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APME Update for Thursday, May 10, 2012
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APME Update
APME Update for Thursday, May 10, 2012

Save the Date
• May 18-19, NewsTrain, Miami
• June 1,
Deadline for Nominations for McGruder Awards for Diversity Leadership
• June 7,
Webinar: The Twitter Beat
• July 16-17, Community Journalists Symposium
• Sept. 13-14,
NewsTrain, Toronto
Sept. 19-21, 2012 - APME Conference, John Seigenthaler Center, Nashville, Tenn.


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We want your Great Ideas!

We are now accepting submissions for APME's 2012 "Great Ideas" book.

What's a great idea? It can be a new concept for print or online, or a major improvement to something we do every day. This is a chance for your newspaper to show off great work and to help fellow editors by providing ideas that might work in their markets. APME is again focusing on watchdog stories – big and small – because of the difference they can make in the community.

Our "Great Ideas" website allows you to quickly submit entries and upload images that accompanies the Great Idea.

If you have questions, contact David Arkin, GateHouse Media vice president of content & audience, at


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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Nominations open for McGruder Awards for Diversity Leadership – Deadline June 1!

The Associated Press Media Editors, in partnership with the American Society of News Editors, is accepting nominations for the 11th annual Robert G. McGruder Awards for Diversity Leadership.

Two awards are given annually: one for newspapers with a circulation up to 75,000; one for newspapers with more than 75,000 circulation.

The awards go to individuals, newsrooms or teams of journalists who embody the spirit of McGruder, a former executive editor of the Detroit Free Press, former managing editor of The Cleveland Plain Dealer, graduate of Kent State University and relentless diversity champion. McGruder died of cancer in April 2002.

This year, the awards are being sponsored by the Free Press, The Plain Dealer, Kent State University and the Freedom Forum Diversity Institute.

Jurors will be looking for nominees who have made a significant contribution during a given year or over a number of years toward furthering diversity in newspaper content and in recruiting, developing and retaining journalists of color.

Announcement of the winners will be made at the annual APME conference Sept. 19-21 in Nashville, Tenn. The recognized honorees each receive $2,500 and a leadership trophy.

Who is eligible? Individuals, newsrooms or teams of journalists from U.S. daily newspapers are eligible. A nominee's newspaper must participate in the American Society of News Editors' annual employment census.

The awards recognize achievement for the past 12 months or contributions over a number of years.

What are the criteria? The Diversity Leadership Awards honor an individual, a newsroom or a team of journalists for significant leadership in diversity through:

Recruitment: by providing opportunities for journalists of color to learn about news careers and to enter the newspaper industry in internships and full-time jobs.

Development: by offering opportunities for journalists of color to grow in their current roles and to receive mentoring and training to advance to positions of greater authority, responsibility or expertise.

Retention: by ensuring that journalists of color want to remain in the news industry by providing an inclusive work environment that offers opportunities to contribute and advance.

Content: by reflecting a diverse community accurately and in a way that demonstrates community and industry leadership. The definition of diversity in content includes ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, religious background, political bent and physical ability.

Nominations can be made by individuals, newspapers, professional organizations, schools of journalism and others.

Rules for entries: Send a letter (no more than three pages) outlining specific information about the achievements and how they benefited the community, the industry and journalists of color. The letter should include the name of the person making the nomination and his/her signature and telephone number.

You may supplement an entry with electronic clips, but please send no more than four. Send copies no larger than 11 by 17 inches.

Send material by email to:

Sally Jacobsen,
The Associated Press
450 West 33rd Street
New York, N.Y. 10001

Deadline: Material must be received by close of business on Friday, June 1.

Past winners of the McGruder awards:

Gregory Moore, editor of The Denver Post, and Sherrie Marshall, editor of The Macon (Ga.) Telegraph

Randy Lovely, editor and vice president of The Arizona Republic in Phoenix, and Bill Church, executive editor of the Statesman Journal in Salem, Ore.

