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APME Update, July 10, 2014
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APME UPDATE – July 10, 2014


• Aug. 22-23, NewsTrain Workshop, Austin, Texas 

• Aug. 29, Deadline for booking hotel rooms at the Hyatt Regency in Chicago for the ASNE-APME Conference 

• Sept. 15-17, ASNE-APME Conference, Chicago

• Sept. 18, Metcalf Institute Seminar on Climate Change, Chicago

• Sept. 20, NewsTrain Workshop, Columbus, Ohio


The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's investigation of delays in newborn screening programs captured top honors in the annual Associated Press Media Editors’ Journalism Excellence Awards.

The newspaper’s “Deadly Delays” project won in three categories - Public Service, First Amendment and the Al Neuharth Award for Innovation in Investigative Journalism. 

"APME salutes the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and all of this year's winners for the exemplary journalism being produced in newsrooms around the country," APME President Debra Adams Simmons said. "We are proud to celebrate journalism that changes lives. The news industry's commitment to solid public service journalism, defense of the First Amendment 
and digital storytelling is as strong as ever.”

The 2013 APME contest recognized news organizations in seven categories and AP staff members in separate judging. 

"This is journalism with an exclamation mark,” the judges wrote in selecting the Journal Sentinel’s project for the 44th annual Public Service Best of Show award.  “What started as a data-driven project evolved into a momentous report  filled with human dimension and a need for action.” The award, sponsored by the APME Foundation, carries a $1,500 prize.

The newspaper also won the Tom Curley First Amendment Sweepstakes Award for the project, which analyzed data nationwide on screening programs designed to detect rare diseases in newborns and found delays at hospitals in testing the results, putting infants at risk. 

The award, sponsored by the APME Foundation, carries a $1,000 prize.

"This is investigative journalism at its best, practiced by masters of the genre," said the judges in the First Amendment category.  

The Gazette of Colorado Springs, Colorado, and the Virgin Islands Daily News won Public Service awards in their circulation categories.  The Gazette was honored in the 40,000 to 149,000 circulation category for its reporting on 
how wounded combat veterans lose benefits after being discharged by the Army for minor offenses. “Powerful and beautifully told,’’ the judges said. “It stands up by every measure of journalism excellence we apply.”

The Daily News was recognized in the small circulation category for “EMS in Chaos,” a three-part series that revealed poor management in the Emergency Medical Service division on St. Thomas island.

 “Once again the Virgin Islands’ staff shines with its tenacity and reporting,” said the judges, who noted the paper also won the Public Service award for its circulation category last year. It also won the Tom Curley First Amendment Sweepstakes award last year.

 The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and the Colorado Springs Gazette were also honored in the Al Neuharth Award for Innovation in Investigative Journalism. Each will receive $2,500. The award is sponsored by the Gannett Foundation.

 Other winners in the First Amendment category were the Herald-Tribune of Sarasota, Florida, in the medium circulation category, for its “Breaking the Banks” project about the failure of community banks in Florida and how local bankers shaped the crisis, and the Wyoming Tribune Eagle, in the small circulation category, for a series of stories and editorials on the 
University of Wyoming’s attempt to keep secret the hiring process for a new president.

Finalists in the Innovator of the Year contest were: Sarasota Herald-Tribune, The Wall Street Journal and The Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch. They will compete at APME’s joint conference with the American Society of News Editors Sept. 15-17 in Chicago. The winner will be judged by conference attendees and receive $1,000. The award is sponsored by GateHouse 
Media Inc.

USA Today was the winner of a new category, "Best Mobile Platform," for its mobile app.

APME also announced award winners in two other innovation categories as well as Digital Storytelling and International Perspective. Awards will be presented at the awards luncheon Sept. 16 during the ASNE-APME conference.

Judges did not participate in discussions or vote on categories involving their own news organizations’ entries.

 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. For a complete list of winners and honorable mentions, go to


 Coverage of the Moore, Oklahoma, tornado and the aftermath of the Connecticut school shootings won awards for deadline reporting and feature writing from the Associated Press Media Editors for journalism excellence by AP staffers.

The AP’s investigation of the disappearance of CIA contractor Robert Levinson in Iran in 2007 - and its decision to publish the story last year - was honored in the enterprise category.

“The judges were impressed by the exceptional work being produced by AP journalists around the world," APME President Debra Adams Simmons said. "The work reveals a deep commitment - sometimes at substantial cost - to report news and information locally and globally that news consumers could not get anywhere else.”

“The judges were tasked with recognizing just a fraction of the significant work of AP reporters, photographers and editors, but the annual awards contest is a reminder of the vitality and importance of the AP to our industry,” she said.

