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APME Update for Thursday, Oct. 20, 2011
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APME Update
APME Update for Thursday, Oct. 20, 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.


AP-APME Broken Budgets: Illinois’ Unpaid Bills

The Illinois Associated Press and several of the state's newspapers have joined forces to produce "Deadbeat Illinois," a series of stories that began last Sunday and examine the impacts of the State of Illinois’ backlog in paying billions of dollars in bills.

It's the latest statewide project in the AP-APME Broken Budgets initiative, detailing fiscal crises in governments across the country.

Visit to read the main story that played around the state and was offered nationally.

Also online, view the front page from the State Journal Register in Springfield, Ill.

Congratulations to the Illinois AP and member papers for raising the bar in Broken Budgets reporting.


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.


Committees: Innovator and Great Ideas, Broadcast

The combination of APME's "Innovator" and "Great Ideas" projects will allow a new committee to become more proactive in pushing the concepts to its members and the industry.

APME President Bob Heisse recently announced the new committee and appointed David Arkin and Joe Hight as its co-chairs.

The new committee will seek to:

• Bring more visibility to the concept that media should be consistently sharing ideas and innovations that will spur future growth in the industry.
• Highlight media that submit their great ideas, as well as consider them for the Innovator of the Month award.

"Awarding not only a monthly innovator, but also recognizing great ideas, will not only be great news for the newsrooms that are recognized, but it's also an outstanding tool for newsrooms that are hungry to test out new ideas," Arkin said. "Taking APME's popular Great Ideas program and making it a monthly recognition program, in addition to the production of the annual book, was a no brainer. In our constantly changing industry, our colleagues are constantly searching for the brightest and best ideas and innovations."

• Use social media as well as the APME website to interact more with the industry about its ideas and innovations. It will also promote through state AP bureaus and other areas.
• Ask monthly innovation winners to participate in a Q&A and provide other interactive elements to help explain how they created and introduced the concepts.
• Simplify the process to submit innovations and ideas to the website.
• Pursue quarterly chat sessions on innovations and great ideas.

Besides the monthly innovations and ideas, the committee will continue to award and highlight the Innovator of the Year and the Great Ideas book at the annual APME conference. Part of the book will devoted to a new "hall of fame" for the past and monthly winners.

Arkin is executive director for Gatehouse Media's News & Interactive Division and Hight is director of information and development for The Oklahoman/ Committee members are Kathy Best, managing editor of the Seattle Times; Bill Church, executive editor, the Statesman Journal Media in Salem, Ore.; and Kurt Franck, executive editor, The Blade in Toledo, Ohio.

Heisse, executive editor of The Centre Daily Times in State College, Pa., had previously chaired the Innovations Committee. Franck and Terry Orme, managing editor of The Salt Lake Tribune, had chaired "Great Ideas."

"This has become such a great tradition for APME that I and others look forward to each year at the annual conference," Hight said. "We hope that this new approach will not only simplify the process and make it more visible, but also build upon these valuable APME creations."

Submit your Great Ideas or enter the Innovator of the Month contest.


Join the Broadcast Committee

Our APME committees are up and running – except one. That's because it's still a committee of one.

Jim Farley, vice president of news and programming at WTOP, all-news radio in Washington, D.C., is our new broadcast board member and he heads the new broadcast committee.

We're reaching out now for members to help us expand APME to include broadcast leaders in training, our contest, our webinars and more.

This committee will blaze a trail in making this happen, and Farley's eager to get started.

If you're interested in working on this committee, please send Farley a note at

If you know an AP broadcast news leader who might join this effort, forward this post.

Thanks for your help as we build a new and important committee in APME.


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, online now?

• 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: Deadbeat Illinois: The painful price of unpaid bills

Fort-Worth Star-Telegram: Inquiry reveals county’s high-tech program flawed

Miami Herald: Real estate’s long shadow of inventory chills market

Philadelphia Inquirer: Over a dozen school police faced drug and other charges

Rochester Democrat and Chronicle: Number of NY inmates drops by 22 percent

Oklahoman: Child abuse underreported by Department of Human Services officials

• Read all watchdog reports at:


AP Beat of the Week: Fresno’s Tracie Cone

As the AP's Fresno-based agricultural writer, Tracie Cone knew all about the state's orange groves and their vulnerabilities. So when she learned that a particularly destructive, citrus-eating insect had somehow traveled from India to California, she got curious. Could there be other threats like the Asian citrus psyllid lurking along the nation's borders?

