ReJourno, on remaking journalism on the web. In 2011, as director of media strategies at The World Company in Lawrence, Kansas, her community heath site, WellCommons, won an EPPY award from Editor & Publisher for "Best Community Service on a Media-Affiliated Website” under 250,000 unique monthly visitors. Prior to that, she was editorial director of Oceans Now, associate faculty at UC Berkeley’s Knight Digital Media Center, taught multimedia reporting at UC Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism and consulted with news organizations making the transition to digital media. In 1996, she was part of the first group of videojournalists at New York Times Television, and did multimedia reporting for the New York Times, Discovery Channel, and She’s worked for the Boston Globe and San Francisco Examiner as copy editor, assistant foreign/national editor, Sunday magazine writer, and science/technology reporter and columnist.

Michael Roberts is a newsroom trainer and consultant and Project Director for NewsTrain. Previously, Michael was Deputy Managing Editor Staff Development at The Arizona Republic (2003-2010), responsible for all newsroom training, served as writing coach, and edited major projects. Outside his own newsrooms, Roberts helped create and launch NewsTrain, designed and taught the American Press Institute’s first online seminar for copy editors, and has presented programs for the Poynter Institute, American Press Institute, the Maynard Institute, Freedom Forum, and various National Writers Workshops. Before the Republic, Roberts was Features Editor, AME/Features-Business, and then for 10 years the Training Editor/Writing Coach at The Cincinnati Enquirer. He also worked as a writer and editor at the Midland (MI) Daily News, the Detroit Free Press, and as a senior editor at two magazines.

Retha Hill is Executive Director of the Digital Media Innovation and Entrepreneurship Lab at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Arizona State University. Previously she was vice president for content for Black Entertainment Television Interactive, an executive producer for special projects at, and an editor for local news, arts and entertainment at the Washington Post. She was also an adjunct professor at the University of Maryland’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism, and has presented programs for the Poynter Institute, the Online News Association, the American Press Institute, the Freedom Forum, and the National Press Club.

Rob Schumacher is a photographer / videographer with the Arizona Republic / He designed and led the photo training for Republic mobile journalists and the entire reporting staff.

For more information, contact Michael Roberts, NewsTrain Project Director,



• Albuquerque Journal: Medical Center contract exempt from public scrutiny.
• Arizona Republic: Political tug-of-war over clean air in Arizona
• Arkansas Democrat: Cardiologists joining hospitals will cost patients more
• Minneapolis Star Tribune: Minnesota doctors who err escape penalties
• Modesto Bee: Chaos and turmoil at a taxpayer-funded, non-profit organization
• Oklahoman: Drug reporting change in Oklahoma aimed at prescriptions
• Salt lake Tribune: Graffiti and guns bills spur debate about criminal "intent”

Read about these and more by clicking here


BEAT OF THE WEEK: National Writer David Crary

It was a story that exploded into a week-long, impassioned debate in newspapers, broadcasts, Twitter and Facebook: The leading breast-cancer charity in the U.S., Susan G. Komen for the Cure, was halting its partnerships with Planned Parenthood affiliates in a change that would cut off hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants, mainly for breast exams.

The rift surfaced behind the scenes five weeks ago but remarkably had stayed out of the public eye. Then National Writer David Crary got a call from a Planned Parenthood source _ someone he had dealt with for many years as he’s developed a social issues beat.

Over that time, Crary had gotten to know many of the top players on his beat _ sometimes over coffee, often in background chats on the phone. Among the stories that impressed both camps in the abortion debate was a feature about six women talking on the record about their abortions _ three who were grateful they had that option, three who regretted it.

When he got the Planned Parenthood call, Crary knew that what he was hearing would be a dramatic and volatile story. Especially because of that volatility, he also knew that conveying the story fairly and comprehensively would take a great deal of detailed and painstaking reporting. He told Planned Parenthood he needed several days, with the aim of producing a definitive story from the first moments of distribution.

There was some risk in waiting. But Planned Parenthood assured Crary they wouldn't clue anyone else in. And though Komen could have gone ahead with an announcement on its own, Crary sensed that such an action was highly unlikely and deemed the risk worth the benefit of producing a nuanced story conveying the big picture as well as the smaller details.

