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APME Update for Thursday, Sept. 6, 2012
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APME Update
APME Update for Thursday, Sept. 6, 2012
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Save the Date
• Sept. 13-14, NewsTrain, Toronto
Sept. 19-21, 2012 - APME Conference, John Seigenthaler Center, Nashville, Tenn.
• Sept. 20, Election voting ends for APME Board of Directors
• Oct. 19, NewsTrain, Chapel Hill, N.C.


Don't miss NewsTrain events.

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Thank you! We are at 888 Likes on the APME Facebook page. We aspire to reach 1,000 by our conference, starting Sept. 19. Help us out by sharing and telling your industry peers!


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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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Full steam ahead for a great time in Music City

We're looking forward to seeing you at the 2012 APME conference in Nashville. Here are a few updates …

We are just about at capacity and the agenda is jam-packed. See the sessions at:

Follow us on Facebook and help us hit 1,000 Likes: Let your staff and friends know that conference coverage including video will appear on and through social media. We are at 888 Likes now, so this is a very attainable goal, with your help.

Don’t miss the Foundation Auction Wednesday night that includes:

Annette McGruder's ruana
Nashville conference Hatch Show Prints are on sale now! go to the auction page to reserve yours today!

• A hand-painted silk charmeuse ruana (cape-like scarf) by Annette McGruder

• An AP Nashville classic portrait – Johnny Cash kissing June Carter

• A Branson getaway

• A tour of a major AP bureau and lunch

• A case of Maker’s Mark bourbon

• Four T-shirt quilts, including one of 'Dave Barry for President' shirts, signed by the writer

• A New Jersey Shore getaway

• Signed books by great authors

• A Runway to Real Life Shopping Trip and, oh, so much more!

You can preview some of the items at HERE and even purchase conference T-shirts and our first-ever Hatch Show Prints. The auctions are a great cause and always a lot of fun.

If you're staying in town Friday night, APME has secured some tickets to the Grand Ole Opry. For $50, you get admission, back-stage tour and transportation to and from the event. If you are interested, email Sally Jacobsen.

Thanks for your support, and can't wait to see you in Nashville.


Members can vote now in the APME Board of Directors election

Voting ends 1 p.m. EDT Thursday, Sept. 20

Twenty candidates are vying for a seat on the APME Board of Directors. Seven will be elected at-large, one will win the small-newspaper post, one will become an online director and two will be elected to represent broadcast.

Candidates are:

At-Large Candidates
Newspapers, Broadcast stations and associated media with 35,000 or more circulation

Michael A. Anastasi, Vice President and Executive Editor, Los Angeles News Group
Dennis Anderson, Executive Editor, Peoria (Ill.) Journal Star
David Arkin, Vice President of Content & Audience, GateHouse Media
Mark Baldwin, In transition to new post. Formerly editor of The Republic of Columbus, Ind.
Richard L. Berke, Assistant Managing Editor for News, The New York Times
Kimberly Christ, Senior Features Editor, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Little Rock, Ark.
Chris Clonts, Managing Editor, St. Paul (Minn.) Pioneer Press
Alan English, Vice President of Audience, The Augusta (Ga.) Chronicle
Gary Graham, Editor, The Spokesman-Review, Spokane, Wash.
Monica R. Richardson, Managing Editor, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
George Rodrigue, Vice President and Managing Editor, The Dallas Morning News
Laura Sellers, Digital Development Director, East Oregonian Publishing Co.
Jim Simon, Assistant Managing Editor, Seattle Times

Small-Newspaper Candidates
Newspapers and associated media with 35,000 or less circulation

Chris Cobler, Editor, Victoria (Texas) Advocate
D. Reed Eckhardt, Executive Editor, (Cheyenne) Wyoming Tribune Eagle

Online Candidates

John Boogert, Deputy Editor/Interactive, The Wichita Eagle/
Angie Muhs, Executive Editor/Interactive, Portland (Maine) Press Herald

Broadcast Candidates

Mark Casey, VP/News Director KPNX-TV, Phoenix
Eric Ludgood, News Director at WGCL/CBS, Atlanta News
Elbert Tucker, Director of News, WBNS-10TV, Columbus, Ohio

APME members can vote at

If you have questions, contact Carol Hanner, elections chair.


NewsTrian: New Workshop in Chapel Hill, N.C., Oct. 19 NewsTrain Planned for September

NewsTrain will be in Chapel Hill, N.C., on Oct. 19 for a one-day workshop.

NewsTrain is sponsored by APME and this workshop is hosted by the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association, North Carolina Press Association, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Representatives from Winston-Salem Journal, The Associated Press South Region, Durham Herald-Sun, Rocky Mount Telegram, Spring Hope Enterprise, Fayetteville Observer, Hickory Daily Record, The News of Orange, Sanford Herald, The (Goldsboro) News-Argus and Tabor-Loris Tribune served on the planning committee.

Location & times: 8 am-5 pm Oct. 19, at the UNC School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Carroll Hall, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, N.C.