In selecting the Moore tornado coverage, the judges said, “The reporting was detailed, fast-paced and accurate - breaking news coverage as it should be done.” The AP, they said, “owned the story, with vivid photos, arresting interviews with survivors and aggressive questions for authorities who acknowledged they had botched the casualty count.”

Christopher Sullivan of the Newsfeatures staff won the feature writing award for “Newtown Marches On.” The judges said he captured “the struggles and resilience of the Labor Day parade committee in Newtown, a community struggling to find its footing” after the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School, which claimed 26 lives.

Adam Goldman and Matt Apuzzo, formerly of the Washington bureau, and editors of the AP were cited for their coverage of the Levinson disappearance.  “In a very competitive category, this entry stood above the rest because of the difficulty of 
reporting and because of the tenacity, patience and courage that was needed to publish this story,” the judges wrote. “The story is a gripping narrative that reads like a spy novel.” Goldman is now with The Washington Post, and Apuzzo with The New York Times.

 Four staffers were honored with the Charles Rowe Award for distinguished state reporting for coverage of the California prison system. California AP created a prison team of Paul Elias in San Francisco, Gillian Flaccus in Orange County and Don Thompson in Sacramento, overseen by Sacramento correspondent Tom Verdin.

 “This is an engaging and monumental work by a newly created reporting team that provided important coverage for California’s AP members and their audience,” the judges said. “It is mind-boggling the scope of the problems uncovered by this team. The sweep of these issues continues to grow as stories are uncovered.”

 Photographer Sergei Grits, based in Belarus, won the News Single Photo award for his image of a Ukrainian demonstrator setting off a Molotov cocktail in a slingshot. “This dramatic image captures the passion of the protesters in Ukraine,” the judges said. “This moment amid chaos is a vivid metaphor for the crisis.”

 Photographer Jerome Delay was honored with the News Story Photo award for his series on the fighting in the Central African Republic where he is based. “The dedication of (Delay) to seek out and record these ‘found moments’ is exemplary,” the judges wrote. “The images show the complexity of life amid civil war in the Central African Republic.”

 Jerusalem photographer Sebastian Scheiner won the Feature Single Photo award for his image of Palestinians living in a cave after their house was demolished by Israeli authorities. “The subject matter combined with the creative composition sets this photo apart,” the judges said.

 Rodrigo Abd, a photographer based in Lima, Peru, was honored with the Feature Story Photo award for his story on exhumations from Peru’s 1980-2000 conflict. “These images convey a cohesive story arch, one of the agonizing emotional toll taken on the families of victims of the conflict,” the judges said.

 Nathan Griffiths, Nicholas Harbaugh, Kevin Viney, Peter Hamlin and Roque Ruiz were awarded the Best Use of Multimedia for their interactives on the U.S. health care overhaul. Their interactives, the judges said, “were simple to follow and allowed each reader to personalize the information - an amazing feat given the complexity of the law.”

 The Best in Video award was given to Al-emrun Garjon of New Delhi for his coverage of the collapse of a Bangladesh factory. The judges said Garjon provided amazing shots of not only destruction but survival as well. ... It was a powerful work from start to finish.”

 Adriana Gomez Licon of Mexico City won the John L. Dougherty prize for exemplary work by an AP staff member who is 30 years old or younger. The judges said she “is a compelling storyteller, who uses in-depth reporting and telling details to powerful effect.” Her work included a piece on the death of a beauty queen caught up in the nation’s drug wars.

 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.

For a list of honorable mentions, go to


We’re still looking for your newsroom’s Great Ideas.

The "Great Ideas Book," which features the best and brightest ideas from around the industry, will be compiled on flash drives and handed out at the joint ASNE-APME conference Sept. 15-17 in Chicago.

Your Great Idea can be for print or online. It can be something new and innovative and thrown in from left field, or it can be a fresh new take on something we do every day.  

It's free to enter the the contest, and nominating your idea is quick and simple: 

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

Go here to take a look at the Great Ideas from 2013:


Exciting program in store for you, join us in Chicago!

The city that loves to innovate -- from pizza to skylines -- has a huge crush on journalists.

Join us for the historic ASNE-APME conference Sept. 15-17 at the Hyatt Regency in the heart of downtown Chicago. It's the first time that the leading organizations for news-organization leaders are getting together to toast journalism then, now and into the future.

The conference theme is Fast Forward, and it meshes with a packed program that features media thought-leaders and digital innovators. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is expected to welcome attendees, and the conference will quickly evolve into a powerful program on leading change.Leadership (on Monday), innovation and engagement (Tuesday), and values 
(Wednesday) are the conference's key themes.