Troy Turner, editor of The Daily Times in Farmington, N.M.; and Karen Magnuson, editor of The Rochester (N.Y.) Democrat and Chronicle

John Bodette, executive editor of the St. Cloud (Minn.) Times; and Charles Pittman, senior vice president for publishing at Schurz Communications

Wanda Lloyd, executive editor, Montgomery (Ala.) Advertiser; and Joe Grimm, recruiting and development editor, Detroit Free Press

Sharon Rosenhause, managing editor, Sun-Sentinel, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; and the Pacific Daily News on Guam

Argus Leader, Sioux Falls, S.D.; and The Honolulu (Hawaii) Advertiser

Bennie Ivory, executive editor and vice president for news at The Courier-Journal in Louisville, Ky.; and Susan Ihne, then executive editor, St. Cloud (Minn.) Times

Charlotte Hall, then vice president/planning, Newsday, Long Island, N.Y.; and the Greeley (Colo.) Tribune

Don Flores, executive vice president and editor, El Paso (Texas) Times; and Jim Strauss, publisher, Great Falls (Mont.) Tribune


We want your Great Ideas!

We are now accepting submissions for APME's 2012 "Great Ideas" book.

What's a great idea? It can be a new concept for print or online, or a major improvement to something we do every day. This is a chance for your newspaper to show off great work and to help fellow editors by providing ideas that might work in their markets. APME is again focusing on watchdog stories – big and small – because of the difference they can make in the community.

Our "Great Ideas" website at allows you to quickly submit entries and upload images that accompanies the Great Idea.

If you have questions, contact David Arkin, GateHouse Media vice president of content & audience, at


Miami NewsTrain, May 18-19, 2012

NewsTrain will be in Miami on May 18-19 for a two-day workshop. NewsTrain is sponsored by APME and this workshop is hosted by The Miami Herald, El Nuevo Herald, the Associated Press Florida and Caribbean, The Palm Beach Post, The South Florida Sun-Sentinel, University of Miami School of Communication, CBS 4 News, WLRN-91.3 FM (South Florida NPR).

Location & times: University of Miami School of Communication, May 18-19.

Registration: Deadline is May 11. Cost is $50. Register here.

Accommodations: Miami NewsTrain will be held at the University of Miami School of Communication. A block of discounted rooms is available at the Coral Gables Holiday Inn, located next to the campus. Rates are $89 per night. To book contact the hotel by email at or by phone, 305-667-5611, ext. 7808, and ask for Miguel Hernandez. Request the APME NewsTrain or University rate.

Questions: Contact Michael Roberts, NewsTrain Project Director,


Storytelling 2012: Tom Brokaw once said, "It’s all storytelling, you know. That’s what journalism is all about.” It was true back then, and it’s true today. What’s different is that we have more ways than ever to tell our stories. But regardless of the form, we have to embrace our roles as storytellers. Here’s where you learn how – how to see the potential in everyday happenings; how to ask the right questions to hone your ideas; how to understand the basics of a great narrative; how to tell a wonderful story over five days or in five graphs; and how to find inspiration in the world around you.

Reporting for Narrative: You can’t write a great narrative without the right raw materials, without the details that are going to power that story. This kind of work requires a deeper level of reporting than other story forms. It all begins with understanding what you’re looking for. To succeed, you need to learn how to focus your idea as tightly as possible. You need to pay extra attention when you’re gathering information – to capture, for instance, not just what someone says but how they say it. You need to understand what "facts” are important. This session will teach you, whether you’re a reporter or editor, how to get what you need.

Narrative Writing: And now for the hard part – taking all those facts and creating a story. You won’t be writing with your hands; you’ll be writing with your head and your heart. And before you write, you’ll need to understand not just where the story begins but where it will end. You must know how to develop characters, how to weave in background, how to speed up and slow down the action, how to create compelling scenes, how to use dialogue and internal monologues, and how to leave the reader feeling satisfied. Come hear how to pull it all together.

Interactive Storytelling 2.0: As newsrooms get better at the variety of online tools available for storytelling, it’s time to reset the term "multimedia storytelling” and talk about what approaches and techniques really engage readers. Today the concept of interactive storytelling is much more than adding a video to a story. Telling a story online can and should involve interactive features, alternative story forms, data visualization, video and photos – all in pursuit of a strong narrative storyline. How the best storytellers approach multimedia storytelling today and the skills and tools you can use to do the same.