Over the next few days he reviewed correspondence between Komen and Planned Parenthood, talked at length with a Komen official in order to fully understand and convey its position, and spoke with insiders who were dismayed by the rift between two organizations they admired.
When he released the story, the expected outcry indeed erupted. The story trended high on Twitter, and within 24 hours, Planned Parenthood said it received more than $400,000 in new donations _ a figure that grew to $3 million by Friday afternoon. Komen, meanwhile, was both criticized and applauded.

By the end of the week, as the firestorm continued to escalate and included protests from many of Komen’s own affiliates, the charity reversed itself and said the grants would continue.



Bob Heisse, executive editor of the Centre Daily Times in State College, Pa., will leave the paper to become executive editor of the State Journal-Register in Springfield, Ill.

"I want to thank Bob for his very capable leadership and commend him for his great accomplishments for the Centre Daily Times. I wish him all the best with his future endeavors." said Susan Leath, president and publisher of the Centre Daily Times.

Throughout his 10-year tenure the CDT has won the annual Keystone sweepstakes as the best newspaper of its size in Pennsylvania.

"I've enjoyed working with a talented staff who rises to every occasion and has shined in recent weeks covering the sex abuse scandal and developments," Heisse said. "They are outstanding. I've also appreciated great readers who keep in touch with us.”

"It's time for someone else to have this opportunity, and for me to move to a new challenge. I look forward to joining an excellent staff and leading the oldest paper in Illinois, serving a great capital city in Big Ten country."

Just last week, the CDT won a President's Award from the McClatchy Company for its coverage of the sex abuse scandal. The annual President’s Awards are the highest employee honors given by the third-largest newspaper company in the United States.

The judges wrote: "With a small staff working nearly around the clock for weeks, the Times put out sweeping, compelling coverage of the startling events that reshaped State College. ... It’s hard to overstate what it took for a paper and staff this size to deliver the kind of big-city coverage they did day after day.”

Heisse is national president of the Associated Press Media Editors and a former president of the two state editors' boards, the Pennsylvania Society of Newspaper Editors and the Pennsylvania APME.

He is a Penn State journalism graduate and a resident of State College. His last day at the CDT will be Friday, Feb. 24 and he’ll start his new job in early March.

The Greensboro News & Record has named Ohio newspaper editor Jeff Gauger as its executive editor.

Gauger, 51, currently serves as executive editor of The Repository, the daily newspaper for Canton, and three smaller Ohio papers, all owned by Gatehouse Media. Gauger will start work in Greensboro on March 5. He replaces John Robinson, who resigned in December after 27 years with the News & Record, 13 years as executive editor. In a story posted on the News & Record's website ( ) Robin Saul, News & Record president and publisher, praised Gauger as a proven journalist who would provide excellent leadership.

Gauger grew up in a newspaper family, as his parents owned several weekly papers in southwest Washington.

He started as a reporter working for three other weekly newspapers in Washington and then received a master's degree from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

From there, he went to the Omaha World-Herald in Omaha, Nebraska, where he worked as a reporter, metro editor and assistant managing editor, before becoming managing editor at the Rockford Register Star in Rockford, Ill.



• Journalists press NYPD on media access issues
• Kansas lawmakers warned to keep records
• Sacramento Bee fires photographer over altered pictures
• Newspaper sues Bartlesville (Okla.) for surveillance video
• Pa. judge nixes papers' access to gas settlement
• Ogden Newspapers to buy Northern Virginia Daily
• Ex-governor, Flyers owner may bid on Philly newspapers
• Times-Tribune of Corbin, Ky., gets new publisher
• Arizona bill would allow posting public notices online, not in newspapers
• News Corp names ex-Bloomberg exec as Dow Jones CEO
• Garson retiring as Courier-Journal publisher
• McCullough named publisher at Commonwealth Journal
• Hearst Corp. new leadership at Houston Chronicle

Read about these items and more by clicking here


AND FINALLY … Many factors go into editors' decisions on coverage

Jack Lessenberry
Toledo (OH) Blade

For many years, The Blade has worked hard to see that its news coverage is free of partisan bias. There was even a time years ago when the newspaper measured stories about competing candidates with a ruler to make sure they got equal space.

Keeping news coverage balanced is important. That doesn't mean, however, that if the Democrats have a scandal the reporters automatically have to find a Republican one as well.

The reporters just need to keep open minds and cover what happens fairly. Naturally, no two readers agree on the definition of "fair."