Registration: Registration is $50. Register on the APME web site via this link: Chapel Hill NewsTrain. Deadline is Oct. 12.

Questions? Contact: Michael Roberts, NewsTrain Project Director, Beth Grace, North Carolina Press Association,


How to Shoot Great Short Video: Demand for short, timely video is high on all news web sites. This program covers how to shoot three of the most common types of short video with a smart phone or simple point-and-shoot camera. The focus here is on 30-60 second video that requires no or very minimal editing and can be posted quickly, when shooting interviews, man-on-the-street reactions, and breaking news scenes. Skills include framing, light conditions, sequences of shots, and more.

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: Growing Your News Brand: How to use social media effectively in sharing news, driving web traffic, and projecting a strong news brand. Includes use of Facebook, Twitter, company and individual accounts, and how to develop an internal social media policy to help guide the growing use of social media.

Social Media: Reporting Tools: Social media sites provide powerful tools for reporters. How to use the main social media sites as reporting tools when covering breaking news, searching for people or companies, and other tasks. Includes copyright and fair use issues related to content obtained on social media sites.

Continuous Coverage: Once your set of online tools is in place, how to plan and manage continuous news coverage across digital and print platforms, and create content specifically for the web and print. This program offers a model for developing a story online and then using print to offer more.


Chad Graham leads the mobile, social media and search engine optimization strategy in the Republic Media newsroom. Republic Media, which includes, 12 News/ KPNX-TV and The Arizona Republic, has one of the largest converged print, TV and digital newsrooms in the U.S. and is the second largest property in Gannett Co., Inc. Its seven social engagement producers work to enhance real-time conversation and collaboration between journalists, readers and viewers across six platforms: print, desktop, TV, social, mobile and tablet. Graham previously served as a business reporter and columnist for The Republic. He has been an editor for the Advocate magazine and a reporter for the Des Moines Register, Hollywood Reporter and The Associated Press. He got his start on Capitol Hill as a press assistant to Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa.

Val Hoeppner is director of education for the Freedom Forum Diversity Institute, based in the organization’s Nashville offices in the John Seigenthaler Center. She oversees multimedia instruction for the Chips Quinn Scholars program, the American Indian Journalism Institute, the Diversity Institute Multimedia Scholars Program and other Freedom Forum academic initiatives. Hoeppner is an adjunct professor of journalism at Belmont University, Nashville. She is an Associated Press Photo Managers board member. Hoeppner is a member of the Native American Journalists Association and serves on the multimedia committee for UNITY, Journalists of Color. Hoeppner came to the Freedom Forum from The Indianapolis Star where she was the multimedia director and previously the deputy director of photography. Hoeppner spent 10 years as the photo editor and a staff photographer at the Argus Leader in Sioux Falls, S.D. Hoeppner has a bachelor’s degree from Truman State University in Kirksville, Mo.

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. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan and holds a masters degree in training and human resource development from Xavier University, Cincinnati.



Albuquerque Journal: Private owners block access to "landlocked” public lands
Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Taxpayers lose millions on Georgia plant
Denver Post: Changing budgets to better fight fires out West stifled
Fort Worth Star-Telegram: For-profit colleges cash in on veterans
Maine Sunday Telegram: Corporate influence growing in education policy in Maine
Columbus Dispatch: School truancy rates doubted in some districts
The Oklahoman: Resigning allows cops to conceal past

Read about these and more by clicking here


BEAT OF THE WEEK: Jamal Halaby and Dave Gavlak

The sign at the heavily guarded facility in an isolated stretch of Jordanian desert read: "Off-limits. Military zone."

That was enough to tell Amman correspondent Jamal Halaby he was on the right track in his pursuit of a secret location known to be housing hundreds of police and military defectors from neighboring Syria.

Halaby and stringer Dale Gavlak were told about the camp by Jordanian security officials and Syrian rebels based in Turkey, but no one would say where it was and requests to visit it were repeatedly turned down.

So when Halaby was tipped by a security source that it was in the city of Salt, he set out on his own to find the facility and an exclusive story that wins the Beat of the Week.

After sunset, Halaby drove to the area and asked around, but was told that the facility had been moved to another secret location near the Syrian border, about 200 kilometers away. He continued on to the border area, where residents pointed him to a nearby trailer camp, encircled by barbed wire and heavily guarded by armed Jordanian soldiers.

Halaby approached the main entrance and tried to persuade the soldiers to let him in, but to no avail.

A guard took his press ID and threatened to call "military police." Then another guard at the gate confirmed privately what Halaby wanted to know: This was the facility he was looking for; it housed 1,200 Syrian military and police deserters.

As he waited in the desert darkness, Halaby called security and government officials back in Amman to intercede, but they refused. He called back the source in the rebel Free Syrian Army who had tipped him to the location and he put him through to one of the Syrians inside the facility.

