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APME Update for Monday, Oct. 17, 2011
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APME Update
APME Update for Monday, Oct. 17, 2011
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Nov. 2-3 - NewsTrain Workshop at Brigham Young University, Salt Lake City
• Nov. 10 – NewsTrain Webinar on Mobile Reporting
Sept. 19-21, 2012 - APME Conference, John Seigenthaler Center, Nashville, Tenn.


NewsTrain in Salt Lake City, Nov. 2-3, 2011

Just around the corner is our next NewsTrain, in Salt Lake City.

The sessions will be held Nov. 2-3 at the Brigham Young University Salt Lake Center.

The program will cover investigative journalism, social media, managing change, and more.

The workshop, sponsored by APME, will be hosted by The Salt Lake City Tribune, the AP Bureau for Colorado/Montana/Utah/Wyoming, The Deseret News, The Standard-Examiner (Ogden), Brigham Young University, and the University of Utah.

Reserve your spot by visiting

Follow NewsTrain on Facebook for updates and news.

Questions? Contact Michael Roberts, NewsTrain project director,


NewsTrain Webinar on Mobile Reporting on Nov. 10

The Associated Press Media Editors are pleased to announce that Mandy Jenkins, social news editor of The Huffington Post, will lead a webinar in November on mobile reporting and free desktop publishing tools.

The webinar is part of the NewsTrain webinar series, APME’s successful training program, which has offered training to more than 5,000 journalists over its 10-year history.

The webinar will be held on Nov. 10 at 1 p.m. Central Time/2 p.m. Eastern Time.

Register for the webinar here:

Call-in information and a link to the webinar will be sent a few days before the event.

Jenkins' session will delve into how journalists can use their phones to report news and what free web tools are out there for stories you're writing from your desktop.

Jenkins has a wealth of experience in mobile reporting. Prior to her role with The Huffington Post, she was the social media editor for Washington, D.C., local news startup TBD and the Cincinnati Enquirer. Mandy has also worked in online news at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and as a newsroom producer for WKSU, an NPR affiliate in Northeast Ohio.

The webinar costs $9.99 for APME members and $19.99 for non-APME members.


2012 NewsTrain workshops available

Would you like to have a NewsTrain workshop in your area next year?

Planning is under way for NewsTrain workshops around the country in 2012.

Check the APME web page ( on what it takes to have a NewsTrain in your area. Then contact NewsTrain project director Michael Roberts with your thoughts:

NewsTrain workshops are changing to better meet specific needs in each location.

Planning now includes a local needs assessment to identify where and how training can have a significant impact. Work with Michael Roberts on training for print, online, and broadcast journalists, from frontline staff to department heads and senior managers.

Locations for 2012 will be selected soon to begin the planning process. Please consider your needs and how a NewsTrain workshop might help.


APME50: Reaching Out to All 50 States

APME50 is our new initiative, reaching out to active editors and broadcast news directors on state boards across the country.

We’ve just unveiled this new logo to highlight the effort, which will begin in November.

Our goal is to connect with more editors and let them know about APME training opportunities, the AP-APME national reporting initiatives, innovative work and more.

"We'll reach out in a personal way to the newspaper and broadcast editors' boards in each state and offer a helping hand,” said APME president Bob Heisse.

For more information or to get involved contact APME50 co-chairs Laura Kessel at or Jon Broadbooks at


AP-APME Broken Budgets: Illinois’ Unpaid Bills

As part of the joint Associated Press-Associated Press Media Editors' yearlong Broken Budgets project, the Illinois AP is moving a package of stories from a combined effort with members to examine the impacts of the State of Illinois’ backlog in paying billions of dollars in bills. The weeklong package is titled "Deadbeat Illinois: The painful price of unpaid bills.”

The stories are moving in advance to begin running the week of Oct. 16. A number of the stories are being written by members. They will be accompanied by photos, glances, a logo and a box explaining the project.

The project also features a searchable database of the unpaid bills as of Sept. 8, provided by The (Moline) Dispatch/Rock Island Argus. Members are encouraged to use the database to find local businesses, agencies or individuals affected by the backlog for their own local stories. The database will be made available to share with readers, viewers and listeners when the stories are published.

A sampling of the stories:


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. _ Plagued by budget deficits, the state of Illinois has made it the norm to dump its problems on thousands of businesses, charities and local governments by refusing to pay its bills for weeks or even months at a time. An Associated Press analysis of state records shows Illinois had nearly $1.5 billion in bills that had been sitting around for at least two months as of Sept. 8 because state government lacked the money to pay for office supplies, temp services, drug abuse treatment and even funerals for the indigent. The practice is unusual even among states with equally dire budget situations, disguising the depth of Illinois’ financial problems and turning groups into unwilling lenders, without any permanent solution in sight. By Associated Press reporter Christopher Wills.