Building a Mobile Strategy: Many newsrooms are launching or expanding their efforts in mobile content. This session explores some of the different technical solutions such as responsive design, web APPs and native APPs (iPhone, droid, etc), and how each approach aligns with goals, content plans, and staffing.

Planning & Coaching Content Across Platforms: How to frame clear standards and workflows for new digital media in a rapidly changing media environment. The focus is on building a strong set of online tools for covering your community and how to enable everyone on staff – reporters, editors, online producers, visual journalists -- to use the tools effectively.

Beat Mapping: How to use a technique called "beat mapping” to improve coverage in daily and enterprise work. Beat mapping is used by reporters and editors to outline new areas of coverage, to merge two or more old beats, and to refocus existing beats on topics and issues that mean the most to readers. The process also helps communicate clear expectations between reporters and editors in managing work across print and digital platforms.

Social Media Reporting Tools: Social media offers reporters unprecedented tools for building better networks of sources, gaining access to a more diverse and varied set of sources, and spotting trends and issues before they become news. How to use the tools provided by LinkedIn, Twitter, and other social media platforms to get ahead of the news and find the best sources.

The Data Mindset: How to see data and treat it as a source to be interviewed, like people. When to create data, to adapt someone else’s or to analyze existing public data. Tips to make data the inspiration and foundation of great news and enterprise stories.


Maria Carrillo is managing editor at The Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, Va., where she remains committed to craft even in a Twitter world. Her exceptional writers have been nationally recognized, including being Pulitzer and ASNE finalists. Carrillo has worked at The Pilot for 14 years, directing many of the paper’s projects and previously overseeing its narrative team. That work has spawned five books so far. Carrillo has been a visiting faculty member for The Poynter Institute and the Nieman program, a lecturer for the National Writers Workshops and the American Press Institute, and twice been a Pulitzer juror.

Luis Clemens is National Public Radio's senior editor for diversity. Luis works across the newsroom to build a broad foundation of diverse experts and sources in order to enhance NPR's news coverage. In this position, Clemens is also part of NPR's Diversity team and is active partner in training initiatives at NPR and across public radio - helping to strengthen local coverage by expanding the range of content, sources, ideas and expertise. Before joining NPR in 2010, Clemens was a frequent guest on NPR's programs, often interviewed about Latino voters. Clemens began his career in journalism at the local Telemundo and NBC television stations in Miami. In 1993, he began working at CNN as an assignment editor. Three years later he was promoted to Buenos Aires bureau chief. Following CNN, he went on to be a spokesperson for the United Nations World Food Programme in Zimbabwe. Before re-starting a career in journalism and coming to NPR, Clemens owned and operated two laundromats in Xalapa, Mexico.

Miranda Mulligan is the digital design director for The Boston Globe / She is a designer and educator with over 10 years of experience in print and web design, photography and information graphics reporting. She has also worked for The Virginian-Pilot, interned with The Sun-Sentinel and The Philadelphia Inquirer and volunteers with Online News Association, Virginia Press Association, the National Press Photographers Association and the Society for News Design.

Paul Overberg is a database editor at USA TODAY and a member of its data team. He helps to shape its demographic trend coverage, but also analyzes data on subjects from war casualties to highway traffic. He also helps to produce data maps, graphics and interactive applications. He had earlier been a science and environmental reporter and editor at Gannett News Service in Washington and a reporter and editor at The Courier-News in Bridgewater, N.J.

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. He taught feature writing at the University of Cincinnati and regularly presented programs at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism, Arizona State University. Email:


The Twitter Beat: Tweet Credibility of Government Agencies

Wednesday, June 7, at 2 pm Eastern Time

Sign up today for the final webinar in the seriers on social media credibility topics presented jointly by APME and Poynter’s NewsU.

This one-hour webinar will help your news organization learn how to verify information from government sources that increasingly share information with journalists – and directly with the public – via Twitter feeds.

How do journalists get to the real sources to make sure information is conformed, accurate and clear? How does a newsroom decide what to report?

This webinar will help you navigate the landscape of social media credibility within government agencies. Learn:

  • The social media strategy of government agencies
  • Your readers’/followers’ expectations
  • How to develop source relationships with agency tweeters
  • How to engage your newsroom in discussions on whom to trust on Twitter, and how to enhance the credibility of your own Twitter streams
  • Questions and issues to address in your newsroom's social-media guidelines

Managing Editor of the Seattle Times, Suki Dardarian, discusses the results of the APME Social Media Credibility Project about the credibility of government Twitter feeds.