Among the highlights:

• If anyone knows how to read tea leaves digitally, it's Tom Rosenstiel and Amy Webb. In the kickoff session, Rosenstiel, executive director of the American Press Institute, and Webb, CEO of WebbMedia Group, examine the trends and issues facing newsroom leaders.

• Join us for a conversation with Jim Bankoff, CEO of Vox Media, as we examine the new news ecology and what we can learn from startups.

• What does innovation mean? Find out from leading news innovators, including Raju Narisetti of News Corp., Miranda Mulligan of Northwestern's Knight Innovation Lab and Chuck Peters of The Gazette Company of Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

• An all-star panel will examine mobile realities, including how to win at social media.

• Butch Ward and Jill Geisler of The Poynter Institute will lead a discussion on leadership qualities.

• Penny Muse Abernathy, author of "Saving Community Journalism," is featured in a session for news leaders of community markets.

There's more, from your chance to see news innovators pitch for your vote to luncheons that honor the top journalism efforts of the past year. Plus, you'll have a chance to hoist a few with friends, participate in the live and silent auctions featuring a variety of items, catch a baseball ball game or take an evening cruise on the Mystic Blue on the Chicago River.

The conference will start at 1:30 p.m. CDT Monday, Sept. 15, and conclude about 3 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 17. Make sure you sign up early for the "Climate Change and the News" seminar from 9 a.m. to noon and 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 18, offered by the Metcalf Institute for Marine & Environmental Reporting.

Registration to attend the conference: It's only $250 for members of APME and ASNE; $350 for nonmembers. APME members can go to for details.

A block of rooms are reserved at the Hyatt Regency until Aug. 29 for only $189/night. Make a reservation online, or call the hotel directly at 312-565-1234; mention the block of rooms reserved for ASNE and APME. 

Questions? Contact Cindy Roe of ASNE at or Sally Jacobsen of APME at


APME’s popular NewsTrain will be in Columbus, Ohio, on Sept. 20 with sessions on maximizing your use of social media, shooting better video stories and developing data-driven enterprise stories.

Registration is just $75 for a full day of training, including hands-on exercises, two meals and snacks. 

Sign up at, where you’ll also find information on a discounted hotel rate near the workshop site at The Columbus Dispatch.

Follow us @NewsTrain on Twitter or like us on Facebook for news on topics and speakers at those upcoming workshops.


Beat of the Week: Faul

Best of the States: Smith


Columbus Dispatch: Whetstone stands out in scandal subpoenas

Washington Post: Caught up in the NSA net

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Interest groups let Congress travel free

Arizona Daily Star: Rising Arizona temperatures make for hostile environment

Los Angeles Times: Large drop seen in youth deportations

Modesto (California) Bee: State keeps water well logs secret

Denver Post: Airport officials fly business class on international trips

Miami Herald: New 9/11 records offer tantalizing puzzle pieces

Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Racial gaps remain in gifted programs

Idaho Statesman: Idaho millennials are worse off than earlier generations

Boston Globe: City’s residency rules routinely flouted

Arizona Republic: Alarm bells about VA failed to spur change

Sacramento Bee: Complaints of nepotism dog California Senate

Orange County Register: Police fail to report deadly shootings

New Haven Register: Seized funds used for trips

Palm Beach Post: Pedestrians account for most deaths on Palm Beach County rails

Chicago Tribune: Rail yard pollution threat to neighborhoods

Baltimore Sun: Teacher evaluation system is latest education battleground

Minneapolis Star Tribune: Taxicab drivers skirting the law

New York Times: In military care, a pattern of errors but not scrutiny

The Oregonian: Liquefied Natural Disaster?

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Medical malpractice meltdown

Read more Watchdog Reporting

EDITORS IN THE NEWS: Acoca, Katches, Griffey


CNN sues Blaine County for Bergdahl records

Hearst Connecticut, Westfair ink content sharing deal

Adams Publishing Group buys Minnesota newspapers

Las Vegas Sun shifts ownership, plans to keep publishing

Judge: Emails about emergency network US property

The AP plans to automate quarterly earnings articles

Facebook runs into uproar over experiment that tested emotional reactions

Miami News-Record purchased by GateHouse Media

Watergate as seen through eyes of Dick Cavett show

Minnesota Timberwolves owner closes Star Tribune purchase

National journalism group gives 'Golden Padlock' award to governors for secrecy law

Gilbert's real estate arm buys Detroit newspaper building

Quinn vetoes Illinois legislation limiting FOIA

Read more industry news

IN MEMORIAM: Scaife, Payton

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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