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. _ Scores of Illinois business owners are suffering because of the state’s inability to honor the contracts through which it asked them to help do the state’s business. A series of vignettes from across Illinois. By AP and member staffs.


CHICAGO _ Illinois contracts with community groups and charities to provide state services _ from counseling for drug addicts to job training for the disabled to day care for single mothers _ and then neglects to pay them, forcing their workers to borrow from relatives, go without paychecks and take furlough days. As the state lags further behind, those that serve the state’s neediest are forced to make dire decisions and at-times heroic sacrifices to pick up the slack and assure that services don’t deteriorate further than they already have. By Associated Press reporter Sophia Tareen.


URBANA — Late payments from the state haven’t crippled the University of Illinois. But the school has had to cut costs, increase tuition and manage cash flow to keep its fiscal house in order. The cash crunch has pinched faculty resources and put further pressure on class sizes while tuition keeps marching upward. Across the state, other universities have weathered late payments and found ways to operate despite them. "It’s certainly not sustainable,” one state university vice president said. By The (Champaign) News-Gazette staff.


Carbondale _ At the Illinois Department of Corrections, officials have sounded the alarm when payments to vendors got behind, including one vendor who supplies food to the inmates. But department officials say they are relying on longstanding relationships with vendors to weather the tough economic times. By (Carbondale) Southern Illinoisan staff.


SPRINGFIELD _ If you plan on doing business with the state of Illinois, you’d better learn to beg. With the state billions of dollars behind in paying its debt, collecting on unpaid bills can be a torturous, confusing process that sometimes has more to do with who you know than who’s next in line. Businesses and community organizations awaiting payment from the state for goods or services made requests for more than $800 million worth of "hardship payments” in the past 13 months, according to an Associated Press analysis of state records and documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act. By Associated Press political reporter John O’Connor.


SPRINGFIELD _ Reaction from state officials and interest groups. Is there any sign that state government will change course and pay its debts? By Associated Press writer Christopher Wills.


PEORIA _ When Illinois can't pay its bills in a timely fashion, the interest penalties it must add on by law deliver another blow to the cash-strapped state, but they do little to ease the pain of waiting vendors. Each year, delays on bills paid months or even a year late mean tens of millions of dollars paid out of state coffers in interest under the Prompt Payment Act. "It's certainly another way that taxpayers are having to pay for years of financial mismanagement," state Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka said. By (Peoria) Journal Star staff.


Looking for Your Ideas: 2012 APME Annual Meeting

Planning is in full swing for next year's annual conference, to be held Sept. 19-21 at the John Seigenthaler Center on the campus of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn.

Among the highlights of the program: a performance by Freedom Sings, the group that tells the story of the First Amendment through music that has been banned or censored or sounded a trumpet for social change.

Is there program content you'd like to see in Nashville? Send your ideas to us by Twitter @APMEsings2012.


Check It Out: APME’s Blog

• Have you heard about the upcoming APME online holiday auction -- a first?

• Have you heard about the big Illinois Broken Budgets project, coming later this month?

• Or have you heard about recent state APME meetings in Illinois, Indiana and Pennsylvania?

• You would have read about these -- and more -- by checking out the new APME Update blog at or

• The blog offers daily updates on APME activities, industry news and more. It’s the latest way the Associated Press Media Editors are keeping in touch.

• Enjoy this email update weekly, and then visit the blog for even more.


Watchdog Reporting

• AP: Loading up on vitamins made be bad for your health

• AP IMPACT: After 9/11, authorities allowed foreign insects, plant diseases into US

• Miami Herald: Florida lawmakers flooded by special interest money

• Austin American-Statesman: Texas Gov. Perry’s job creation numbers questioned

• Lexington Herald-Leader: State email used in Kentucky to raise campaign cash

• San Francisco Chronicle: Hospital chain’s billing for rare ailments stands out

• Cleveland Plain Dealer: Do university sports fees make sense in tough times?

• Columbus Dispatch: "Fracking” permits booming in Ohio

• Read all watchdog reports at:


AP Beat of the Week: David Rising in Berlin

Call it a hunch or reporter's instinct. For David Rising, acting bureau chief in Berlin, it was for his exclusive story that Nazi war-crimes prosecutors have reopened hundreds of dormant investigations of death camp guards in the wake of the precedent-setting conviction of former U.S. autoworker John Demjanjuk.