A source told her the psyllid was just one symptom of a larger security problem, and that was enough to send Cone digging into the seldom-reviewed records of the nation's agricultural inspections.

By the time she was done, Cone had exposed a little-known consequence of the war on terror: Dozens of foreign insects and plant diseases slipped undetected into the United States in the years after 9/11, when authorities were so focused on preventing another attack that they overlooked a pest explosion.

Read more:


AP Beat of the States: Vermonth’s Wilson Ring

Wilson Ring was the Breaking New Staffer in Vermont when photographer Toby Talbot’s aerial shot of a washed-out cemetery grabbed his attention. So Ring made some calls and discovered a compelling story: Floodwaters had washed 50 sets of remains out of a mountainside cemetery in the heavily damaged town of Rochester.

Ring knew the story would have impact, but how could he carve out enough reporting time to produce it? The Montpelier bureau was wrestling not only with the considerable aftermath of Tropical Storm Irene, but also the death of correspondent John Curran. Ring had taken on Curran’s responsibilities and also needed to keep the daily report going. It was a logistical challenge but, over the course of two weeks, he worked to scrape together the time.

The story played well in Vermont and also moved on the national wire. It began like this: "The remnants of Hurricane Irene killed four people in Vermont, but the storm scattered dozens of sets of human remains -- bodies pried from eternal rest in a mountain cemetery and swept down a raging river, where some many never be identified or even found.”

The lead captures the circumstances of Darlene Thompson, the women with the five family members in the cemetery. The remains of her mother and father were soon found nearby, and her grandmother’s body recently was found at a golf course five miles downriver. But a stillborn brother and an uncle, both buried in the 1960s, probably never will be recovered. "Our situation has been a nightmare, but we are the lucky ones,” she told Ring. "Out of five of the ones missing in our cemetery plot, the three most important ones were found.”

Read more at:


Industry News

• Sector Snap: Gannett pulls newspaper stocks lower

• Brinker named publisher of Rapid City Journal

• Hearst opens Beijing office to expand in China

• Air Force general to head The Augusta Chronicle Ohio

Read more at:


In Memoriam

Howard H "Tim" Hays, a former Associated Press board member whose stewardship of a California daily newspaper for a half-century included a First Amendment fight that produced two landmark Supreme Court rulings ensuring open courtrooms across the country, has died at age 94.

Hays died after a period in declining health due to Alzheimer's disease. His decades as editor, owner and publisher of The Press-Enterprise of Riverside, Calif., also included a 1968 Pulitzer Prize for community service for a series of more than 100 stories exposing corruption in the courts by judges and lawyers who were conservators for the estates of local Indian tribe members.

The Harvard-trained lawyer was editor of The Press-Enterprise for nearly all 51 years there. He pioneered the publishing of zoned editions to cater to individual communities and grew daily circulation from 18,000 in 1946 to 167,000 in 1997, when the newspaper was sold to the A.H. Belo Corp., of Dallas.

Former AP President Lou Boccardi recalled Hays as someone who could always be counted on to search for the principle of the subject under discussion.

"What's at the root? What's this really about? And I think that mindset drove some of what he was able to do in the larger context of First Amendment victories," Boccardi said. "He was a person driven by a press conscience."

The Media Law Resource Center in 2003 honored Hays for his work, noting in an article the impact of his fights for court access.

"Were it not for Tim Hays and The Press-Enterprise under his stewardship, jury selection in this country might be as cloudy and mysterious a process as the deliberation of a grand jury," the article said.

The newspaper's openness-in-government crusade resulted in separate rulings that are now commonly referred to in First Amendment cases as Press Enterprise I and Press Enterprise II.

In the first, in 1984, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the public has a presumptive right to observe jury selection, a decision that followed a judge's decision to close the questioning of prospective jurors in a murder trial. In the second, in 1986, the high court ruled 7-2 that the public has a right to view pretrial hearings after a judge closed more than a month of preliminary hearings in another murder case.