APME members may register for $9.95 by using a code. Watch for an email from Sally Jacobsen at AP, then go to this URL to sign up:



Columbus Dispatch: Credit rating errors plague lives of thousands of Americans
• Chicago Tribune: Deceptive campaign pushes toxic flame retardants into homes
• Albuquerque Journal: Phone records link candidate to accused former housemate
• Arizona Daily Star: Lenders charging up to 400% sidestep state cap on rates
• Arizona Republic: Hate groups active in Arizona; immigration issue is beacon
• Arkansas Democrat-Gazette: Law agencies sell guns to public
• Rochester Democrat and Chronicle: County financial disclosure forms skimpy

Read about these and more by clicking here


BEAT OF THE WEEK: Washington’s Matthew Lee and Beijing’s Alexa Olesen

It was a diplomatic standoff between world powers. Blind Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng was in the U.S. Embassy in Beijing after fleeing house arrest. Would he seek asylum? Would the US help him? Would China let him leave? It was all playing out as Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton arrived for annual strategic talks.

Enter AP Washington newsman Matthew Lee and Beijing newswoman Alexa Olesen. In a matter of hours, they would make a story of intense global interest their own with two major scoops.

First, during lunch with other reporters, Lee was contacted by a Clinton aide who mentioned that a group of officials had been locked down at their hotel in case of developments. Lee's instincts began to buzz. He discovered that plans were in the works to release some information before the briefing.

So Lee went back to his room and waited. Other reporters were out when the official word arrived: During behind-the-scenes negotiations it was decided that Chen would not seek asylum but would stay on in China. U.S. officials had extracted from the Chinese government a promise that Chen would reunite with his family and be allowed to start a new life in a university town. A few hours later, the U.S. ambassador and other officials escorted Chen to a hospital and left him there with his family.

Then it was Olesen's turn.

She had profiled Chen in 2006 ahead of the trial that sent him to prison for four years. She had kept in contact with the dissident community and had been regularly Skyping with Chen's friend Zeng Jinyan, who had met with the dissident while he was hiding in Beijing in the days before entering the embassy.

While U.S. officials were still toasting the arrangements that would have kept Chen in China, Olesen saw a tweet from Zeng saying the media were all wrong.

She called Zeng, who was crying and told her that some Chinese officials had threatened to beat Chen's wife to death.

Dramatic stuff, but Olesen wasn't satisfied with a second-hand account. So Zeng gave her Chen's cellphone number.

Then, in a 20-minute phone call in Mandarin, an emotionally shaken Chen confirmed his change of heart and said some of the Chinese threats were relayed to him by American officials. He told Olesen that he feared for his and his family's safety and that they now wanted to leave China.

The AP exclusive changed the story dramatically — it became the heart of the story – and challenged the version of events given by U.S. officials. State Department officials ultimately were forced to renegotiate with China, agreeing on a deal allowing Chen to study at New York University and bring his family with him.

The following week, Olesen spoke with Chen again and reminded him of their last conversation. Chen laughed and said: "Yes, people say now that I saved myself when I spoke with you on the phone Wednesday night."


BEST OF THE STATES: Tallahassee’s Gary Fineout

Tallahassee newsman Gary Fineout was juggling two of the biggest stories in the state -- the fatal hazing case of a Florida A&M University marching band drum major and the debate over the "stand your ground” law at the heart of the shooting of teen Trayvon Martin. He had to make a tough, gutsy call and he had to make it fast: Which story should he move on, and which one could wait?

He made the right decision: Thanks to Fineout’s quick thinking, the AP was the first to report that Florida A&M band members would be charged with crimes in the hazing death of drum major Robert Champion.

Prosecutors said a day in advance that they would hold a news conference to announce whether they would be leveling charges in the FAMU case, but refused to give any hints ahead of time. Fineout happened to be at a meeting on the "stand your ground” law attended by Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings, who was overseeing the hazing case but only a minor player in the Martin story. As the meeting was wrapping up, the pack of reporters swarmed to question participants who were more key to the Martin case.