The 91-year-old Demjanjuk was the first person convicted in a Nazi-era case without direct evidence of participation in a specific killing, and Rising wondered if that would open the door to other cases nearly seven decades after World War II.

Rising had covered war crimes cases for more than a decade, and he pursued his theory after the verdict and finally confirmed it with prosecutor Kurt Schrimm, who heads Germany's Nazi investigations unit.

Read more at:


Editors in the News

Chris Grygiel, news leader, has been named Washington state news editor for The Associated Press. The appointment was announced by Traci Carl, the AP's regional editor for the West. "Chris comes to the job with a clear vision for building a strong Washington report," Carl said. A native of Washington state, Grygiel, 42, has worked at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer since 2000, first as government editor overseeing a team of eight reporters, then helping to transition the paper to an online-only site in 2009 and working with a staff of about 15 reporters and producers. In addition to editing, he covered local and state politics for
He also has AP experience. He was an editor in New York City from 1996 to 2000. Before that, he worked as an AP reporter in Indianapolis; Anchorage, Alaska; Helena, Mont.; and Carson City, Nev. He is a graduate of Washington State University, and is married with a young son.

Darrell Ehrlick will become editor of the Casper (Wyo.) Star-Tribune in December. The newspaper reported Ehrlick is currently associate editor of the River Valley Newspaper Group and editor of the Winona Daily News in Winona, Minn. Lee Enterprises is the parent of the Star-Tribune and the Daily News. Ehrlick replaces Chad Baldwin, who became the University of Wyoming's director of institutional communications in September. Baldwin had been editor since 2008.

Delta Democrat Times Publisher Matt Guthrie will add editor to his duties at the Greenville, Miss., newspaper. Guthrie made the announcement in the newspaper> He became publisher of the Delta Democrat Times in January 2010, moving over from the Fayette County News in Fayetteville, Ga. The Delta Democrat Times is owned by Emmerich Newspapers. Guthrie previously was publisher for other Emmerich newspapers, including the Lamar Times and Petal News. Guthrie also announced that Laura Smith has been hired as news editor to handle the designing and copy editing the newspaper and coordinating and organizing the newsroom. Smith is the former managing editor for the West Memphis Times.


Industry News

• Naming of Bulger tipster worries FBI observers

• Maine newspaper cuts 61 jobs with layoffs, buyouts

• US attorney eyes going after media running pot ads

• UK auditor: Revelations may prompt new WSJ probe

• New York Times to cut up to 20 newsroom jobs

• East Valley Tribune, of Mesa, Ariz, names new publisher, editor

• Missoulian publisher resigns for position at bank

• The Denver Post offers buyouts to shrink staff

• Rash of newspaper vending box thefts in Ohio

Read more at:


Oops! Clerk sends newspaper request to fix ticket

BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) — A records clerk for an Illinois sheriff's office admits she goofed when she mistakenly faxed a request to have a deputy's son's speeding ticket fixed to the local newspaper.

Joann Reed tried to use a St. Clair County Sheriff's Department fax machine to send a copy of the ticket issued by Centreville police to that village's attorney, only to accidentally fire off the fax to the Belleville News-Democrat ( newsroom.

"Dismiss this case," read a handwritten note accompanying the three-page message signed by Reed. "The guy is the son of one of our deputies."

"Guilty. Period," Reed later told a News-Democrat reporter after being questioned about the fax.

But she insisted she falsely suggested the ticketed motorist was the son of a deputy but actually a college student she was trying to help out. She said she figured the misrepresentation would help get the ticket with a $175 fine tossed.

The News-Democrat reported otherwise, saying reporters discovered the Aug. 18 ticket for going 23 miles per hour over the speed limit was issued to a deputy's son.

Centreville's village attorney, Carmen Durso, said he was powerless to do anything about the ticket anyway, noting he can't dismiss violations of state law, such as speeding tickets.

"I get calls like these all the time," he said. "I don't think it's unusual or strange."

Sheriff Mearl Justus pledged to investigate. He said he'll "find out what it's about," then weigh disciplinary action.

"I'll look at the whole thing. I'll take some action," he said.

The county's top prosecutor, Brendan Kelly, said his office received no request to dismiss the ticket.

While declining to discuss the case specifically, "the decision to charge or dismiss rests solely with my office and that decision can't be based on who you know or who your mother is," Kelly said.


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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