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APME Update, July 9, 2015
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APME UPDATE – July 9, 2015





Aug. 31 - Deadline for submitting Great Ideas


Oct. 15-16 - NewsTrain in Monroe, Louisiana


Oct. 16-18 – ASNE-APME conference at Stanford University


Oct. 29-30 - NewsTrain at Northern Illinois University


Nov. 13-14 - NewsTrain in Philadelphia

Jan. 21, 2016 - NewsTrain in Lexington, Kentucky



Two community newspapers in Illinois and Indiana were selected by the Associated Press Media Editors for $2,500 grants to help complete public service projects.


The Park Foundation of Ithaca, New York, agreed to sponsor, for the first time, the Community Journalism Public Service Initiative awards for the Journal-Standard of Freeport, Illinois, and the Tribune-Star of Terre Haute, Indiana, said APME President Alan D. Miller.


The award, now in its fourth year, is open to media companies that have a website and serve a metropolitan area of 100,000 or fewer people.


“We’re thrilled to announce that this year and next, the Park Foundation has committed to underwriting and increasing the grants,” Miller said. “With the Park Foundation’s generous support, we will make two awards of $2,500 each in 2015 and 2016.” A $1,000 award had previously been given to only one news organization annually.


“Public service journalism is our highest calling,” said Miller, interim editor of The Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch. “The APME board is grateful for the Park Foundation’s support and proud to help eager journalists answer the call.”


The Journal-Standard will use its $2,500 grant to analyze the effect of the dramatic increase in shootings on Freeport’s 24,000 residents. The money will help the newspaper organize community discussions and forums on the issue.

The Tribune-Star plans to use its $2,500 grant for in-depth reporting on the city’s financial crisis. It also intends to produce podcasts, short video documentaries and interactive graphics to go with the project, and to host digital town hall forums.

In addition, Miller said the APME Foundation will provide travel expenses for newspaper representatives to attend the ASNE-APME conference Oct. 16-18 at Stanford University.


The St. Augustine (Florida) Record was cited as an honorable mention and will receive a $500 grant to complete its reporting on how the city is spending public funds in preparation for a week-long celebration of its 450th anniversary in September.


“I have been amazed by the dedicated investigative and project work accomplished by smaller community news organizations in this country,” said Joe Hight, chairman of the APME committee that selected the winners. “They prove what can be accomplished with relatively few people. They show why community journalism is now more important than ever.”


In selecting the Journal-Standard, George Rodrigue, editor of The Plain Dealer of Cleveland, said the newspaper’s project was “public service at the highest level.”


He said the newspaper “identified an issue of life-and-death importance. It used a full range of tools to share stories, facts, and analytical work with its subscribers. Then it decided to sponsor a series of community conversations to ensure that the message got out to the citizens who most needed to hear it.”


In Terre Haute, the Tribune-Star plans to use the grant to hire an independent consultant to help reporters research the city’s financial problems and explain what it means to the city and its taxpayers today and in the future.


“The project, ‘A City on the Brink: Terre Haute’s Financial Crisis,’ would seek to explain how the city’s municipal government got into the financial situation, dig into the operational areas most affected by the rapidly decreasing city budget and explore how the lack of money has affected infrastructure and public safety needs,” said Alison Gerber, editor of the Chattanooga (Tennessee) Times Free Press. “It also would examine potential solutions.”


The St. Augustine newspaper has already obtained thousands of documents in public records requests. Linda Negro, retired managing editor of the Evansville (Indiana) Courier & Press, said the work “is exactly the kind of watchdog journalism news agencies of all sizes should do.”


“It is clear from the reaction of city officials that there is already concern about the use of the money,” she said. “The Record has demonstrated its commitment to the project by the money it has already spent to get records. This would be a good use of grant funds to continue to pay for costly records. This also sends a signal to readers that this is an essential role for the newspaper.”


Under grant guidelines, the winning projects can use print or digital platforms and include social media or a mobile strategy. They should be considered entrepreneurial and should have the potential to be used elsewhere, including by larger media companies. 