Fineout made a quick choice: He alone corralled Demings to question him about the FAMU announcement and learned a decision had been made to file charges against multiple defendants, resulting in a major scoop. And, as it turns out, he didn’t miss anything significant by leaving the pack.



AP Appointments in Europe

The Associated Press has named two news executives in London and new bureau chiefs in Germany and France as part of a series of European appointments.

Tom Berman, a longtime news leader in AP's U.S. operations, will move to London as Deputy Europe Editor, and Sheila Norman-Culp, supervisor on the Europe Desk, has been promoted to the new position of Assistant Europe Editor.

Robert Reid, AP's regional editor for the Middle East, will become Chief of Bureau for Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Berlin newsman David Rising becomes Chief Correspondent for Germany.

Angela Charlton, the AP's news editor in Paris, becomes Chief of Bureau for France, the Benelux nations and North Africa. The Benelux countries are Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.

The appointments were announced by John Daniszewski, AP's senior managing editor for international news. "This will be a very potent team for a very important part of the world," he said.

In London, AP Europe Editor Niko Price said the group "brings a wealth of expertise in leading both journalists and journalism, and will help us dig deeper to tell stories that people want to hear about a continent that is undergoing profound transformation."

Berman, 46, will work with Price to enhance AP's news report in Europe and increase its appeal for digital platforms.

He spent the past decade helping to shape AP's domestic report, as director of state news and previously as director of state news for the eastern United States, and as one of the architects of AP's U.S. restructuring along regional lines.

Prior to that, he was AP's news editor for Pennsylvania and a supervisor at the news cooperative's Boston office. For the past three months Berman has been working as interim deputy regional editor in Phoenix, helping oversee coverage of the western United States.

Berman, who worked previously for newspapers in New York and Massachusetts, holds a degree in history from New York University. He will be based in London.

Reid, 65, has spearheaded AP's coverage of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He has been the AP's Middle East editor since 2010, directing AP's coverage of the Arab Spring. Prior to that, he served as news director for Afghanistan and Pakistan, was chief of bureau in Iraq and served as correspondent at large from a base in Amman, Jordan, from 2005-2008.

Reid joined AP in Charlotte, North Carolina, in 1969 and took a three-year break to serve as an officer in the U.S. Army in Germany. After a stint on the International Desk, he transferred to Bonn — then West Germany — in 1977. Reid was named chief of bureau in Cairo in 1982 and in Manila in 1986, as chief correspondent at the United Nations in 1995, chief of bureau in Vienna in 1998 and as European news editor based in Brussels in 2001.

Reid won the AP Gramling award for excellence in journalism in 2005. He graduated from Davidson College. He will be based in Berlin.

Charlton, 40, has been acting bureau chief in Paris since 2010. She joined the AP in 1994 as a reporter in Moscow, and went to Kiev in 1996. She transferred to Charleston, West Virginia, in 1997, and became an editor on the International Desk in New York before returning to Moscow.

She joined the Paris bureau in 2006, where she was a reporter, news editor and then acting bureau chief. Charlton holds degrees in journalism and Slavic studies from New York University. She will remain in Paris.

Sheila Norman-Culp, 53, will oversee day-to-day operations of AP's regional desk for Europe and work with Berman and Price in directing news coverage of the region. Norman-Culp, who has been a supervisor on the desk since 2008, previously covered FIFA for AP in Zurich and had a weekly business column.

Prior to that, Norman-Culp spent two decades at AP's headquarters in New York supervising international and domestic news. Norman-Culp began her AP career as the company's spokeswoman from 1983-86. She won an AP Managing Editors feature writing award in 1993, and holds a degree in peace studies from Colgate University.

Rising, 43, has served as acting chief of bureau in Berlin since 2010. He joined AP in 1999 in Providence, Rhode Island. He transferred in 2001 to Berlin, from where he has also worked assignments including Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Egypt and Georgia.

Prior to joining AP, Rising was a reporter at The Standard Times in New Bedford, Massachusetts. He holds degrees in journalism from Boston University and in modern European history and political science from the University of Toronto. He will remain based in Berlin.

David Newhouse, editor of the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Patriot-News, is leaving the Harrisburg, Pa. newspaper after 11 years, the paper reported.