But it's important to remember two things -- fairness, which is what I, as the ombudsman, am supposed to monitor, doesn't have anything to do with choosing what stories the paper should focus on.

Some people think The Blade has covered the Seneca County courthouse issue too much. Some think the paper is too concerned with the problems of dogs. Well, that's a matter of interest and taste.

Every year, I get letters and phone calls complaining that the newspaper is neglecting some team, usually the University of Toledo or Bowling Green State University. Mostly, the callers have some conspiracy theory. (Last month, one asked me why the paper had taken all the reporters who used to cover UT and assigned them to cover BGSU. The short and simple answer: They hadn't.)

But if the sports editor thinks one team or another is more worthy of coverage, that isn't necessarily unfair but is that editor's call, based on his news judgment and knowledge of the area.

• The editorial pages, or the Pages of Opinion, are possibly the most misunderstood part of the newspaper. The editorials are where the paper expresses the philosophy of the owners and their management team. "Why doesn't the paper run one conservative editorial and one liberal one every day?" one man asked.

Well, that wouldn't say much about the editors' willingness to make decisions. The Blade has a perfect right to take a stand.

The paper does not, however, have a right to be hypocritical, and one longtime critic of the newspaper complained the newspaper is doing just that. He notes that on Christmas Day, David Kushma, the editor of The Blade, cautioned letter writers to "be civil," adding, "Name-calling is not argument. One-word labels are not ideas."

True enough. Yet the writer was upset because the newspaper nine months earlier criticized those "Luddites in Congress, mainly Republicans," who were trying to repeal the law ordering the phasing out of old-fashioned, energy-wasting incandescent light bulbs.
Was Luddite an unfair term of abuse?

Clearly, it can be. But your ombudsman doesn't think so in this case, given that my dictionary defines the modern usage of Luddite as "one who opposes … technological change."

That's exactly what these congressmen were unsuccessfully trying to do. When a description is completely accurate, it is not unfair name-calling. Nor was this an unfair slap at Republicans since all the names I found on the record opposing this bill were, well, Republicans. Incidentally, guess who the president was who signed into law the legislation phasing out the old incandescent light bulbs.
None other than George W. Bush -- a Republican.

• As we often say in the news business: You are entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts. A lady named Bonnie is angry with your ombudsman for a column observing that the United States of America was meant to be a secular, not a religious, nation.

Well, that's the opinion of constitutional experts I have talked to, including Robert Sedler, a distinguished professor of constitutional law at Wayne State University in Detroit. He notes that the First Amendment says that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."

Being a secular nation doesn't mean an anti-religious one. Bonnie also believes that the Book of Revelation in the New Testament indicates the anti-Christ will be "a man in his 40s of Muslim descent" and is upset that the newspaper won't report this. (She strongly hints that the evil one might be President Obama.)

Well, I am a wholly secular person myself and don't claim to know what religious prophecies may be true. I do know, however, that there weren't any Muslims when Revelation was written in the first century, AD. The Prophet Muhammad, who is regarded as the founder of the faith, wasn't born until five centuries later.

• Reader Robert Avery does have a criticism of the editorial pages I do agree with. He writes, "Unsigned guest editorials puzzle me. Some are attributed to the New York Times or another publication, but others are left truly anonymous. What are we to make of those?"

Editor Kushma explained to me that these are editorials supplied by our sister paper, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Both papers have a common ownership and the same publisher and editor in chief, John Robinson Block.

Few readers know that, however, and I think it would be worthwhile to mention where the Pittsburgh editorials originate.
Anyone who has a concern about fairness or accuracy in The Blade is invited to write me, c/o The Blade; 541 N. Superior St., Toledo, 43660, or at my Detroit office: 563 Manoogian Hall, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI 48202; call me at 1-888-746-8610, or email me at I cannot promise to address every question in the newspaper, but I do promise that everyone who contacts me with a serious question will get a personal reply. Reminder, however: If you don't leave me an e-mail address or a phone number, I have no way to get in touch with you.

Jack Lessenberry is a member of the journalism faculty at Wayne State University in Detroit and a former national editor of The Blade.


ABOUT US: APME Update is published regularly by the Associated Press Media Editors Association. APME Update is edited by Sally Jacobsen. Send submissions by e-mail or call Sally at (212) 621-7007.
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