He was told the defectors live in trailers with fans but no air conditioning and pass their days browsing the Internet and watching TV for news of Syria's civil war. They are allowed to communicate with the Free Syrian Army in Jordan and abroad, both in person and through telephone and Internet communications.

The Jordanian military runs the facility near a site formerly used by the U.S. to train some of its forces for the war in Iraq, and the defectors are debriefed by intelligence agents. Access to them is tightly restricted for their own protection. Their families live outside the camp but can get special police permits to visit.

After talking with the man over the telephone, Halaby rushed back to the office and called his Jordanian security sources for background information on the location, telling them that he and Gavlak had spoken to some Syrians there and that the information would soon become public. After some hesitation, two officials provided enough information for the AP exclusive.



Using a state database and his computer-assisted reporting skills, Olympia statehouse reporter Mike Baker was able to come to a startling conclusion: Washington state legislators had been spending thousands of dollars in campaign cash on things like iPads, alcohol, auto repairs, clothes, baseball tickets and even Harvard tuition.

Baker always is looking for databases to mine and, after producing stories about the questionable use of campaign funds by the Democratic candidate for governor, he decided to look at the use of such funds by other candidates and officeholders. He recently had returned from AP advanced computer-assisted reporting training in New Orleans and was eager to work with a really large database. He got a really large one indeed, and he took it for a test drive.

Baker obtained the state Public Disclosure Commission’s entire database for campaign finance, then used his CAR skills to assemble as much other usable information as he could. In addition, he looked over some records the old-fashioned way – by hand. He chipped away at the project over many weeks and doggedly kept after state officials for access to the right data.

It was a time-consuming and technical task – and what he found rocked the capital. Baker determined that since 2007, Republican Rep. Mike Armstrong had spent $7,000 in campaign cash to buy clothing. Democratic State Auditor Brian Sonntag had used campaign funds to buy more than $1,000 in Mariners tickets, and Joe McDermott, a Democrat on the King County Council, used $5,600 to pay for his tuition at Harvard. All contended the expenses were legitimate business expenses, but all acknowledged that they knew it didn’t pass muster to ask the state to pay for such items and thus had used funds from their campaign coffers instead.

One of the hardest parts of Baker’s reporting was getting the officials whose use of funds were most egregious to explain why they had used the money in a way that pushes the boundaries of campaign finance law. That took several weeks alone.

Baker’s piece ran on front pages across the state, and it also got results. The Coalition for Open Government in Washington state said it wanted to see more specific rules on the use of campaign funds, and two former lawmakers have begun working with the Legislature on a way to close the campaign accounts. His stories prompted at least four editorials about the practices by state members as well. And Baker went even further, helping reporters at member papers mine the database so they could produce deep dives on their local state representatives.



Ed Fowler is leaving his position as vice president of operations at The Anniston Star to be editor and publisher of The Daily Home in Talladega, Ala.

Both papers are owned by Consolidated Publishing Co. For the past two years, Fowler has served as publisher of The Daily Home. The newspaper announced ( that he will also take on the duties of editor. Fowler said he spent the first 20 years of his career making editorial decisions and he's looking forward to doing it again. Star Publisher H. Brandt Ayers said Fowler's new position will provide an increased sense of unity and consolidation across the company. Fowler, 65, worked as managing editor of The Tuscaloosa News and then the Montgomery Advertiser before joining Consolidating Publishing in 1992.

Digital First Media has named a new editor to oversee two of its newspapers in Connecticut, The Register Citizen in Torrington and The Middletown Press.

The editor, John Berry, has been online editor for The Times Herald in Norristown, Pa., since 2007. Berry, a graduate of Temple University, joined the Times Herald as a staff photographer in 2000. He has attended the Knight Digital Media Center's Web 2.0 workshop and led training programs for Journal Register Company, which is operated by Digital First Media.

Berry will be based in Torrington. Viktoria Sundqvist, who has been editor of the Middletown newspaper, was named investigations editor for the newspapers in Torrington and Middletown. Ann DeMatteo has been named managing editor of The Middletown Press.

Pam Sander, a longtime editor of the StarNews of Wilmington, N.C., has been named to the top post in the newsroom. Sander, the newspaper's digital/newsroom operations editor, was named executive editor last week ( by StarNews Publisher Robert Gruber. Sander replaces Robyn Tomlin, who was executive editor for four years. Tomlin stepped down in June to become editor of Project Thunderdome, a new venture of Digital First Media. Sander, a native of Easley, S.C., is a graduate of Clemson University. She worked at the StarNews after graduating from college and later worked at The Charlotte Observer for six years as a reporter, editor and columnist. She returned to the StarNews in 1994 where she has held a variety of posts, including features editor and editor of Wilmington Magazine.



Journal Register Co. seeks bankruptcy protection

• Cleveland newspaper publisher retiring next year

• Oklahoma judge grants Enid newspaper's request to unseal records

• Western Nebraska publisher takes job in Michigan

• Herald Journal of Logan, Utah, establishes pay wall

• U of Memphis newspaper gets funding restored

Read about these items and more by clicking here


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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