The Patriot-News said in a story on its website that Newhouse, 56, will be leaving later this month for Advance Digital, the digital arm of the newspaper's parent company, Advance Publications. His job will be to ensure the quality of new ways that journalism serves readers and the community.

Newhouse will be succeeded by Cate Barron, executive editor and a 27-year veteran at the newspaper. Assistant Managing Editor Mike Feeley will become managing editor.

Last month, reporter Sara Ganim and members of The Patriot-News staff won the Pulitzer Prize for local reporting for their coverage of a child sex-abuse scandal at Penn State University that led to criminal charges against a former assistant coach and two administrators and toppled legendary football coach Joe Paterno.

"David has fostered a culture in which good people can do really good work," publisher and president John Kirkpatrick said.

The National Press Foundation in March named Newhouse the Benjamin Bradlee Editor of the Year.

Under him, the paper also won the title of Pennsylvania Newspaper of the Year in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2010.

Arnie Robbins is stepping down as editor of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and will be replaced by editorial page editor Gilbert Bailón.

Publisher Kevin Mowbray announced the changes last week in a posting on the newspaper's website ( ).

Robbins' last day will be May 18. He has been at the Post-Dispatch for 15 years, more than six of them as editor following seven years as managing editor.

"Arnie has been the driving force of the newsroom and will be missed by everyone," Mowbray said. "It was his leadership that guided the award-winning newsroom to produce strong investigative journalism, top-notch breaking news, and the beginning of our journey into our strong digital future."

Robbins told the staff the change was his decision, saying it's time to embark on the next chapter of his life.

"I've been in this business for 37 years and the last 15 years at the Post-Dispatch," he said. "I have loved it — the work, the journalism, this newsroom, this company. It's been rewarding, sometimes even wonderful. I have a zillion great memories."

Bailón has been editorial page editor since November 2007. He was previously executive editor and vice president of the Dallas Morning News, and has also worked at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, The Los Angeles Daily News, The San Diego Union and The Kansas City Star.

Mowbray called Bailón "a strong and talented team leader with knowledge of our newsroom, our industry and our community."

Bailón said he was "excited for the opportunity to lead the newsroom as we evolve our print and digital products. Our future is bright and meaningful journalism remains our foundation and strength as we keep news content central to our readers' lives."

The managing editor of The Daily Progress of Charlottesville, Va., has stepped down to take a public affairs job at the University of Virginia.

The Daily Progress ( ) reports that 45-year-old McGregor McCance will assist university spokeswoman Carol Wood with various duties, including editing and media relations.

McCance has served as managing editor for The Daily Progress for seven years.

Publisher Lawrence McConnell said The Daily Progress soon will begin a search for a new managing editor.

Michael James has been named executive editor of The Tuscaloosa (Ala.) News.

The 50-year-old James previously worked as the newspaper's business editor. His promotion was announced ( ) by Publisher Tim Thompson.

"Michael has been a solid leader in our newsroom since he moved to Tuscaloosa in 2001," Thompson said. "Our staff's enthusiasm about his promotion is quite obvious."

As executive editor, James will head all newsroom operations.

He succeeds Doug Ray, who was named executive editor of the Gainesville Sun and Ocala Star-Banner in Florida. All three papers are owned by Halifax Media Group.

A graduate of Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C., James served as managing editor at The Times-Record in Fayette, Ala., before joining the staff of The Tuscaloosa News in 2001 as a reporter.

The Atlanta native has been in charge of the newspaper's award-winning business coverage since 2004.

"I grew up in North Carolina for the most part, but my roots in west Alabama run deep," James said. "My great-grandfather taught at the University of Alabama, and my mother was born and raised in Greene County. Our family vacations, when I was a child, always included a visit here."

James said he is fortunate to have a chance to lead such an accomplished newsroom. Last month, the newspaper won a Pulitzer Prize for its coverage of a tornado that plowed into the city April 27, 2011.