As part of the grant, the winners will travel to the APME-ASNE conference in Palo Alto, Calif., to present on their projects. The conference is Oct. 16-18. More information is at


Previous grant winners have been:


_The Enid News & Eagle for its project "Under Pressure" about the city’s lack of services for poor parts of the northern Oklahoma city.


_The Sedalia (Missouri) Democrat for "Meth at the Crossroads."


_The Daily Citizen of Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, for its series “Mental Health on Hold.”

The Park Foundation primarily supports scholarships in higher education, quality media that heightens public awareness of critical issues and protection of the environment.


APME is an association of editors and content leaders at newspapers, broadcast outlets and digital newsrooms as well as journalism educators and student leaders in the United States and Canada. APME works closely with The Associated Press to foster journalism excellence.




Please share your best and brightest ideas for "Great Ideas of the Quarter."


Great Ideas can highlight audience engagement, multimedia, niche products/sections/sites, quick- turnaround packages, holidays coverage, revenue generators, social media, streaming live/broadcast, video, alternative story forms, database reporting, diversity and more.


Click here for a form to submit entries and upload images to accompany your idea:


All entries will be included the Great Ideas book, available at the ASNE-APME conference Oct. 16-18 at Stanford University.


The deadline for submitting ideas is Aug. 31.



APME and ASNE will have live and silent auctions to benefit both organizations during their joint conference Oct. 16-18 at Stanford University.

What are we looking for? Vacation getaways, sports tickets and more for the live auction at the opening night reception at the Francis C. Arrillaga Alumni Center on the Stanford campus. A small silent auction also will take place that night.


A larger silent auction - featuring donated books, regional gifts, jewelry, sports and event tickets and more - will be held during the conference at the Li Ka Shing Center at Stanford University School of Medicine, the conference headquarters.

To donate, please fill out the 2015 pledge form: download the pledge form.

Bob Heisse of the APME Foundation and George Stanley of ASNE are coordinating the auction. You can contact them at or



Don’t wait to register for the ASNE-APME conference of the nation's top editors Oct. 16-18 at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. The Associated Press Photo Managers is also a conference partner.


The theme for the Silicon Valley conference is 3-D: Digital, Diversity, Disruption.


The conference will open with an evening reception Friday, Oct. 16, at the Frances C. Arrillaga Alumni Center. Join your colleagues for a taste of California wine and music and a conversation with David Kelley. Kelley is a creator of the Apple mouse and founder of the groundbreaking at Stanford.

Conference sessions will be held Saturday, Oct. 17, and Sunday, Oct. 18, at the Li Ka Shing Center at Stanford University School of Medicine. The conference hotel is the Sheraton Palo Alto at 625 El Camino Real. 

Register now: The registration fee is $275 for members of ASNE and APME and $375 for nonmembers. There are special rates for retired editors, spouses, students and APME's Regents. Click here to register.  

Book your hotel room: A group rate is available at the Sheraton Palo Alto until Sept. 15 for only $169/night for Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Rates for Wednesday and Thursday are $329/night. Make a reservation online or call the hotel directly at 650-328-2800 and mention the block of rooms reserved for ASNE and APME.


Contact Sally Jacobsen at or Cindy Roe at



Four NewsTrain workshops will offer training in the digital skills identified by local journalists as vital to their success.

  • Monroe, Louisiana, Oct. 15-16, 2015, social media, mobile newsgathering, data-driven enterprise reporting, mobile-first breaking news coverage, journalism ethics in the digital age.

  • DeKalb, Illinois, (65 miles west of Chicago) Oct. 29-30, 2015, social media, smartphone video, audience analytics, data-driven enterprise reporting, beat mapping, creative local features coverage.

  • Philadelphia, Nov. 13-14, 2015, a digital-storytelling boot camp including social media, data-driven enterprise reporting, smartphone video and photos, writing news for mobile.

  • Lexington, Kentucky, Jan. 21, 2016, social media, smartphone video, data-driven enterprise reporting.

Registration fee: $75.

Questions? Contact Linda Austin, project director for NewsTrain, at or @LindaAustin_.



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Associated Press Media Editors

APME is a professional network, a resource for helping editors and broadcasters improve their news coverage and newsroom operations.

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