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APME Update, July 30, 2014
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APME UPDATE – July 31, 2014


• Aug. 15, Entry Deadline for McGruder Diversity Leadership Awards

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

• Aug. 25, Registration Deadline for Metcalf Climate Change Seminar at ASNE-APME Conference

• 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


An Oklahoma newspaper's project to reveal issues within the poorest parts of its city has garnered the annual Associated Press Media Editors' Community Journalism Public Service Initiative.

The Enid News & Eagle won the national honor for its community initiative "Under Pressure." The News & Eagle will win a $1,000 grant to help it complete the project. A representative of the northern Oklahoma news organization also will receive an expenses-paid trip to attend the APME-ASNE annual conference Sept. 15-17 in Chicago. 

The Sedalia (Missouri) Democrat won last year's honor for its project "Meth at the Crossroads." 

The first winner of the grant was The Daily Citizen of Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, for its series "Mental Health on Hold."

"APME and its foundation want to provide smaller news organizations with vital assistance to spur public service initiatives in their communities. The Enid newspaper's project was a perfect example of the great work that these community newspapers are doing," APME President Debra Adams Simmons said. "The work of the previous two winners also proves that this grant has made an impact."

The grant is awarded to media companies that have a website and serve a metropolitan area (MSA) of 100,000 or fewer people, with preference given to Associated Press members. The project can use print and/or digital platforms and include social media and/or a mobile strategy. 

It should be considered entrepreneurial and should have the potential to be used elsewhere, including by a larger media company. 

Enid's 13,000-circulation newspaper began looking into the poor east side neighborhoods after the fire marshal said the area was a "pretty significant life safety hazard" because fire hydrants there are useless. The fire department also doesn't consider the area safe for new construction. 

"With miles of water pipes almost a century old, the city knows it has a problem on its hands. Developers without knowledge of the issue have been surprised when city officials require costly changes to construction plans to improve fire safety, a side effect of low fire flow in older and unimproved sectors inside city limits," staff writer Dale Denwalt wrote. "This investigation looks at the cost of being under pressure – from the eyes of developers and those who live in these neighborhoods."

News & Eagle staff members found the area is made up of minority populations, and 99 percent of elementary school students are eligible for free or reduced-cost lunches. It also found that many are immigrants from the Marshall Islands, with one of every 20 Marshallese now living in Enid. While other areas are prospering, the east side continues to struggle, according to the application. 

"A person only has to cross the railroad tracks to find the forgotten Enid — underdeveloped, poor and largely ignored by years of prosperity."

The Enid newspaper will use the grant not only to help free up Denwalt to complete the project, but also to provide for translation of the project into Marshallese and Spanish. It will also use social media and mobile video to help tell the story to its community. 

Besides Denwalt, Publisher Jeff Funk and Executive Editor Rob Collins are involved in the project as well as being part of the application process.

The APME awards committee judged the contest and determined that another project deserved an honorable mention. A project on domestic violence by the Reedsburg Times-Press and the Juneau County Star-Times of Wisconsin was chosen to receive a $500 grant.

"We are community newspapers; we are part of our communities. I believe we need to not only report the news, but also to be involved in ways to make our communities better. We need to look forward to the next 50 years and to look at how we will evolve. This, I believe, is a step in that direction," Editor Julie Belschner wrote in the application from the 3,000-circulation news organization in Mauston. 


Enter your nominations for the awards honoring individuals, news organizations or related journalistic organizations or teams of journalists who embody the spirit of Robert G. McGruder, a former executive editor of the Detroit Free Press, former managing editor of The Plain Dealer in Cleveland, graduate of Kent State University and relentless diversity 
champion. McGruder died in April 2002.

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 are sponsored by the Associated Press Media Editors Foundation, American Society of News Editors, The Plain Dealer in Cleveland and the Newseum 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 news content and in recruiting, developing and retaining a diverse workforce.

The winners will be honored at the joint ASNE-APME conference Sept. 15-17 in Chicago. Each will receive $2,500 and a leadership trophy.

Deadline: Friday, Aug. 15.

Send material to:
Sally Jacobsen, email:
450 West 33rd Street
New York, N.Y. 10001


ASNE-APME’s Fast Forward conference Sept. 15-17 at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Chicago is rapidly approaching.

Join us for concurrent sessions on kick-off day Monday, Sept. 15: In Session A, Penny Muse Abernathy, author of "Saving Community Journalism" and Knight chair in Journalism and Digital Media Economics at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, will discuss ways to save community journalism and thrive doing it. Here's a description of her book: 

As the publishing business collides with a digital revolution that is redefining consumer reading habits and the very notion of community, how can newspapers continue to profitably provide local journalism that nurtures identity, connection and engagement among citizens? In "Saving Community Journalism," Abernathy draws on cutting-edge research and analysis to reveal pathways to transformation and long-term profitability for the country's newspapers. Examining experiences at a wide variety of community papers -- from a 7,000-circulation weekly in West Virginia to a 50,000-circulation daily 
in California and 150,000-circulation Spanish-language weekly in the heart of Chicago -- Abernathy offers editors and publishers practical advice and a strategic framework for making decisions and implementing changes that will increase reader loyalty and reinvigorate their business fortunes so their newspapers can not only survive but thrive. 

Session B will be an informal conversation about you, editors. What's your own strategy to grow as a leader? Join Poynter's Jill Geisler and Butch Ward to talk about how you can identify areas for leadership growth and create a plan for making it happen. 

The conference will start at 1:30 p.m. CDT Monday, Sept. 15, and conclude about 3 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 17. The conference agenda will be available shortly at and at 

Registration is $250 for members of ASNE and APME. It's $350 for nonmembers. APME members can register at

And don't forget to reserve your hotel room as soon as possible. The block of rooms we reserved at the Hyatt Regency for $189/night until Aug. 29 is filling up quickly. There will be a dramatic rate increase per night when the block sells out. 


Learn more about video storytelling, data journalism, viral content and change management at NewsTrain in Austin, Texas, on Aug. 22-23. Registration -- just $75 for two full days of training -- is now open at You can also get information there on a discounted hotel rate and diversity scholarships for the workshop at the University of Texas.

Your instructors are:
• Linda Austin, project director for NewsTrain. She will help you create more time for watchdog reporting with a proven technique called beat mapping.
• Meg Downey, former managing editor of The Tennessean in Nashville. She will offer techniques for planning and coaching content across platforms and for managing and surviving change in the newsroom.
• Kathy Kieliszewski, director of photography and video at the Detroit Free Press. She will introduce you to efficient video story forms for digital platforms and provide tips to shoot more effective video on your smartphone.
• Paul Overberg, database editor for USA Today. He will demystify data journalism, including directing you to data and documents in your community that will translate into enterprising stories.
• Shazna Nessa, former deputy managing editor of editorial products and innovations at The Associated Press. She will help you apply the research on what makes content go viral and also get ready for the next big disruptive changes in news.

Registration is also open for NewsTrain in Columbus, Ohio, on Sept. 20. Topics include social media, video storytelling and data-driven enterprise. A discounted hotel rate and diversity scholarships are also available for this daylong workshop at The Columbus Dispatch. 
More information and sign-up are at
To keep up with NewsTrain, follow us @NewsTrain on Twitter or like us on Facebook.


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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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