Tom Hays, an Associated Press writer based in New York, said his father was proud of the First Amendment achievements.

"I think it was unusual for a newspaper of that size, which at the time was modest compared to the major newspapers in the industry, to take on that cause," he said. "And the time and expense and effort involved in doing that and taking the leadership role was something that was extraordinary."

Tim Hays was born on June 2, 1917, in Chicago and moved with his family to Riverside seven years later. In 1939, he graduated from Stanford University. In 1942, he earned a law degree from Harvard Law School.

During World War II, he spent several years as a special agent for the FBI before joining The Press-Enterprise in 1946 as an assistant editor under his father, Howard H Hays Sr., who was editor. Three years later, he became editor.

In the 1950s, he played a role in establishing the University of California at Riverside. In the 1960s, he made an imprint in journalism history when he led a series of stories that exposed fat fees charged by judges and lawyers who were trusted to protect the estates of Agua Caliente Indians in Palm Springs.

After the newspaper ran an editorial calling for a state investigation of the scandal, a judge who was a focus of the articles became angered and ordered Hays arrested. But other public officials refused to carry out the order, and he did not appear in court on the advice of lawyers. He was not jailed, and the Pulitzer Prize was awarded the following year.

Tom Hays said his father appreciated the honors but "wasn't an accolades guy."

"He was appreciative of it, and it obviously was a big deal, but it was one story that was representative of the high standards he set for this newspaper in reporting," he said. "It started before the Pulitzer, and it continued well after it."

Although Tim Hays was quietly forceful and unyielding in his causes, he was humble and unpretentious and made a point to know his employees by name, sometimes addressing them in memos as "Fellow Employees."

In 1966, Hays established the Hays Press-Enterprise Lecture, a series of free lectures that have featured news media leaders including retired Washington Post Executive Editor Ben Bradlee, New York Times columnist Gail Collins, former CNN President W. Thomas Johnson and The New Yorker magazine staff writer Lawrence Wright.

At a 1997 retirement dinner for Hays, Washington Post Co. Chairman Donald E. Graham told 180 invited guests that Hays was "one of the great, principled editors of his generation ... one of his generation's foremost advocates of the First Amendment."

Still, his humility was legendary, and he sometimes dismissed praise with humor, telling a gathering in 2003 that the man who introduced him "said kinder things about me than I could imagine, and I was so impressed and so pleased by these that if he would agree to go down that path with me in the future I think I'd run for president of the United States."

Hays was on the board of directors of the American Society of Newspaper Editors from 1969 to 1974 and served as its president from 1974 to 1975. He also served on the Pulitzer Prize board and was an AP board member for nine years. He moved to St. Louis after his retirement when the newspaper was sold.

Murray Light, an old-school newspaperman who spent 50 years at The Buffalo (N.Y.) News, the last 20 as editor, died on his 85th birthday. Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., Light spent 50 years at the upstate newspaper, starting as a reporter in 1949. In reporting his death from an undisclosed cause, The Buffalo News recalled how Light would strut around his newsroom "like a general — barking orders, backslapping colleagues, shaping the newspaper's daily content and editorials, while occasionally sneaking a smoke in the men's room." Under his watch, the newspaper outlived the rival Courier-Express, introduced a Sunday edition and launched a morning edition and a weekly entertainment section. Light retired in 1999. "Murray set a strong example as a no-nonsense, hard-driving editor whose trademark bluster concealed a fair-minded, ethical journalist and a patriotic citizen committed to a free press and free speech," said Buffalo News Editor Margaret Sullivan, who succeeded Light. After Light's retirement, the newspaper's owner, Warren Buffett, commissioned Light to write a history of The Buffalo News. "From Butler to Buffett: The Story Behind The Buffalo News" was published in 2004. The newspaper was founded by the Butler family. Through his career, Light held office and membership in several professional organizations, including president of the New York State Society of Newspaper Editors. He was a member of the American Society of Newspaper Editors and the Associated Press Managing Editors Association and was chosen for a nominating jury of journalism's coveted Pulitzer Prize in 1990 and 1991.


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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