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APME Update, Sept. 26, 2014
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APME UPDATE – Sept. 26, 2014


• Oct. 10-11, NewsTrain Workshop, Las Vegas


Alan D. Miller, managing editor for news at The Columbus Dispatch, was elected president of the Associated Press Media Editors at the group's annual conference in Chicago.

Miller has been involved with APME for more than a decade and on the board since 2008. As vice president this year, Miller helped oversee APME’s committees, including NewsTrain, the trade organization’s marquee continuing-education program.

"The continued strong interest in NewsTrain workshops, and the big turnout for this year’s annual conference in Chicago shows the importance of this organization for the future of the industry,” Miller said. “I’m honored to be part of an association of such hard-working journalists whose goal is to support newsrooms amid constant change.”

Following the success of the first-ever joint conference by APME and the American Society of News Editors this year, Miller said two groups are planning a joint conference again in 2015 — in October on the Stanford University campus in Palo Alto, Calif.

Miller began his career as a reporter and editor at The Daily Record in Wooster, Ohio; worked as a business reporter at The Repository in Canton, Ohio; and started at The Dispatch in 1984 as a regional reporter. He covered several beats before moving into the editing ranks, becoming managing editor for news in 2004.

He will serve as APME president until the next APME conference in October 2015. He takes over from Debra Adams Simmons, former editor of The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer and now an executive with that newspaper’s parent company, Advance Publications. Adams Simmons will become president of the APME Foundation.

Other officers elected to APME board leadership were vice president Teri Hayt, executive editor of The Repository in Canton; and secretary Laura Sellers, managing editor of The Daily Astorian, in Astoria, Ore. Joining the leadership ladder is Bill Church, executive editor of the Herald-Tribune in Sarasota, Fla., who will become president in 2017.

Re-elected to the board were Church; Lawrence “Sonny” Albarado, projects editor at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; Joe Hight, editor of The Gazette in Colorado Springs, Colo., and Gary Graham, editor of the Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Wash.

Others elected to the board were: Cate Barron, a previous APME board member who is vice president for PA Media Group that includes The Patriot-News in Harrisburg, Pa.; George Rodrigue, vice president and managing editor of the Dallas Morning News; Russ Mitchell, managing editor and lead anchor for the 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. news broadcasts for WKYC-TV in Cleveland; Ray Rivera, editor of the Santa Fe New Mexican; Chris Quinn, vice president of content for the Northeast Ohio Media Group, representing, The Plain Dealer and Sun newspapers; Jack Lail, a previous APME board member and director of digital operations at the Knoxville News-Sentinel; and Kelly Fry, editor and vice president of news at The Daily 
Oklahoman Publishing Co.


ASNE-APME 2014: Fast Forward was a historic conference that attracted more than 400 people, including panelists, sponsors, media coverage crew and student journalists, at the Hyatt Regency in Chicago.

Here is a collection of what people were tweeting throughout the conference: 

• ASNE-APME 2014: Fast Forward, Monday
• ASNE-APME 2014: Fast Forward, Tuesday
• ASNE-APME 2014: Fast Forward, Wednesday 

For more on the conference, go to


Get top-flight training at NewsTrain’s workshop Oct. 10-11 in Las Vegas.

Registration is just $75. Diversity scholarships and discounted hotel rates are available. 

Here are more details:

• Sessions include reporting watchdog stories on a budget with Pulitzer winner Michael J. Berens of The Seattle Times; using social media for reporting and branding with Karen Workman of The New York Times; and planning content across platforms with Meg Downey, formerly of The Tennessean.


Want to bring a NewsTrain workshop to your town in 2015? Please download an application form at

For updates on NewsTrain’s next stops, follow us on Twitter @NewsTrain or like us at


Hazardous Assignments: AP Director of Photography Santiago Lyon offers guidance for editors considering sending journalists on hazardous assignments. Lyon made his remarks at the ASNE-APME conference in Chicago.

Five things to consider for hazardous assignments:

1. Training:
Every journalist assigned to a hazardous story should undergo hostile environment training.
Some useful resources:

2. Equipment:
Make sure journalists – staff or freelance – have the appropriate safety equipment for the story at hand: flak jackets, helmets, gas masks, hardened baseball hats, first aid kits, etc.

3. Planning: 
No details should be left unaddressed:  

What is the value of the story? How will we access the story? 

Who provides the transportation? Is the route safe? How do we know? 

What communications protocols will we have en route and how often will we check in? How long will we stay for? How will we exit the area?

When will we file our material and should we, in some cases, be mindful of using bylines if we intend to stay in the area? If things do go wrong, what is our backup plan? Where are the nearest medical facilities and how do we get there? 

4. Freelancers:
It is critical to ascertain certain facts before working with freelancers:
Are they bona fide journalists as opposed to adventurers attracted by the dangers of conflict? 
Check out their work online. Seek references from others they have worked with previously. 
Do they have their own safety equipment appropriate to the story? They should be in possession of everything needed to work safely.
Have they undergone any sort of hostile environment training? 
Here are two organizations offering low-cost training for freelancers.
Rory Peck Trust:

Do the freelancers have their own insurance in addition to any insurance they might become eligible for once assigned by a news organization? 
It is always preferable for freelancers to carry their own insurance and here is an option open to them.

If everything checks out, make sure a contract is signed which specifies the payment and rights details to avoid any misunderstandings.

5. Post-assignment mental health:
Whether staff or freelancer, we must recognize that the experience of covering dangerous stories can often be challenging to process.
Here is a useful resource:
DART Center for Journalism and Trauma: 


Beat of the Week: Maaddi

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Miami Herald: Healthcare costs often shrouded in secrecy
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