"The staff here just won a Pulitzer Prize for breaking news coverage of the tornado, so they've already proved they have the heart, the talent and the skills to perform at a high level," James said. "We can't top that achievement, but our goal will be to continue to strive for excellence in everything we do



• AP apologizes for firing Edward Kennedy over WWII scoop
• Buffett says Berkshire may buy more newspapers
• Newspapers show circulation gains in past year
• State settles public records case with newspaper
• Journalism group cites censorship in 10 countries
• Jim Whittum named publisher of Opelika-Auburn News
• Cox Media considers sale of Austin newspaper plant
• MLive donates Grand Rapids Press archive to museum

Read about these items and more by clicking here


And Finally … While the celebrities glittered, a hero passed unnoticed

The Washington Post

WASHINGTON - The squabbling between political campaigns and the harrumphing of pundits were put in proper perspective at, of all places, the White House Correspondents' Association (WHCA) dinner - the annual Prom on the Potomac where 2,000 or so media members and movie stars gather to honor the president and admire one another.

It is customary at this "exclusive" congregation for media organizations to compete for the celebrity "get." Thus, this year, all were abuzz over the stars, including among the many, George Clooney, Diane Keaton, Goldie Hawn, Steven Spielberg and, of course, Kim Kardashian, without whom no shallow occasion would be complete - and finally, Lindsay Lohan.

Then there was Table 46, one of The Washington Post's tables, to which I was fortuitously assigned. We were the un-celebrities - writers, editors, Undersecretary of State Bob Hormats, and a military officer who introduced himself as "Bill."

He was obviously important. His dress uniform was festooned with medals and ribbons - lots of them. And he had that bearing we recognize in military elites that betrays another kind of space, a private zone where intelligence and readiness keep each other quiet company.

Bill ... who did he say?

Turns out this humble, polite man was Admiral William McRaven, leader of the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) that oversaw the raid to kill Osama bin Laden. In a recounting of the eight-month lead-up to the raid, Time magazine features McRaven as part of President Obama's highly secret, and secretive, inner circle. He's the guy to whom CIA Deputy Director Michael Morrell was referring when he turned to then-Director Leon Panetta in the early planning stages and said, "It's time to call in the pros."

The Obama administration has been taking some flak for touting bin Laden's killing in a campaign ad, including a barb this week from former Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Michael Mullen. "I do worry a great deal that this time of year that somehow this gets spun into election politics," Mullen said in an interview with NBC's Brian Williams. "I can assure you that those individuals who risk their lives - the last thing in the world that they want is to be spun into that."

By Time's telling, Obama clearly deserves enormous credit for the execution of the bin Laden hit. His measured approach to the exercise was key. There were a hundred ways things could go wrong, and waiting for just the right moment was crucial. Whether it is appropriate for Obama to turn the operation into a political instrument is another matter. One Special Forces officer summed it up to me this way: "A good leader lets his people shine and that reflects on him without him having to beat his own drum."

Reading the Time story, one is reminded that the business of the executive office is far graver than what tends to nourish the daily news cycle. Serious business gets done without notice, thanks in part to the lack of notice. The bin Laden raid was successful largely because no one leaked. Secrets were kept. Highly trained men did their jobs without fanfare.

"This is what we do," McRaven told the president, according to Time. "We fly in by helicopters, we assault compounds, we grab the bad guy or whatever is required, and we get out."

At one point during the WHCA dinner, I thought the president was going to recognize our man, Bill. Obama began his speech by acknowledging that a year ago, the U.S. delivered justice to a deserving person. I glanced at McRaven thinking, aha, he's about to have his well-deserved moment. Instead, the huge screens in the room flashed the face of Donald Trump. It was a setup for a joke.

I asked McRaven what it's like to wake up every day and know that you're the one who brought down bin Laden. Does he open his eyes and think, wow, I did that?

No, he smiles and shakes his head. "It's our job. It's what we do."

No one at the dinner posed for a picture with McRaven, except (at my insistence) his hostess for the evening, Washington Post reporter Karen Tumulty. A fifth-grade classmate of McRaven's, Tumulty convinced him to attend the dinner.

As the crowd followed Kardashian down the hall and others grabbed Clooney for one more photo, McRaven slipped out of the room and down a private hallway into the night. Just like a year ago after Abbottabad - unnoticed, unrecognized, uncelebrated.

Ignoring the best while celebrating the least - it's what we do.


Parker writes for the Washington Post. Her email address is


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